Metropolis Street Racer
|a game by||Bizarre Developments|
|Editor Rating:||7.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
|Rate this game:|
What's the deal?
Bizarre Creations and Sega want a kick-ass looking answer to Gran Turismo 2000 that isn't just another clone. "We wanted to get away from the 'choose your car, choose your circuit' type of game, and also make sure we weren't just copying the 'car collecting' philosophy of other games," said Sarah Dixon of Bizarre Creations. We reckon you can expect a totally unique spin on the licensed-car racing genre.
You've gotta respect the amount of work that went into this game, too. The cities and cars have been modeled using the utmost detail, including research to the tune of 35,000 photos, 250,000 air miles and over 100 train tickets accumulated by the MSR team.
So why is it a must-get game?
This game is gorgeous, one of the most impressive seen on the Dreamcast. And the team making it? They're responsible for some of the early Formula 1 titles from Psygnosis on the PlayStation, so you know this baby's gonna handle like a dream.
Download Metropolis Street Racer
MSR isn't just another GT ripoff. The Kudo system, where you gain points for fast, stylish driving and lose points for ramming obstacles and other cars, is really unique and a lot of fun. That is. until you find yourself playing the same race over and over again to gain one or two extra points. This would be fine if it happened late in the game, but we're talking the second chapter here. Other than that, the game is great. There are loads of cars to unlock (though you can only have three in your garage) as you progress through the myriad of different races: from simple time trials to multi-race championships. A very cool feature is how MSR uses the DC's internal clock. Whether you race in Tokyo, London or San Fran, the game figures out what time it is there and sets the track to day or night accordingly (kinda like Steep Slope Sliders on the Saturn). It's too bad the night setting is so friggin' dark. Prepare to turn the brightness on your TV up quite a bit. Control-wise MSR is pretty much perfect. The cars stick to the road realistically but will break loose if you apply too much power in a turn or try to accelerate out of a slow spin. I even like how Bizarre approached the music: You listen to a radio station on each track (complete with static breakup through tunnels), or you can choose to create a custom playlist. I want to love this game and give it a really high score, but--Argh!--the extreme difficulty prevents it.
MSR offers some unique racing locales, which look just like the actual locations they are based on. The scenery, lighting and weather conditions all reflect a serious attention to visual detail throughout the game. Although MSR is worth trying out for its ambient novelty, it's a very frustrating game to work through long-term. Earning points to advance in the game is a major battle, as you play through the same courses repeatedly to iron out a few tiny mistakes. When you hit a wall and find out you not only lose a ton of time but also get penalized points, you'll most likely want to wing your controller across the room, so have a few extras handy.
If you're really, really patient and super meticulous you just might beat this game. Seriously, it's one tough nut to crack. Many of the challenges require perfect runs. It's cool though; the gameplay is tight and the cars handle well. If it were the least bit sloppy, getting through this beast would be pure hell So if you're up for many hours of pinpoint accurate racing--this is the game for you. Personally I think it's a bit too ambitious, or dare I say "challenging." In addition, I wish it were possible to access the better cars for a quick race without having to complete 4-5 chapters first. And some of the environments are just too dark and disorienting.