TGS 2005: Gallop Racer 8 Hands-On

We grab the reins of Tecmo's upcoming horse racing simulation for the PlayStation 2.

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TGS 2005: Earlier today, during a visit to Tecmo's Tokyo Game Show booth, we had an opportunity to get our hands on a near-finished version of Gallop Racer 8 for the PlayStation 2. The game's menu screens and conversations were all in Japanese text, but we eventually managed to navigate our way through them onto the back of a horse lining up for a race.

TV-style presentation ahead of the race introduced each of the jockeys and their mounts, and then moments later we were staring at our horse's rear in the starting gate. If we were supposed to press a button or something in order to get a good start, we missed the opportunity, but the race seemed to get under way automatically, and we got a pretty decent start without doing anything.

The actual race, of course, is far more interactive, and although we couldn't make head nor tail of the golf-game-swingometer-style graphic in the lower left corner of the screen, we figured out which buttons were used to whip and control the speed of our horse and managed to win the race without too much trouble. We're pretty sure that one of the bars in the lower left corner represented our mount's energy level, which replenished quite quickly whenever we slowed down momentarily. The trick to winning, unsurprisingly, seemed to be maintaining a decent position and energy level until a few hundred meters before the finish and then letting rip with the whip. Oddly, we didn't appear to have any control over the left and right movement of our horse.

Gallop Racer 8's visuals were difficult to find fault with, but at the same time they really weren't remarkable in any way. We'll bring you more information on Gallop Racer 8 as soon as it becomes available.

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