Top Gear 2 Soundtrack (Amiga), Patrick Phelan, 1994
At least in its SNES incarnation, the Top Gear franchise remains quite fondly remembered to this day. However, looking at contemporary reviews, it’s obvious that the series has always proved somewhat divisive. More than a few critics pointed out that the Top Gear games presented a no-frills, arcade-style approach to racing that produced solid, but not necessarily spectacular results. The fact that developer Gremlin Graphics (later Gremlin Interactive) used the Top Gear games to effectively regurgitate its own Lotus titles only amplified the feeling of ‘been there, done that’. That being said, Top Gear 2 remains the franchise’s best-regarded entry – while it played like a mere expansion pack of its predecessor, it made enough tweaks to improve upon Top Gear.
That was on the SNES though. Once Top Gear 2 reached the Amiga in 1994, reviewers were decidedly less pleased with the game, highlighting its lack of innovation and the fact that it didn’t meet the standards set by the Lotus games a few years earlier. The one area in which the Amiga port ultimately did excel was its soundtrack, matched within the Top Gear franchise only by Barry Leitch’s Top Gear Rally. After Leitch had set the musical foundations for the Top Gear and Lotus franchises, Patrick Phelan had taken over composing duties on both series, further developing their electronica-heavy scores and mixing in contemporary mid-90s influences.