Sega Rally Online Arcade is a downloadable game published by Sega of America and Sega Europe Ltd. for the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network. The game is an adaptation of the 2009 arcade-exclusive release Sega Rally 3, which itself is a reworking of Sega Rally Revo, originally released as a retail release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2007. However, Sega Rally Online Arcade was ported to download services by Sumo Digital (who have previously handled various ports of OutRun 2 for Sega in addition to developing 2010's Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and various ports and releases for the Virtua Tennis franchise) as opposed to Sega Rally 3/Revo's original developers Sega Racing Studio, who are defunct.
There are a total of thirteen cars and five tracks, as well as online mulitplayer for up to six players. The game engine is based on the Sega Rally 3 engine, with further modifications and updates to that game's handling, visuals, and camera (for example, Sega Rally 3's chase camera is looser than SROA's locked behind-the-car perspective). Like Sega Rally Revo before it, Sega Rally Online Arcade features full support for steering wheel controllers. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game comes with an exclusive Avatar award--a Sega Rally racing uniform--that is unlocked when the player completes their first Quick Race.
The single player portion of Sega Rally Online Arcade is comprised of four modes:
In Championship mode, players run the gauntlet of the game's three main courses (Tropical, Canyon and Alpine), working their way through the ranks in an attempt to take first. The player begins the first race in 22nd place, and is tasked with passing each of the twenty-one leaders throughout the Championship. In each course, the player is given two laps before they are forced to move on to the next track; in addition, the player must also contend with an arcade-style timer that replenishes as they pass each checkpoint, but will instantly end the game if it reaches zero, regardless of what place the player is in. However, the player's place is persistent and carries over to each course (for example, if a player finishes in 13th place on Tropical, they will begin Canyon in 13th place). If the player is able to finish in first place at the end of Alpine, they move on to Lakeside for one final head-to-head two-lap race against a more aggressive AI opponent. The game ends at Alpine if the player finishes in any place other than first.
The Quick Race mode returns to the gameplay standards of Sega Rally Revo, challenging the player to win a three-lap race on a course of their choice against five AI opponents. The arcade timer is also present.
In Time Attack mode, the player is let loose on any of the game's five tracks using any of the unlocked cars, their only goal being to finish the three-lap race in the fastest possible time. AI racers are disabled during Time Attack mode, but the player can download ghost data from the staff or other players on the leaderboard and try to beat their times (or use their data to perfect their lines). Additionally, upon completion of the race, the player can save their own ghost data and upload it to the game's leaderboards.
Classic mode is a throwback to the original Sega Rally Championship, in which the player drives a three-lap race against an AI opponent on a remade version of Desert (a track arguably as synonymous with Sega Rally Championship as Three Seven Speedway is with Daytona USA). The player's vehicle choice is limited to the Toyota Celica ST205 and the Lancia Super Delta HF Integrate, the two cars from Sega Rally Championship. Finishing in first with both cars unlocks them and Desert '95 for Time Attack mode and the multiplayer modes.
Sega Rally Online Arcade, as its name suggests, features an online mode for up to six players. Match hosts are able to set the track (all five tracks are available in multiplayer, so long as the host has unlocked them), the number of participants allowed and the number of laps that will be run (one, two or three), and can toggle to have AI drivers fill the open entry slots. Offline, the game features split-screen multiplayer for up to two players, with extra modes that can only be played in offline multiplayer. The offline modes are:
- Race - a head-to-head three-lap race.
- Dominator - a score-based game in which the person to cross a checkpoint first scores the point; the player with the most points at the end of a three lap race wins.
- Knockout - an elimination game with AI drivers in which the racer in last is eliminated at the end of every lap.
- Time Lag - a head-to-head mode in which the driver in second place must pass the checkpoint within a few seconds of the leader or be eliminated.
- Classic Battle - a multiplayer version of Classic mode.
- Touring Battle - a head-to-head version of Championship mode.
Sega Rally Online Arcade features thirteen cars, seven of which must be unlocked. Ten of the cars are licensed, with the starting six cars all being official WRC vehicles. All thirteen of Sega Rally Online Arcade's cars first appeared in Sega Rally Revo, though none of the cars handle as they did in that game. Sega Rally Online Arcade's thirteen cars are:
- Citroën Xsara Rallycross (2004)
- Ford Focus RS Rally Car
- Subaru Imprreza WRX STi SpecC Type RA
- Ŝkoda Fabia Rally Car
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ340
- Peugeot 207 Super 2000 (2007)
- Toyota Celica ST205 - unlocked by winning a race with it in Classic mode; only usable in Time Attack mode.
- Lancia Super Delta HF Integrale (1992) - unlocked by winning a race with it in Classic mode; only usable in Time Attack mode.
- Bowler Nemesis - unlocked by beating all five staff ghosts once.
- McRae Enduro - unlocked by beating Championship mode for the first time (this includes placing first on Lakeside).
- Andorra Racer - unlocked by beating a staff ghost with every WRC car at least once.
- Icelandic Racer - unlocked by beating Championship mode with every WRC car (the player must finish in first on Alpine, but does not have to place first on Lakeside to meet the unlock conditions).
- Baja Dune Buggy - unlocked by winning one online race.
Sega Rally Online Arcade features five tracks, two of which must be unlocked before they can be played at any time; however, not every track is available in every mode. Interestingly, the three main tracks feature significant parts of tracks from Sega Rally Revo, sharing entire setpieces with their Sega Rally Online Arcade inspirations. As such, Lakeside is the only one of the game's five courses to be truly unique to Sega Rally Online Arcade (its appearance in Sega Rally 3 notwithstanding). The tracks are:
A Polynesian course that begins beachside before venturing into the muddy jungle routes. This track is inspired by Tropical 2 from Sega Rally Revo.
A Badlands race that weaves through desert roads and canyon-side dirt paths, and across a towering dam. This track is inspired by Canyon 2 from Sega Rally Revo.
A track that opens in a quaint Swiss village, then climbs the curvy uphill Alps roads into a snow-covered downhill race. This track is inspired by Alpine 1 from Sega Rally Revo.
A sunset race through a rustic European lakeside town and the forests and farmland that surround it. This track is unlocked by finishing first in the bonus race on this track in Championship mode.
A remake of the classic Desert track from the first game in the series, Sega Rally Championship. This track is unlocked by winning a race in Classic mode with both cars, and cannot be played in Quick Race mode.
At the end of October 2012, Sega Rally Online Arcade
was removed from both Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. While no explanation was ever given from Sega, the reason was most likely due to expired rights with the car manufacturers featured in the game, similar to what happened to Sega's other racing game Outrun Online Arcade