Champion Jockey

Yup. That’s horse racing.



One of the Gallop Racer games (big franchise in Japan…or was…) was one of the best games I played during 2003 or so (PS2). Did a great job of creating simulated seasons of races for 2 and 3-year old horses, but also for older horses as well. It nicely modeled the variations of running styles for the horses for the distances they prefer and the running styles you see in racing–front runners, stalkers, late closers. On top of the fun of riding your horse in races, there was a very nice and seemingly complex breeding game where you acquired horses, tried to ride them to victories and then retired them to stud to try breed your own stable of new colts and fillies.

I guess the franchise was even older than the PS2, and that gameplay had evolved in complexity over the years. After that version, they started changing things around to try to give the game more mass appeal and kinda destroyed it. I’m not interested in playing with Kinect or Move, but if they managed to get back to some of the stuff that made the earlier incarnations so much fun with regular controllers I’m all in.