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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Rockstar

 

Developer

Rockstar San Diego

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

April 11, 2005

 

 

- Awesome soundtrack
- Great sense of speed
- Lots of customization options
- No last-minute miracle wins by opponents
- Always something to do
- Fun

 

 

- Some slowdown

 

 

Review: Midtown Madness 3 (XB)

Review: Midnight Club II (XB)

Review: Burnout 3 - Takedown (XB)

Review: Project Gotham Racing 2 (XB)

 

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Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition

Score: 8.8 / 10

 

midnight club 3 dub edition review         midnight club 3 dub edition review

 

Iíve always heard good things about the Midnight Club series, which is why itís so nice to find that theyíre true. And though I canít condone street racing, I will condone Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (MC3) as a great game for mature gamers. (Mature meaning gamers possessing the ability to distinguish between reality and make-believe.)

You begin your career in San Diego with enough cash in-hand to buy a vehicle. The stock vehicles are nice enough but to really pump up your rideís potential youíll have to hit the streets and compete against other street racers for cash (and car) prizes. Earning enough cash lets you outfit your ride from whatís under the hood to the rims and tires right on back to the decal on the rear window, and all points in-between including body work. Itís an easy customization system and the brand names that pop up in associating with various upgrade parts arenít in your face. And as your career progresses, more upgrades and customization options become available. However, beyond modifying the engine and related hardware, you may

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want to save your money because customizing the exterior of your vehicle has no discernable affect on your ability to win races. Although I admittedly went crazy customizing my first car, I would recommend hanging on to your cash so that you can buy your car(s) of choice later on.

There are well over 60 vehicles to drive but itís almost a guarantee your ride will wind up being a

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reflection of your personality.

There are three sprawling cities to test your racing skills in and each cityscape there are a load of race events and challengers (done at your leisure) so there never seems to be a lack of things to do. Even when youíre just cruisiní and scoping out possible shortcuts there are Rockstar logos to find which unlock goodies along the way. 90% of the races are of the checkpoint variety with no artificial path laid out in advance, so sometimes itís not about being fastest, itís about being smarter by exploiting available back door routes. And because each city is ďaliveĒ youíll also have to pay heed to other vehicle traffic Ė avoiding it when necessary and getting into the thick of it to lose pursuing law enforcement or screw up opponents.

While Burnout 3 featured eggshell-like vehicles that shattered with minor impacts, MC3 features cars like tanks that can plough into a building at 150mph with barely a dented bumper. But fun trumps realism in this case with lots of fantastic skids, insane jumps Ė 300ft over an aircraft carrier? Do-able. Itís all in the name of fun and this is no better demonstrated by each class-specific special move.

When I write ďspecial moveĒ I donít mean an arsenal of missiles. Take for example the Roar special move for muscle cars. Punching Roar at the right moment can actually win races. When itís activated a shockwave rolls out in a circle around you. Basically, it punches civilian cars out of your way, but it also screws up nearby opponents as they try to regain control. Used with a bit of strategy it can force opponents into buildings or to miss sharp turns. Roar is charged up by performing powerslides and the like and four ďshotsĒ can be stored for just the right moment. Every vehicle class has the ability to acquire a slipstream boost by riding behind an opponent until the meter is full then hitting the nitrous and flying past.

 

midnight club 3 dub edition review         midnight club 3 dub edition review


The AI opponents are good and thereís none of that ďcome out of nowhereĒ miracle comeback that some racing games suffer from. Additionally, even if youíre lagging in 5th place midway through a race itís still possible to win.

MC3 captures the sense of speed with some nifty visual effects but there are some situations where the action chugs along. This happened most often to me when getting massive air and a lot of the city is visible or big crashes when itís raining. But itís not a constant problem either so itís not a game killer Ė 95% of the time youíll be screaming through the streets, maybe taking out a telephone pole or two with a satisfying "crash-snap" sound. Accompanying the visuals is a very good soundtrack, which includes a number of genres. Soundtracks are something Rockstar seems to excel at but where the soundtrack scores the voice work misses the mark by being a little too annoying. Thankfully the lines are infrequent since thereís no story mode shoehorned into the game.

Besides the career and online modes, MC3 includes a very fun arcade mode which lets you set your parameters (like no traffic) and just have fun in the city of your choice. Itís a great option when you just want to drive.

Racing fans should get a copy of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, and I would even go as far to say that non-racing fans should give it a whirl, because its arcade enough to appeal to casual players but ďrealisticĒ enough for the technically inclined. Itís not just a good racing game; itís a good game.

- Omni
(April 23, 2005)

 

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