Star Wars Episode I Racer – Second Opinion

Dale and I are pretty much on the same page with Racer. Licensed games are usually terrible and futuristic racing games tend to overdo it. But surprisingly, this isn't the case with Racer. The controls feel restrained in a good way. The pod racers consequently handle very well for a genre notorious for having loose controls and questionable physics. The scenery is also exemplary, giving the game great feeling of depth and dimension that is usually only found in huge arcade racing games.

Perhaps the best aspect of Racer is that it positively draws from the movie, including a temporary boost and repair feature that Anakin Skywalker clearly utilizes in the movie. These two features add an extra dimension because a level of on-the-fly resource management, not often seen in racing games, is introduced. My interest in the race becomes two-fold, one in beating the race's other competitors and two, efficiently maximizing the effectiveness of my pod racer.

The two worst features for me were the lack of a two-player tournament mode (there hasn't been a good one since the original Mario Kart) and the flimsy arcade-like endurance of the pods. The first problem mainly affects the play-life of the game since there are only so many times you'd want to race your buddy in a single race format before it gets tiring. The latter seriously hampers the above-mentioned resource management feature. What's the point of maintaining the integrity of the pod if it's just going to get trashed and replaced with a brand-spanking new one every other five seconds? But nevertheless, this is a great racing game with plenty of good features ultimately overshadowing the bad ones. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Rating: 8.5 out of 10