I agree that F355 is a superb game. I think it's probably the greatest, certainly the purest, driving experience to be had on any console. But to compare it to MSR is disingenuous at best, and just plain ignorant at worst. They are two totally different animals, both in the way they play and also the people they attract.
F355 is essentially a driving simulator with a steep learning curve, not best suited to the casual or unskilled gamer. It had only one car(how hardcore is that !?) and the tracks were ones that had been previously used a thousand times before plus it was the end result of years of Sega honing it's arcade skills to perfection. Of course it may have been brilliant but it was in some ways a very simple formula rather than revolutionary, that's to say it wasn't a difficult concept to turn into a workable game. MSR was never intended to occupy the same ground. It was trying to open up driving games to a new audience and introduced several innovative ideas which have since been copied throughout the industry but at the time were out there and untried.
MSR isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it is a flawed title that could have done with more development time (see the sequel on Xbox to see how it could
have been|). However, on release it still managed to wow gamers, giving them whole cities to play in with a easy to learn handling concept that was both fun and deep. This fun factor runs throughout the game with everything putting a smile on my face from the drifting to the graphics to the radio. It was also edgy and exciting - you knew you were playing something new and different.
Oh, that reviewer said there were no height variations in MSR's tracks ? Well it may be over ten years since I played it but I distinctly remember going over bumps in the London sections and as for the US sections...........er did he forget the hills ? lol
I must admit that no song from MSR has ever found its way into my ipod/cd player ! But I still say it's variety and the way the radio was part of the game lifted it up beyond the average
(for those days) fare. I guess we'll always arguing over that ! haha
One last thing. Which driving game had the WORST soundtrack of any game in history ?
That right, F355 !!!!!