Midnight Club 2

June 24, 2003

Fast and the Furious was enough of a hit at the movies to warrant a sequel. I never really knew, but I guess street racing is really a hot thing in America. I can’t really see the reason for spending your life’s savings to make a car look like something out of a freaking anime, but you know different strokes for different folks. Games come out of the wood works to catch the latest craze, and street racing can be very marketable in the gaming world. Rockstar must have seen it coming, knowing that racing games where the player drives on tracks were going to get old and boring. Midnight Club 2 tries to capitalize on street racing’s popularity by developing a game that can be played by those who don’t geek out over Nitrous. Personally, I am no speed demon but I found that this game has a flare that even I could enjoy.

Find a challenge

Ok, now I love not having to do time trials, I love not having to qualify in order to race. In Midnight Club 2, you get to roam a city and find a challenge. There are a few street racers out at night that you drive up to and flash your highs at. Once you do, the race is on and that particular set of events starts. For instance, you find a street racer and race them. They then challenge you to a few races and ultimately, you race for pink slips. After you win and get your new ride you find a challenge again. The levels are different as well, some are check point oriented and some your objective is to lose the cops! I really love the non linear feeling that they use with this aspect of the game.

Physics 101

The game drives wonderfully. Each car has its own distinct way of handling itself on the road. Some hug corners and some haul ass but can’t turn for crap. The game offers a choice on which car you will use to take on each level. This feature is useful, as some levels call for quick reflexes and others for top speed. You will find yourself using all the vehicles at your disposal. The way the vehicles handle in the rain is so real that it is as much a pain in the ass as driving in the rain in real life. Don’t expect to make a quick turn without hydroplaning, or go from a dead stop to full speed without spinning some tires.

Don’t use Nitro on turns

No really; don’t try it.

You will hate other cars.

You will learn to hate the other cars that are racing you. They will intentionally run you off the road or into oncoming traffic. When I first saw this I was in awe because it is exactly what I would do if I were playing the game with my pals. Do anything to win is the whole point. The other non-racing cars on the road will react to the racers too. For instance, if another racer got in the way of one car it veers to miss it, and your car gets the brunt of its punishment, often times setting you way back in the race. The other road block you run into is the police. The sole purpose of the police is to run you off the road. They will try to block you in or veer your car off course, all the while racing down the wrong side of a highway!

Try; try again…and again…and again

You will find yourself doing races over and over again. You will lose more close races than you can imagine and sometimes you will win via a complete blow out. It all depends on
at happens to you and/or the other racers. You may be lucky and the first place car runs into traffic giving you the split second you need to pass him up and take the win, or at the last second you hit an oncoming car and lose the race by mere seconds. This is not really frustrating as it is luck. You will pray that lady luck is on your side through out the race.

Team Pickle

After playing I want to start my own racing team. I think I will name it Team Pic, and have all the cars green with Japanese writing all over them. Then again, maybe not and I will just stick to getting my racing fix on Midnight Club 2. The game offers a lot in the way of crisp graphics, big level design, and a wide selection of vehicles, not to mention motorcycles, and yes, Xbox live compatibility. If you are a racing fan this game is a buy. If not then pick it up as a rental. The game is not the perfect racing game, but it’s damn good.