Midnight Club 2
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, Xbox
Publisher
Rockstar Games
Developer
Rockstar San Diego
Genre
Racing
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

Challenging races
Great sense of speed
Addictive online play
Detailed city

The Bad

Soundtrack is useless
Being in first place then crashing all of a sudden only to lose your lead

Grade
A

Answer me this: Do you love speed? Do you love the feeling of your heart pounding incredibly fast from the adrenaline? Do you love cars? If your answer to these questions is a "YES," then prepare to be amazed at how Midnight Club 2 delivers the goods. The first Midnight Club was known best for all these things I've mentioned. Maybe that's why it is now a PS2 Greatest Hits game. It delivered the experience of a lifetime by letting us feel what a street racer experiences. Unless you can afford those tricked-out Civics or Supras, playing this game is the closest you'll get to real street racing.

Midnight Club 2 offers the same fast paced non linear game play found in the first game but the original developers went out of their way to add more flavor to the game. What has been left behind from the first game were the hidden pink spotlights you had to look around the city you've unlocked to unlock more cars other than winning them from the people you've challenged.

You start out Midnight Club 2 as an unknown street racer trying to make it big and well known by gaining lots of respect from the racers you have defeated. Beating them won't only gain you respect but also their car or motorcycle. As you keep racing and beating racers, the races get harder and more complex from just cruising around a city block to racing from a city block to highways, inside buildings, and especially through traffic. That's what I love about this game. You aren't given a path to follow in order to achieve the certain check point. You make you own way around the city maybe avoiding traffic or dead ends. This is what sets Midnight Club 2 apart from other racing games such as NASCAR Thunder, Burnout, or even the king of racing games, Gran Turismo 3. It's true that these racing titles are not at all the same, but Midnight Club 2 is pure adrenaline rush.

Control wise, this game should take you no more than ten minutes to master. Although you gain new moves as you progress through the story like riding your car on two wheels to avoid collision, it doesn't take more than two minutes top to master it.

Graphically, this game is topnotch. The in-game details in the city look incredible and the light effects when hitting a light post is amazing. You couldn't ask for a better looking racing title. And although all the cars are fake, they look great and can even resemble real life racing cars almost perfectly. The short cinemas of your opponents are a nice touch but really aren't needed.

The sound in this game is the only thing that sorts of brings this game down. Yes the sound effects sound how you expect crashes to sound like, but the music in the background, in my opinion, is useless. You can barely hear the music and fake songs in my opinion aren't great to listen too when you're racing. Gran Turismo still owns every racing game in the soundtrack department.

With all the single player races you'll encounter, you are also given the option to race online. This is a big factor for this game. The reason is that the online aspects are fine tuned to fit your racing needs. The options are great, the mini games are fun and addictive, and hooking up to play a fast game and chatting in the simple but effective interface is as simple as setting up your PS2 Network Adaptor.

With all the online games ripping it up, you'll still spend a minimum of a month of constant playing just trying to beat those hard opponents of yours. They are as hard as can be. They will bump you off on purpose just for that one inch lead and can even force you to drive into a dead end or into a gas station where the only thing that's awaiting you is an explosion. No matter how much muscle your car is pushing, the AI will always manage a way to gain up on you and take the lead. I felt as if I've won a Nobel Peace Price when I finally beat the last race in Paris, and you will too. You can't go wrong with this game. These are the factors that make a racing game truly live up to driving a real car and finding it's limits to win a race.

- - Earl Ferrer

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