Forgotten Racers of SEGA’s Past: Lotus II RECS

2370713-genesis_lotus2Hello race fans, and welcome to another exciting edition of Forgotten Racers of SEGA’s Past! To continue my somewhat retrospective of the Lotus games on Genesis, this week we’re going to be taking a look at Lotus II RECS (Race Environment Construction Set), Lotus Turbo Challenge’s sequel. So, as per usual, let’s turn the key and burn some rubber!

Lotus II RECS was released for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive in 1993, with development in control by Gremlin Graphics, with Electronic Arts once again handling publishing duties.

Like Lotus Turbo Challenge, this is another port of one of the Lotus games for PC, this time being Lotus III:The Ultimate Challenge. Lotus Turbo Challenge turned out great for the Genesis, so how would the sequel fare?

Great, to put it simply; it’s one of the best Genesis racers next to the original Lotus game.

Gameplay is your standard Lotus game at its core, with a couple of changes. There are two different types of races: circuit and point-to-point sprint races now. The car selection has changed, as well. Now you have a choice between the Lotus Espirit,  Elan SE and the Lotus M200, which was a concept car at the time.

It feels good having a choice of car instead of just having your car chosen for you depending on what race you’re on. Handling is the same as the original game, possibly a little better than the last. It feels a lot smoother, which is also the same the framerate.

They definitely bumped up the speed for RECS. The game feels way faster than Turbo Challenge. So, basically, in the gameplay portion, not much has changed, minus one game changing addition to Lotus II – RECS.

RECS is a randomized course creator for Lotus II and is basically the meat and potatoes of the game and what sets it apart from its prequel. The game gives you the ability to choose from 13 different environments and change multiple variables in the course, like adding obstacles, hills, curves, sharpness of corners and difficulty.

lotus-2-recs-04There are a lot of choices and variables to change up here, which provide massive replay ability. Just thinking about how many course combinations you can make is insane.

Visually, not much has changed since the first Lotus, minus the new car and environments. The presentation is well done, and the scenery looks good, with the road textures looking as great as they did before. All-in-all, still the same as the original, minus a couple of upgrades, which is not a bad thing whatsoever.

While the graphics didn’t change all that much, Gremlin Graphics spent some time ensuring there was some good music throughout the races, which the first game didn’t have. There are about three or four tracks of Patrick Phelan’s awesome Lotus III soundtrack in Genesis form, with one Genesis exclusive track thrown in for good measure.

recsIn addition to the music, the sound effects still sound great and actually a bit clearer in the sequel. Sadly, the classic PC problem of only being able to choose from hearing music or sound effects is present, which is a total bummer.

Like Turbo Challenge, Lotus II RECS is a great addition to the Genesis library, same with Turbo Challenge. They are two of the best and smoothest racing games I’ve played on the Genesis yet. The both of them are really worth it and are going for dirt cheap right now, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t join your Genesis library, no matter if you’re a racing fan.

The Lotus games are just very simple, fun racing games that play great to this day.

As usual, leave any suggestions for a new Forgotten Racers, either here or on Twitter, where you can find me @Kusanagi765. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you out on the track!

Jayson Lamp

Resident SEGA racer expert of sorts,been playing them since OutRunners. Writer of the Forgotten Racers series,among other things. Favorite SEGA series is Hang-On,and my favorite console is the Saturn. "Welcome to our exciting circuit. Do your best,and good luck!!"-Power Drift,1988

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