Midtown Madness is a good racing game and this comes as a surprise because arcade-racing titles like this don't usually translate well on the PC. In "Cruise" mode, I got to drive anywhere and everywhere in the city of Chicago. Driving through heavy traffic is unlike anything else and the AI (though weak) offers a convincing city-traffic model.
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 suspicions of confusion proved to be correct. Trying to figure out what the developers were going for is difficult and describing the results isn't easy either. The best I can say is imagine the jumping platform elements in Super Mario 64 mixed with the puzzles in Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time; all from a locked-down, overhead, three-quarters perspective.
I take exception to the comparison Chi made of The Phantom Menace to Super Mario 64 and the Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. Being a fan of both games, I can say that The Phantom Menace has little to show in terms of inspiration from either masterpiece. What I do see is that LucasArts wanted to capitalize on the trend of third-person perspective titles and the Star Wars prequel license at the same time.
The over-the-top multiplayer mode in Super Smash Brothers was good enough to outweigh the games major flaws for Dale, but that wasn't the case for me. I simply couldn't get past how shallow this game played in single or multiplayer modes. For me, it boiled down to the near-MIA of attack moves.
The main sell of Midtown Madness is that it allows you to race through an incredibly accurate recreation of Chicago (complete with landmarks, pedestrians, and rush-hour traffic). Old-school PC gamers (really old!) who remember Spectrum Holobyte's Vette! (circa 1990, the game allowed a spirited drive through the streets of San Francisco), know that Midtown Madness isn't the first of its kind, but compared to many of today's driving games, it's a breath of fresh air.
Rather than wiping out endless hordes of monsters for fortune, glory, and (of course) experience points, Pokémon encourages captivity over annihilation. So much so, that collecting, trading, and training the stubborn little pocket monsters make up the heart of the game.
IT'S ALL TRUE! EVERYTHING DALE SAYS IS TRUE! In fact, everything you've heard or read from critics, gamers, magazines, web sites, television, family, and friends is true. This is the game of the century and who am I to disagree? After all, I'm one of the converted. Nothing I say or do will have any significant impact on your feelings toward the game or its historical precedence, but nonetheless, I will throw in my two cents and let it float out into the endless sea of cosmic thought that already surrounds this legendary game.
Nintendo remained the only developer that seriously believed great games could be done on the Nintendo 64 and to finally prove it they decided to produce one of the most epic role-playing games ever made and let the consumers decide. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is Nintendo's answer to every question ever asked about video games and video game design. Miyamoto and his team created an imaginary world called Hyrule and invited us to all come play in it.
Make no mistake about it, Final Fantasy VII is a graphical showcase, first and foremost, and an RPG second. No matter what Square says about trying to add movie-like elements to their games to aid in storytelling, they are obviously in love with their SGI machines and are determined to put them to use at any cost. Graphics took such a precedence over gameplay that playing through any part of the game was akin to being lead by a leash; I was allowed some freedom, but if I really strayed, I was snapped back to path by the designers' invisible, yet heavy hand.