Midnight Club Racing


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5

It's amazing what a company can do with just a few years time. Here we have Rockstar, a relative unknown who's only hit was Grand Theft Auto and it's sequel. The launch of the PS2 gave us Midnight Club Racing, a hint of things to come with it's almost entirely free-roaming racing. Toss in Tommy Vercetti and who knew?

The "Midnight Club" referenced in the games title (ok, it IS the title) is a group of idiots who enjoy driving wildly through the streets at night. New York and London serve as the battlegrounds while the muscled up cars do their thing. Money is earned, new parts/cars are bought, and the game moves on.

Driving here is dead on, the analog controls suiting the game perfectly. You'll have no trouble taking on the opponents thanks to the fine tuning the developers took the time to perfect. Getting lost is an issue though. Because of the free roaming aspects, you'll constantly find yourself in an area not part of the actual race, but you'd never know it. You can also get trapped inside some of the buildings and you'll find it very difficult to get out.

Graphically, this is a mixed bag. The cars look great. The shine coming off the metal frames is the best out of the first-gen PS2 games and is still pretty impressive a few years later. The buildings, cityscape, and roads are a mess. It's almost indescribable, but the mess of textures, pixels, and low polygon counts just don't work. Drive up to a building in the distance and watch that detail pop right in. It's enough to ruin the entire package.

Techno music is not my style so I'm not thrilled with the tracks included here. Engine music isn't exactly pleasing to my ears either, but I'm sure it's probably accurate. The menu music is blah and doesn't help things here either.

This game has a much improved sequel. Rockstar took almost everything I have said to heart and fixed it, even though I'm writing this review 8 months after the sequels release. Amazing isn't it? This is a mildly fun racing title, but it's very hard to go back after playing games that are so much better.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:53 PM