Review by CardigansFan
"Great and long, but not like your average Gran Turismo game"
Midnight Club is back and better than ever (than the original Midnight Club 3). Now you've got more cars, a new city, Tokyo, which was taken from Midnight Club 2, new music, and more customization. This game is so appealing that I bought it after I earlier (about a year or so) bought the original Midnight Club 3.
You start off as a n00b in the racing world, and you have to move your way up in the ranks through street races and tournaments. The more races and tournaments you win, the more you unlock, whether it's special moves, new cars, new cities, new races, more customization, etc. It's kind of original, and although most racing games don't have a full storyline, they imply just about the same thing.
Basically, they took the old Midnight Club games and upped everything. The game goes smoothly, the prices for customization are just right, and everything else is balanced. After every couple of races or so, you'll be greeted by a cutscene, usually after unlocking something. Most likely, there will be no one car that you will keep from the beginning of the game because you will either win another (better) car or unlock a whole (higher) class of cars. The only things I hate is the AI, which is pretty unfair. If you really soup up your car, even if it is a class D car, you'll be pitted against class C or B (or sometimes even A). If you use nitrous, the opponents will either catch up (with monster acceleration) to you soon or use nitrous as well. So basically, you have to fight for first place, because it will rarely happen that you will be far ahead in the lead. Another thing is the handling. It's just too unrealistic; you have the ability to make 90-degree turns into narrow alleys (without bumping into the wall) very easily, and without trying hard, you can drive you car on two wheels during a turn. You'd think you'd rollover automatically, but that only happens rarely. Then there's the car damage and capabilities. You can mow 100+ street lamps or trees at less than 5mph and the car will only be slightly damaged. But putting that behind, the gameplay is great.
Simply put, it's smooth the entire way through. From you car to opponents cars to traffic to trees to buildings to trains etc. it's all smooth. There are only a few places where it gets choppy, but there's never any "lapses" in the game to load graphics or new areas. And the only other way it gets choppy is if you go up right in front of a tree or pedestrian and expect it to be highly detailed.
At first, I barely noticed the new music, but once I heard the new tracks, I liked most of them. If there's anything I regret, it's the fact that 50%+ of the music is rap, R&B, or hip-hop, and a lot of it is just plain, repetitive rhythms. I would really like more rock/alternative/techno music, like they did in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The best graphics go to the cutscenes, where the people *gasp* actually look like real people.
Unless you really like racing games (like me), you probably won't see a point in beating this game again. You won't unlock anything by beating it X amount of times, and nothing is ever different. The only other thing I could see doing in this game is customizing cars and trying them out for fun, or to make a memorable collection.
So if you like racing games, I would suggest you buy it, mainly because it is sold for $20 and less as a "Greatest Hits" game. But if you're hesitant and more of the Gran Turismo type, or just new to racing games, I would recommend a rent with top priority. You probably won't regret either choice.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/05/06
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