Midnight Club 3 (PS2)
Rockstar’s latest contribution to the Midnight Club street-racing game series… ‘Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition' … has been unvailed to both Xbox and PS2. (and soon to the PSP, on June 28th) Based the overall 'bland' gameplay of MC2 (Midnight Club 2), and the ongoing competition presented by EA’s Need for Speed Underground (NFSU) series, I expected this game to be a total flop. Although this wasn’t entirely the case, things are still far from perfect.
Rockstar was faced with playing catch-up after EA finally presented some decent competition on the street-racing game scene. Both titles offered a free roam mode, multiplayer, etc., but EA really captured the underground scene with tune-up parts, body accessories, and additional types of in-game racing to allow both full customization of the cars in the game and more than a single path of flow in the game. Overall, MC2 presented the street-racing scene simply as a boring and standardized, where NFSU truely captured the feel that every casual gamer like myself was after.
The one thing I’ve always admired about Midnight Club was the free-roam element that also applies to the racing. With NFSU, you’re locked on a preset track… where as in MC, you can take shortcuts through shopping malls, parking garages, alleys… or even jump over buildings. Anything of a similar nature in NFSU was hard-coded in by the map designers… either intentionally or unintentionally. :)
Midnight Club 3 is basically just Midnight Club 2 with the following:
- An attempted story-line. (they failed. here’s another strong-point of NFSU.)
- An attempt at customization. (they did an okay job, but they still have a long way to go before they capture the feel of NFSU’s tuning and customization scene.)
- An attempt to make things less ‘by-the-book’ in terms of gameplay. (they’ve added more race opportunities, so you don’t have to simply stick by the predefined flow of the game.)
Overall, I feel the major selling aspects of the game are the original features in Midnight Club 2, with what SHOULD have originally been included. I’m estimiating that it’ll take Rockstar another revision or two to the MC series before they’ll get everything straightened out.
Another thing? On the PS2 version, there’s NO WIDESCREEN OPTION. This really sucks if you have a 16:9 TV, and is another reason I’m sticking to NFSU2 (Need for Speed Underground 2).
If I had to rate this game, I’d give it like a 2.6 out of 5. It’s worth playing for a bit, and I congratulate Rockstar on finally making *some* progress, but they stopped development way too soon. It just wasn’t ready yet.
If you’ve bought it, and you like it, then great. Otherwise, I’m going to call this game a RENT. You be the judge… just be sure to play NFSU2 before you buy anything. ;)