King of the Spirits 2

This game is an almost must-have for racing fans.

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Genre: Racing

Yet another potential hit for the Saturn stays in Japan. King of Spirits 2, what would have been known as High Velocity 2 if Atlus decided to bring the game stateside, is a deeper, more playable, and overall better game than the original.

This isn't Daytona, so don't expect to be driving in excess of 200 kph through multiple opponents. This is a moderate-paced trek through mountain trails against an incredibly talented computer opponent. There's no cross-traffic, no other opponents to get in the way -- this is a one-on-one race all the way through. There's a huge queue of automobiles ready to be obtained, but you'll need to beat your rival to win and drive them.

Tweaking your cars performance is the absolute key to success. Prepare to get lapped if you take your car's stock setting without any type of alterations. You'll need to adjust steering, shocks, brakes, muffler, and tire settings to succeed. You can then save the settings you've made to the car if you've got enough memory left in your Saturn back-up.

There's a semi-awkward two player mode in this game as well. Like the original, both players begin the race on the same screen. Any distance between the two cars will cause the screen to split into two. The transition between view modes is rather clumsy, but once the screen settles into place the game plays just as well as a single player game.

The graphics are a big improvement from the original. You can smack your car into the guardrails, and they'll stay crumpled for the rest of the round. Skidmarks even paint the road when you powerslide into a turn. You can also turn on weather effects, like rain, fog, or snow. They'll affect your driving for sure, but they look really cool.

The only downside is the fact that there's only three courses to choose. But even here, you can readily select which direction the race goes.

This game also supports, and plays well with, the 3D control pad. This game is an almost must-have for racing fans. Almost, because it doesn't quite have the same intensity and speed as Daytona or Sega Rally. But that's purely intentional.

Now if we can convince someone to bring it over here...