#445 Metropolis Street Racer

Posted: 17th April 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

418th played so far

MetropolisStreetRacerBoxGenre: Driving
Platform: Dreamcast
Year of Release: 2000
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: SEGA

Time for another driving game. Today a racer through real life streets, as Bizarre Creations apparently based their tracks on the geopgraphy and buildings of some major secrets, of which they digitally build a small area, and adjusted it so they could create multiple tracks through them.

London should be one of the cities featured, which should be interesting for us in particular.

Our Thoughts

Right. If you’re going to create a game where content needs to be unlocked, it needs to be doable. If it uses a criteria more complex than “finish the other levels” you have to ask how reasonable your demands are. When you demand a certain amount of points, don’t make it rely on a single race. And at least have the decency to have the best result count, rather than the most recent, so you can actually encourage people to retry without worry of making it worse.

We discussed this with Gran Turismo, which had a difficult tutorial that required too much precision to pass, and got us stuck. I’m not sure whether Metropolis Street Racer was worse or better. You start properly playing the game (although there’s no mandatory tutorial anyway), but it seemed like we needed so many points to get past the first three events that we just couldn’t make it.

You don’t just gain points for making your laps on time, but also for ‘style’. Good turns and things like that. More troubling is that you also lose points for bad driving – slamming into walls, not making turns and so on. We regularly had a problem where we lost more points from that than we gained points for good driving. So yeah, we never got very far with this.

Having only seen three tracks, in two of the three available cities (San Francisco and London), it’s difficult to judge the variety of tracks and the methods used to create them. London looked pretty fair, even if the routes don’t make sense as racing tracks, but I suppose that’s the point. London especially suffers from a lot of obstacles placed in your way because of the route the game gets you to take, some of them popping up as a surprise without much warning, the game not always signposting clearly where to go during the route. Already it felt like while the design of the game allowed for a lot of track options, they weren’t set up as creatively, and the right turns that kept repeating (lots of levels being track where you turn right exactly four time) make them a bit bland. Putting in 250 tracks seemed to have been a bit much to make them distinctive and very interesting.

Final Thoughts

Metropolis Street Racer feels like it has a good game in there, as the racing is fun and mostly decent. The unlock system, relying too much on gimmicks and forcing you to rely on them too much, makes it too unfun to actually race, as the penalties for doing too badly are too great while it feels like it takes too much and too long to actually gain much benefit of it. A shame, really, reconsidering those numbers would have made this a lot more fun.

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