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MSR RULES SUPREME
Metropolis Street Racer (DC)
Metropolis Street Racer (DC)
Date: 09/07/01, updated on 09/07/01 (336 review reads)
Advantages: Superb game, graphics and gameplay, Amazing sound, Authenticity
I’ve been lucky enough to own both a Dreamcast and a PlayStation 2, both of which have been set in a temporary world of shadow, collecting dust whilst the Game Boy Advance has enveloped my mind, and turned me into Mario/Luigi and Toad on Super Mario Advance, but the batteries ran out, I turned to my Dreamcast collection and stuck on MSR and over the past few days, managed to finally “complete” the mammoth mission of the 25 gruelling chapters of the single player mode. Yes, it’s a challenge, and it will scare off the feeble racing “fan”, but to be honest, there aren’t many games that are as rewarding as the finest, most graphically incredible, cruising game on the Dreamcast. Progress through a series of chapters, each more difficult than the first, and gain Kudos – respect, as your panache and level of ability roar towards perfection, in order to reach your target of Kudos and open up a new chapter along with the odd sports car or two.
r>Oh, and the cars are very, very impressive – they’re cars that you may well realistically own one day, none of this McLaren F1, Jag XJ220 or dare I say it a Pikes Peak Suzuki Escuado (something reminiscent of that at least!). You start off with the milder Mazda MX5, Fiat Barchetta and MGF, but a total of around 40 beastlike machines are ready for your unravelling. The Vauxhall VX220, probably the nicest open top roadster available, equalling, perhaps beating, the mighty Lotus Elise in terms of style and power, is the main car featured in the game – plastered all over the front cover, and not accessible until the latter stages of the game, is one of the best cars to own in your garage. You’re only aloud 3 cars at any one time so be careful. Alpha Spider’s, Astra Coupes, Audi A4s, Nissan Skylines, Ford Cougars, Renault Clio’s (the fast ones!) and Audi TTs are all waiting to be accessed! Yes there’s even the fantastic Lancer Evolution! Amidst the ‘normal’ cars, you can also unlock some really quite odd machines like cabs and lawnmowers – the less said about that the better. Ok, so unlike your standard Gran Turismo, you really do have to earn these cars. Completing a chapter is good enough, but you have to keep on improving your times to get the required kudos, so when the cars finally do glisten in front of you (virtually of course) you’ll have to go one step further and take the car out on a pre-selected circuit and attempt to get the target lap time so you’ll get the car.
“It’s all in a days work”. Never has the saying been so rightfully associated with a game before – MSR will take you days upon days to get through, so that call in sick to work will need to be worked upon! Once you have your car, you don’t need to go fiddling around with the suspension, tyres or anything – there’s no money involved here, only kudos, and you have to respect Biz
arre Creations for that. Select your colour, number plate (personalised number plates are a must!) and window darkness – not complicated, but at least you’ve got a certain amount of customisation here. Graphically the cars look incredible. Lifelike, shiny – but not overly so, MSR excels in terms of visual delight, but that’s not all…!
London, Tokyo, San Francisco. Mean anything to you? If you’ve played this game then you know what I’m on about. Metropolis Street Racer is true to its name letting you rip roar around photo realistic streets of the 3 aforementioned cities, and it’s not only fun, it’s dangerously addictive. I’ve spent many an hour screeching round Westminster at 2am in the morning with ‘Club Paris’ turned up to the max (you can select music from around 40 pre-made songs, as well as tune into a variety of radio stations – WOW!) and to say that the game is large, yet alone enormous, is an understatement. The Bizarre Creations team have meticulously recreated the 3 cities, each with around 80 + street circuits to the tiniest details. It is so realistic, with trees where trees should be, road markings where they actually are, the only downside is the lack of life in the cities, i.e. no people moving around, crossing the road (wanting to dive in front of your car etc) and there’re no pigeons in Trafalgar Square – MSR is a living virtual dream for pigeon haters! Oh, and be careful of obstacles and statues in the road, they’re not going to speed your car up!
Sound wise, everything purrs like it should with authentic engine sounds, donut making noises et al. The music is a tad annoying, although the radio stations are hilarious with some wacky presenters and announcements. No real songs except for a preview of Planet Perfecto’s Bullet in a Gun 2000, which is good while it lasts. As I mention, the graphics are nothing short of breathtaking, wit
h the game running at a smooth 30 frames a second, it is quite extraordinary how everything looks so right.
1player aside, MSR excels in multiplayer tournaments with the option of 8 of you playing in knockouts, championships and the like. It’s the best racing game around, and the follow up – Project Gotham (arriving on X Box) will be the one to knock the steam out of GT3.
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