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Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

video game review video game review Video Game Review: Star Wars Episode 1: Racer Publisher: Lucas Arts
Category: Racing
Platform: Dreamcast, Game Boy, N64, PC, Mac
ESRB Rating: Everyone    Release Date: April 1999

Overall Rating: 2 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
2 Stars out of 4
(Review of N64 version)

To us, Star Wars Episode I: Racer is an average game. And our opinion has nothing to do with how we despise the new film. Although this Nintendo 64 game is a likely nominee for Game of the Year at the Interactive Academy Awards in May 2000, those of us in the gaming public with half a brain may not be so thrilled with this racer, despite the fact that this game is in such hot demand.

Star Wars is like a Las Vegas stripper. She may look like fun in the store, but when you get home and unwrap everything, things go a little too fast and nothing blows your mind when all is said and done. The game is fast, yes, but it certainly doesn't feel like 600 mph as advertised. Yeah right. Are those dog miles?

The track designs in this game are very disappointing, even if they look cool. One level has an awesome zero-gravity zone, though… at least I think that's what it is.

The game has great sound, too. The final lap of each race is accompanied by a sudden rush of suspense-building music that really adds to the experience.

Unlike many racing games, each vehicle actually FEELS different. The variations in attributes are actually tangible! Imagine that! Also, when you wear out your podracer from crashes and scrapes, you can buy new parts for repairs. New parts are available at Watto's shop, and used parts are available in the junkyard. Used parts are much cheaper but don't last as long. Trouble is, you can't really tell when the parts crap out on you while racing.

The best racers are Ebe Endocott, Ody Mandrell, and that annoying little terd Anakin Skywalker. Poor Jake Lloyd. Did anyone like his performance in the movie? It must be tough being a child actor. If only he acted as well as he does interviews.

If you think we're being unfair in giving this game a C, then listen to this. Two of Nintendo Power's reviewers scored the game BELOW a 7-out-of-10. One score was 6.9; the other was 6.5. I don't know what they consider average on their number system, but considering that no game gets lower than a 5 and the best games approach the 10 mark, I think a 6.5 is definitely about average no matter what they say. Sorry guys, the force is not strong in this one. It may be pretty, but the track designs don't hold a candle to Extreme G-2.

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