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Which game are you looking forward to the most?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-2
August 21, 2001
 Written by Kyle Williams  on October 03, 2001

Full Review: I am honestly amazed... and I never even liked horses.

It is rare that I am genuinely surprised when I play a video game. In my short twenty-four years I've played every system from Super Pong to Nintendo's Gamecube and feel that I can tell a cool game from a lame game without even playing it. I called this one completely wrong. When I first read about Gallop Racer 2001 I thought to my self, "Hmmm...that's gonna be a boring game. I mean, it's just a matter of running your horse as fast as possible. There's nothing to it." I couldn't have been more wrong. Gallop Racer is a top-notch horse racing simulation that brings out nuances of the sport that I didn't even know existed.

On the surface, Gallop Racer 2001 is a well-done visual and aural work of art. To back that up there is a wealth of gameplay and features to feast upon. First up is the sheer volume of horses that you have to pick from. The amazing thing is that each one is subtlety different from the next. You need to get to know your ride before you can enter the winner's circle. To help you out on your quest to that coveted wreath are a simple control theme but, like Othello, can take a lifetime to master. There is a certain rhythm that you will need to find somewhere along the line that coaxes the most out of your horses.

One of the greatest things about this game is the vast sense of accomplishment that you feel when you manage to win your first race. Fortunately, you can watch the whole thing again in the instant replay mode and bask in your moment of glory. And soak it up you should, because with the way things go you'll probably get stomped in the next race. There are so many factors involved in your success that you just can't rely on your horse to be up to the challenge every time. Also, which horse you are riding plays a huge role in how you run your race. You need to take into account several traits of your horse and put together a game plan based on his (or her) strengths. I can guarantee you that what works on one horse will fail on the next. With the 1500 plus horses that you can come across in the game it could take a lifetime to learn to ride them all successfully.

Bottom Line
To be perfectly honest, Gallop Racer 2001 is the Gran Turismo of Horse Racing. It is an incredibly addicting game that pushes the envelope of realism in horse racing. I am still amazed at how well this game has been put together and actually has me interested in racing horses.

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