Virtua Racing

Virtua Racing
26 Feb 20

I know I’m always going on about Street Fighter 2 as my favourite arcade game but there is one more that steals my heart, and maybe the game that changed racing games forever. That being Sega’s Virtua Racing.

If you go to what they call an ‘arcade’ today it’s stuffed full with 2p drop and fruit machines. But back in the golden age they were filled with the creme de la creme of video games. One of the best was one of the first 3D racers to ever catch my attention. 

Virtua Racing was basic in its premise. Just drive an F1 ‘like’ car across three courses of varying difficulty. Released in 1992 I was immediately obsessed. Even though the graphics compared to what we have today seem dated, to me it looked amazing. The gameplay was out of this world, especially if you got to play it in one of its multiple player cabinets where you could challenge your mates. To me there was nothing else like it. The soundtrack was pumping and with the option to change your driving view with the 4 VR buttons it was far above anything that had come before.

I spent so much time playing this game, plus money and in the years that came later I tried to find a perfect emulation copy but nothing ever did the job. So imagine my joy when an almost perfect port came to the Nintendo Switch as part of Sega’s ‘Ages’ collection.

Obviously you have the Switch’s portability but in big screen play it feels like you’re playing the real arcade machine just as I did back in the day, just minus the pocket full of 20p’s.

Obviously a game from 1992 doesn’t really tax the Switch’s hardware to any degree so it is such a smooth playing experience. And it is basically arcade-perfect with nothing missing. I’ve spent hours and hours trying to conquer the tracks in the best time possible and as I can have as many goes as I want I am slowly getting there.

There is an online mode where you can play against other racers but you’ll of course need an Nintendo account to do so.

There are also a bunch of setting that set this version aside from the original where you can select the amount laps a race has, as well as difficulty and even the colour of 

Like I say, the graphics, some may consider dated but to my mind it still looks as fresh and as exciting as it did when it was first released. Best of all it’s only £5.99 on the Switch Store which is a total steal and for that money I recommend that any fan of the original goes out and grabs a copy.


Paul Wright


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