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Hyper Rally

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Released: 1985

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: MSX I/II

Publisher: Konami

Submitted by: Mat Corne

I mentioned in my review of Sky Jaguar that the MSX hardware is somewhat lacking when it comes to scrolling. However, it seems that the system is pretty adept at creating a pseudo 3D effect, and Hyper Rally is a good example of this. Another MSX exclusive from Konami, this is a quite impressive rally driving game that for its time offers a pretty authentic illusion of speed from the classic ‘chase view’ perspective made famous by games like Pole Position.

The aim of the game is to compete in a multi-stage rally race and you must reach the next checkpoint within the time limit and pass a number of cars to finish in a certain position. Each stage appears to change the environment, for example the second stage takes place at night. Sadly the game is incredibly hard – getting to the checkpoint on time is not too tricky, but finishing in the required position to progress requires flawless driving as even the most minor of bumps results in several opponents being able to pass you as you try and get up to speed again.

Hyper Rally looks, sounds and handles great considering the hardware it is running on, but the frustration caused by failing to qualify for the next stage combined with the absence of continues means that all but the most obsessive gamer will soon lose patience with it.