Star Wars Episode I: Racer


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7.5

Star Wars Racer made it's presence known on the N64 with it's surprising gameplay and graphics, capturing the feel of the film perfectly in interactive form. The Dreamcast could have brought the game alive with the added power it provides. LucasArts has succeeded in making players feel like their playing the feature film, but the minute improvements to the game aren't worth the cash to Dreamcast owners who already own the game elsewhere.

The movie and games claim to fame is in their exquisite visuals. LucasArts has hardly upgraded them for this version of the game. The frame rate is locked at a solid 30 fps, but the resolution is the only notable difference between this and the N64 version. Polygon counts are roughly the same with little or no improvements whatsoever. The CGI videos included were taken directly from the PC version of the game, complete with compression problems and a washed out look.  

The sound has been benefited immensely thanks to the GD-ROM format. Voices and sounds are all identifiable unlike the cartridge version of the game. John William's unforgettable soundtrack now plays through the entire length of the race, unlike other versions in which it only played during the games intense final lap.

Menus have been copied directly from the other versions of the game with nothing added, a definite disappointment. The basic tournament mode and 2-player split screen are available, but how about some internet play LucasArts? Controlling the pod easily depends on what racer from the Star Wars universe you choose, but accuracy is the key in these hyper-fast races. Turning on these treacherous courses is only difficult thanks to the sheer speed of the vehicles themselves. The analog function of the controllers gets a workout with this game.

While the lack of any major enhancements (like internet play) is an utter disappointment, especially considering the power of the console, it still retains the feel of Episode 1. If you have yet to experience the game, this is the version to go with. The graphics, while not breathtaking, are sufficient and the sound just screams Star Wars.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 04:49 AM