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Midnight Club


Hey, if you like to play racing games, you can't really go wrong, right?  You pick up the controller, hope that the game moves pretty fast and has a wide array of cars to drive, and that the game is interesting enough that you'll want to play it again.

After playing games with a car lineup like "Gran Turismo 2" (500 cars) or after playing a game that has some good race elements, good car selection and good sense of speed like the "Grand Theft Auto" games of late, or even after playing games like "WipeOut", that do an incredible job of giving you a good race, "Midnight Club" doesn't have much new to offer.  The elements in the story portion of the game, where you have to race different rivals in town to beat them and take their cars, are mildly interesting, but having an upgraded car only helps you get back to par against better racers, so getting new cars has almost no advantage.  Worse, the purported smack talking between your driver and rivals blows, and there is no real satisfaction in beating each rival on your way to the top.

There are two cities that you can race in, and the courses within each city are fairly interesting...but, like all games of this type, there is a shortcut on each course that needs to be found, and once you do that, you're pretty much all done with it.  Cars can't really be upgraded the way they can be in games like the "GT" series, taking away any unique traits that your car can have.

In short (really short), "Midnight Club" is a serviceable game, but in the face of your other racing game options, it doesn't hold a candle to the leaders in the series, or even games like "Project Gotham Racing" on the Xbox.  Oh well.

Rating:  eBay


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09