Review by Scotti_English

Reviewed: 09/20/05

10/10? How Exactly?

Intro: I've never played a Midnight Club game before, but this one caught my attention. It got good reviews in most magazines and the modifying elements were meant to be the most extensive yet. Besides, i needed a game to last me over the weekend while I was home-alone. Lets just say on Saturday I decided to watch a DVD I've seen twice before.

Graphics:
Lets start with the most important thing, the cars. They look pretty good until you get out into the city, then i suggest UV-protection sunglasses and investing in some sun block. The twinkles and glare completely detract from it, but when you do get a proper look, they are quite smooth and sleek. The cities. They are either bland or bright and tacky. Probably to disguise the sub-standard graphics. 6/10

Sound:
The best part of the game. Hands down. The soundtrack is really quite brilliant, and the opening song really gets you pumped up. A lot of variety too, so suitable for almost everyone. As for the car sound effects, nothing to shout about, but you can't complain. Just normal. 8/10

Game-Play:
Now here comes the major downfall. Turn, Slide, Regain grip, Straighten out. Rinse, Repeat. Sounds simple? Well yes it is, in theory. The fact that nearly all of the scenery looks the same is a bit of a problem, mainly because you only realise you're meant to turn about 0.5 seconds before you reach the corner. You could look at the map I suppose, but by the time you've done that, the front end of your car has probably been rearranged by a conveniently placed AI truck. Maps, they are similar and generally boring American cities, with no real landmarks or anything to do except drive around and make the odd jump. The AI is also pathetic, and the whole game feels like a chore. There is some good in this mess though, namely the special moves, which are activated with the L3 button and do various things such as making you invincible. The range of cars is quite good, but as this is an arcade racer I don't see the point. When fully upgraded there isn't much difference apart from their speed. They may as well have made-up. But a good thing is the novelty of modifying your favourite car. If I could describe the game-play in three words they would be: Monotonous, Fidgety and Shallow. 4/10

Lifespan: There is lots of races and unlock-ables, including hundreds of parts. The only problem is, it gets boring fast, unless you play it in small amounts. Probably good for a few days play. 7/10

Conclusion: If you have an evening free then it might be worth a go, but I wouldn't pay full price for this. Maybe borrow it off a friend or rent it. If you see Need For Speed: Underground 2 or Burnout 3: Takedown sitting next to it, pick one of those up instead.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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