March 24, 2002
Star Wars Racer Revenge - Review
One of the best Star Wars games that hit the market when Episode I hit the cinemas was Pod Racer. The game was based on the most exciting section of the movie and translated very well into a video game, which ended up being released on the PC and all the major consoles. With the success of the original a sequel was guaranteed and the Playstation 2 is the benefactor. LucasArts handed the development of this title to Rainbow Studios who have proven themselves with Playstation 2 titles such as ATV Offroad and the stunning Atari Splashdown. This game is set to be yet another feather in their cap, just before Rainbow Studios become a part of the THQ company.
|A close up of some of the engines.|
It has been eight years since the first spectacular Podracing showdown between Sebulba and the young Anakin Skywalker. Seeking payback for his humiliating loss, Sebulba has a new beefed-up Podracer and lust for revenge. But it's not going to be easy: Anakin has grown into a boldly skilled Podracer pilot. Thus the stage is set for Racer Revenge, bringing newer, faster, and even more dangerous Podracing to the galaxy-taking you on a one-way ride to ultimate victory. Jockey for position with a tangle of Podracing opponents or leave the pack behind at intense, nerve-jangling, planet-scorching simulated speeds of up to 600 mph. Crash and bash competitors into oblivion as you take them out of the race for good.
Although the original Pod Racer was good, this game is just so much better. Developers Rainbow Studios really know how to make a racing game, not just technically, but also in terms of making it fun. From the moment the menus load you know that this game is just going to be better. The characters on screen are wonderfully detailed, and have voices recorded that fit in with the Star Wars universe. The game modes include Single Play, Tournament or split screen Vs. which is tremendous fun with two skilled players. The game takes place over 13 different courses, including Tatoine, and with 18 different racers including the likes of Anakin Skywalker, Dud Bolt, Ody Mendrell, Teemto Pagales, and your nemesis from the first game and the movie, Sebulba. There is nothing exceptional here in the modes but there is nothing to complain about either.
|It may not be pretty, but it's fast.|
Beginning a race displays a wonderful fly-by of the track with some superb comments about it's history and areas to be wary of. However, it's as soon as the race starts that everyting gets very exciting. Racer Revenge is extremely fast, and quite a bit more difficult then the original, although you'll still unlock everything within a matter of hours. The main difference with this game is the emphasis on destroying the opponents as well as using some of the many shortcuts throughout each level. The more opponents you destroy the more credits you earn as well which can then be used to upgrade your pod racer between events. Fortunately damage to your pod can also be repaired during the race. By pressing the L2 button your pod slows down but starts to repair the damage caused by other racers. It may cost you some speed, but at least you'll get to the end of the race. The pods also include a turbo boost which greatly increases your speed, but you run the risk of exploding your engines and being put out of the race.
So all-in-all this is a very fun game to play, but it's not without a couple of faults. Firstly, despite the increase in tracks and riders this game is quite easy to complete, perhaps ontl 2-3 hours in total. However, Star Wars Racer Revenge designed have you back for more, which you will. The game also has some loading times which are a little annoying, but nothing Playstation 2 owners wouldn't have seen several times before.
|It's game over man.|
One thing that Rainbow Studios always seem to get right in their games is the tremendous sense of speed. Fortunately, Star Wars Racer Revenge is absolutely no exception. The Pods rocket along the tracks with the scenery zooming by. The textures of the racing tracks are quite impressive with a wide variety of locations on offer. From underwater, through industrial areas, into deserts and through forests this game has it all. The Pods themselves are wonderfully detailed, and not far off those seen in the movie. The only downside is the occasional patch of slowdown in the frame rate when things get extremely busy on screen. Still, it's not enough to cause too much drama.
Sound in Star Wars Racer Revenge is, well, Star Wars. The game contains plenty of familiar and classic music from John Williams. But as we all know it's not just the music but the ambient sounds that makes the Star Wars universe so special. This game is absolutely no exception with each racer having a different engine sound, like the movie, and various ambient sound effects and racer chatter.
|Kat is a pretty good looking pirate.|
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that this game is much better then the original, it is. However it's still not the all-great racing game which it has potential to be. Rainbow Studios have crafted yet another magnificant game and I can only hope that they continue making racing games in future. The presentation of this title is second to none with some superb menus for the 3D polygon characters. As with the movies this game is aimed at a slightly younger audience in mind, but don't let that deter you this is a terrific title.
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|GRAPHICS||The game is lightning fast with great detail in the menus and cut scenes.||84%|
|SOUND||Plenty of Star Wars music and some wonderful character speech.||89%|
|GAMEPLAY||It's more brutal then the original, and a lot more fun overall.||84%|
|VALUE||Plenty of tracks and riders to unlock, but it won't take too long.||73%|
|OVERALL||It's a much better game then original, with more action, more detail and a lot more fun. This is the game the original should have been.||84%|