These promo tapes mark a period in time when businesses marketed new deals or new products they have in store. I find it a cheap alternative as opposed to paying tens of thousands of dollars in television advertising. Even though the costs of creating the tapes were still in their bills, it was a unique concept for marketers/promoters. Thanks to the internet, marketing is much easier to do, but also very tough given how many websites there are online.
Think of this as a full, extended commercial that could be fit for TV. You get the voiceover and clips of the game itself. In the beginning, I thought it was going to be those unasked 'jump scares' since you see a long shot of desert land. Then suddenly, you're plunged into the world of Top Gear Rally for the N64. I personally own an N64 but not this game. At a glance, it reminds me of Daytona 500 and Sega Rally Championship for the Sega Saturn. Other than that, it's a racing game but doesn't look too bad. You can check the reviews here on GameFAQs. The game did so well that there's Top Gear Rally 2 released much later. Read the reviews of what video gamers have said about it on GameFAQs as well.
Anyway, a third-party user was kind enough to upload the whole VHS online so here you go:
This is as simple as it gets. Granted, it didn't look like a production but more of a TV commercial which is why the critique of not having credits is forgiven (sans copyright information at the end).
It doesn't stop there: Midway included a video promoting Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero also for the N64! The next ones after are the following: Maximum Force, MACE The Dark Age, Off Road Challenge, [NFL] Blitz and Mortal Kombat 4. Talk about more bang for your buck comp. Midway did themselves a gracious favor marketing all these games on the same tape promoting a new game. Some may say it's a little excessive and pushing their products too much, but I think it's favorable. Why be stuck with just knowing about one game, when you can find out about other games to go with it? Who doesn't want more video games?
There isn't much to say except that THIS is what a promotional VHS video tape should be like—blunt, simple and straight to the point. If I wanted to find out more, then a VHS like this should take ideas from Nintendo of America's promo tape about Donkey Kong EXPOSED, filled with interviews and brief discussions, let alone visiting their website. Each has their own audience and critics, but for me, this is what I envisioned promo tapes should be.
Review the games presented on this tape? We're very curious ourselves, and yes, we will definitely give these games the SHOWSOTROS! treatment. Look for it in the future. Other than that, well done on the tape, Midway!
Also well done on the relaxation of considering this game. Now relax and unwind with AzoresGetaways: