Make no mistake, this is just another FPS with some great ideas (my personal favorite was being able to assemble my own crew) and stunning visuals that ultimately go to waste. Dale pretty much hits the nail on the head when the refers to Kingpin's creative direction as nothing more than 'dressing' with corrupt intentions of exploitation.
Any fan of the movie will love this game. It doesn't have a deep story but that's not its draw anyway. It successfully takes one segment from the movie and lets you be a part of it. Racing fans will love it because it handles better than most other racers […]
You are familiar with the hype and whether it was generated by the media, George Lucas, or the fans themselves, it's helped to sell everything and anything Star Wars. Whether a product was any good was irrelevant, if it was graced with Star Wars, it was a must-have for any "true" fan. So as soon as Nintendo announced that they had a limited exclusivity deal with LucasArts, many in the media saw it as a coup for Nintendo. Others, however, doubted the game's significance because although it carried with it a big-license name, Pod Racer (as it was then called) was still merely a racing game.
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.
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.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Animated Violence
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.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence
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.