Midtown Madness 2
|a game by||Angel Studios|
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 8 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games|
I was pretty pumped to give Midtown Madness 2 a try. I will admit that the only game I played in this series was the third one on the original Xbox. These are fun arcadey style open-world racers that were very popular for the time and a pretty big hit for Microsoft. This game originally came out in 2000 so I am very interested to see how it holds up by today’s standards.
Across The Pond
There are many different game modes on offer here so there is a great deal to keep you busy. The main “gimmick” of the game is that you can drive in either London or San Francisco and for their time both cities are pretty substantial in their side. The main mode I want to talk about in Midtown Madness 2 is the training school. London has a cab driving school and San Francisco has a stunt driving one. Both have plenty of missions/drills for you to do and they are both different enough that you will want to do them all.
There are some other fun modes as well such as Blitz Mode which is kind of like a time trial mode where you have to hit all the areas before the time runs out. There is also a checkpoint mode where the last racer to cross the checkpoint is eliminated. It is pretty stacked with content, especially considering this is a game that is 20 years old.
Nice And Bright
Another thing that I was pleasantly surprised about in Midtown Madness 2 was the visuals. The game is nice and bright and while there is not exactly a ton of tiny details, I feel that the game holds up pretty well and its take on London and San Francisco is a fun one. There are plenty of cars for you to drive and these all look cool as well.
Oi, Mate, What Are You Looking At?
The soundtrack fits the game very well and the cars sound great also, but it is the way people talk that I find hilarious. I have been to London many times and hearing people freak out and talk is awesome. The folks in San Francisco have a lot of personality too, it is the kind of thing that in any other game would be out of place, but here even with the repetition is fun.
Arcade Racing Action
What I liked best about the game was that the racing action was fun. This is an arcade-style racer so it is the kind of game that is very easy to pick up and play. There is some skill here and the more you play it the better you will get, but taking corners fast and making crazy jumps are the kind of things you can be expecting to do here. It may not be the deepest racer around and I do prefer the third outing, but I had a smile on my face the majority of the time I played this.
I know that you may think playing a racer from 2000 is kind of pointless. However, Midtown Madness 2 is a solid arcade racer that ticks all of the boxes of what makes a fun game. It has plenty of game modes, the actual racing is solid and the game looks and sounds good too. The only reason I have not scored it higher is that I do feel that the second game in the series offers what this does and then some more.
- You can drive around London and San Francisco
- The racing is tight and fun
- You have many game modes to enjoy
- I loved some of the comments people make
- It looks pretty good for its age
- I like it, but Midtown Madness 3 is a better game
- Some might think the repeated commentary is annoying
Download Midtown Madness 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Grab the wheel and take to the streets again in Midtown Madness 2 -- the madcap racing sequel from Microsoft and Angel Studios featuring two all new cities and nine hip new roadsters for your racing enjoyment. Add two new single-player missions (a Hollywood Stunt Driver school and the Imperial Cabbie Academy) and you'll find more mayhem than you can shake a stick at.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
One of the first things I said wanted when I started playing the original Midtown Madness was a chance to drive around San Francisco. Midtown Madness 2 offers just that, along with the foggy alleyways of London. The heart of both cities has been rendered with impressive detail -- famous landmarks such as San Francisco's Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman's Wharf or London's Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace are all there, just waiting for you to careen around at top speed. You can even race in London's subway system, just keep an eye out for oncoming trains.
Some artistic license has been used to make everything fit, but overall you'll be impressed. The one really glaring problem I found was the fact that in London the stop signs and traffic lights were often placed on the right hand side of the road, rather than on the left where they belong. Much of the scenery is destructible -- you can knock down signs, scatter change from parking meters, and crash through glass windows in buildings. As in the original, the destruction extends only to the landscape; pedestrians always jump out of the way as you barrel down on them.
There are plenty of vehicle options -- all the cars from the original are present, along with a slew of new vehicles including the Mini Cooper, a classic London black cab, a double-decker bus, a hot Audi TT, and a Hummer-style Light Tactical Vehicle. Each car is beautifully detailed, with at least four or five paint jobs to select from. Choose the classic British flag paint job for your Cooper Mini (a la the British TV show "Butterflies") and tour London's narrow alleys or take a flower power VW Beetle for a spin down Lombard Street.
The physics aren't exceptionally realistic -- stunts like a 180-degree turn in a double-decker bus at 90 miles an hour or leaping off the top of Nob Hill and landing blocks away at the San Francisco waterfront just don't happen in real life. But despite the fanciful handling (or perhaps because of it) you will find it challenging to pilot your way around the cities.
Single player play is much improved. The cruise mode, blitz and checkpoint courses, and circuit races found in the original are still present, but two new 'school'? modes have been added. Put your hands on the wheel of a classic London Black Cab and enroll in the Cabbie Training course or hop in a classic 70's street rod for a Hollywood-style stunt driving course in San Francisco. Both schools offer unique challenges. I found the 'Follow that car'? challenge in the Cabbie course to be lots of fun and the classic movie chase scene (with you on the run from the cops) was masterful. The AI of the computer drivers is topnotch, providing a varied challenge each time you play.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics have the same flavor as the original, but there are lots of improvements lurking under the hood. Support for the features on newer 3D accelerator, added detail to both the scenery and vehicles, and the expanded damage model combine to make Midtown Madness 2 a definite step above its predecessor.
The audio has also seen improvements from the improved engine sounds to the squealing of tires as you round a corner. The graphics and audio aren't a revolutionary upgrade, but they are very well done.
Pentium II 233 or faster, 32 MB RAM (64 Recommended), Win9x/2000/ME, and a DirectX Compatible 3D Graphics Accelerator.
If you're looking for realistic racing try the Gran Turismo series. For an accurate city driving simulation take a look at Driver. But if you want no-hold-barred fun combined with destructive vehicle mayhem then Midtown Madness 2 is exactly what you're looking for. Building on the fantastic gameplay of the original with new cities, cars, and racing modes, Midtown Madness 2 will blow your socks off. Head to the store, grab a copy, and take to the streets at top speed -- you won't regret it.