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

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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