Review by Mike_
Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 07/05/02
some of the best graphics yet for N64, but uneven challenge hurts this game
Lucas Arts newest game is a racer that is totally spun around the exiting pod racing sequence in the Phantom Menace. You get to play as Anakin and Sebulba and many more characters that were not in the movie. Also, you can race on Tatooine, the location where the race took place in the movie, as well as many others ranging from snowy worlds to underwater cities.
Graphics- 9/10 (with expansion) 5/10 (without)
First off, this game must be played with the expansion pak. Without it the frame rate drops considerably and everything is way too blurry. With the added RAM, the graphics exceed most Nintendo 64 racers. I have no complaints about the graphics during the courses, they are clear and colorful, but everything moves by too quickly for you to truly enjoy them. The pod racers during the races look great too as well as the junkyard and Wattos shop. To get the best out of the detailed pods, take a look at the cut scenes after you beat a race and in the pit droid area. There, you can look at them from every angle possible and zoom in and out the C buttons.
The gameplay is rather simple, in the tournament mode there are 4 sets of races, you play each race and if you come in 4th or better you win. But aim for 1st because you get the most credits which can be used to upgrade your pod racer in different categories as well as buying more pit droids which make you racer get repaired in between races. As you beat races new characters and vehicles will become available, and each racer performs differently in each category, some are better than others for certain tracks. However I do have a complaint with the steep learning curve, the first set of races is easy but the difficulty rises way too quickly (the Grabvine Gateway stage) which players will become frustrated all of a sudden. The trial mode is just like any other racing game, keep playing to beat your times. There is also a multiplayer mode too, which is good but nothing special. A nice factor to this games is that it has 4 save files, so you can race your best upgraded pod racer vs. someone elses.
This game would have sounded much better if it used the same formula that rouge squadron had. Instead the game has really no music, it come and goes during the races, which is a disappointment. But, the voice are done well, they resemble the movie closely, especially Wattos. Besides Anakin, the rest of the characters mumble words of their own languages, and that gets repetitive. The sound effects are what carry this game in the sound department, which is all you hear during the races.
After you beat the single player mode, which should take too long for an average gamer, there is really little to do. You can try to get better times with new pod racers, but again that get s boring quick. If you have a friend you play multiplayer mode, but that isnt that great either and gets old after a while also.
Not a bad choice, if you like Star Wars or just want to get a racing game. This game is better than most of the other racers available and has great graphics, plenty of courses, and a good variety of characters. But, this game gets old after you beat it once or twice. But beating it is very fun and quite challenging. This will keep you busy for a while. Rent is first and see how you like it before you buy it.
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