I always considered Neo Drift Out on the Neogeo as the best rally game in
MAME. The handling was easy, the speed was there, and it had my favorite
rally car, the Lancer Evo. Boy was I wrong. While Neo Drift Out is good, its
prequel, Drift Out '94 is even better, if not harder.
Graphic-wise, 94 outshines Neo. There is more color and detail in the
background, along the side of the tracks, and for the cars themselves.
Everything just looks livelier.
Then there's the car selection. While Neo had only a selection of 3, this
one has 8. Lots of old school favorites, like the Lancia Delta, Stratos,
Ford Escort, and even a Mini Cooper. Each car differs not only visually but
in their performance as well. Cars vary in top speed, acceleration, and
handling. Some tend to oversteer a lot while others try to stay grippy on
In rally, it is not you against the opponent; it is you against the
clock. For each stage, you must beat the clock if you want to advance to the
next, usually somewhere between 40 and 60 seconds. At the end of the stage,
your time is compared to everyone else and points are distributed for the
fastest times. Some of your opponents are the names of actual real life
rally drivers aside from some misspellings in their names of course.
What makes rally so unique is the fact that it is race on a variety of
different surfaces and on public road. Surfaces include tarmac, gravel, and
even snow and ice. Rally is raced in the light, as well as in the dark. This
game is no exception. The game consists of several countries with a mixture
of surfaces to drive on. The only thing that bothers me is that in some
stages, like Safari, the road and background tend to blend together.
Sometimes it is hard to figure out the narrowness of a road or even when a
turn begins. But that's just nitpicky stuff.
Of course you can't do everything by yourself. There's the co-driver to
navigate you along each stage. Listen to him and look at each sign that
pops onto the screen before a turn to know just what to expect ahead of you.
Drift Out '94 itself isn't too hard of a game to beat. It starts easy and
mistakes aren't too costly. As you progress though, tracks gets narrower,
more turns get sharper, obstacles come up that can block the road, and each
mistake you get can end in you timing out and losing the stage. That's just
the nature of any game with a progressive difficult.
The cars, themselves, can be hard to navigate. You really need to
oversteer the hell out of them in each corner if you want to stay straight
as you exit. Most of the time, your hand will be on the accelerator. Though,
sometimes you may have to let go on some of those hairpin corners. Rarely do
you have to brake, only at some sections in the very later stages. The game
isn't too forgiving when you crash or hit a barrier on the side. You do loss
quite a bit of time.
The game is fun once you get the hang of things. It's pretty satisfying
when you get into a flow and can go through an entire stage at full speed