Midnight Club II

I hate when you have fly for a bit in flight sims, before the action starts. I mean, I can hit a button to automatically take off and land, right? Why should I have to spend a couple minutes waiting for the enemy to show? This is especially annoying in MS Flight Sim, where the enemy never shows up.

Or in RPGs, when you have to talk to people and pick a quest. Why can’t I just role-up a character and --boom-- there are the monsters! Enough of this exploring crap. If I wanted to do that, I’d go hiking in real life. Isn’t this why we invented computers, people?

From now on all races should be in a straight line.

I hate when you have fly for a bit in flight sims, before the action starts. I mean, I can hit a button to automatically take off and land, right? Why should I have to spend a couple minutes waiting for the enemy to show? This is especially annoying in MS Flight Sim, where the enemy never shows up.

I know this is a sad Andrew Bub attempt at humor, but it’s actually true. There absolutely should be a “take me to combat” button-- exactly as it exists in Planetside, for example. Waiting around = not fun. While I’m at it, that stupid planning phase in Rainbow 6 = not fun. And waiting in line at that nutty equipment outfitting device in Tribes 2 = not fun, either.

Or in RPGs, when you have to talk to people and pick a quest. Why can’t I just role-up a character and --boom-- there are the monsters! Enough of this exploring crap. If I wanted to do that, I’d go hiking in real life. Isn’t this why we invented computers, people?

I don’t know if you realize this, but you’ve basically described Diablo II.

From now on all races should be in a straight line.

Orienteering isn’t the same as learning a fixed course/map.

I didn’t see anyone complaining about auto-mapping functionality in RPGs back in the day. Hey, that’s one less pointless orienteering chore we have to perform!

To be fair, unlike MC2, at least in GTA3 and Mafia you are free to drive around and learn your way around the city to your heart’s content before you take on a mission. That’s a reasonable compromise, particularly given the various bonus objectives and such you can find around town.

To be fair, unlike MC2, at least in GTA3 and Mafia you are free to drive around and learn your way around the city to your heart’s content before you take on a mission.

Once again, wumpus has no idea what he’s talking about.

The whole conceit of MC2 is that you’re free to drive around the city as much as you want. There are NPCs also driving around. When you flash your lights at them, they lead you to the starting point of the race. But until you flash your lights, you’re freely driving around the city, exploring.

As near as I can tell, balut hates the game because a) the NPCs don’t obey traffic rules when they’re going to a starting line, and b) you can knock down breakaway street lamps but not wooden telephone poles.

 -Tom

They should make a GTA game with the Speed Racer license. Would be cool to see Racer X and Trixie helping you out on the road. And you can go underwater with a periscope, like a submarine.

etc

Granted I haven’t played it, but this is standard orienteering bullshit. Since you have literally no idea where the checkpoints will be-- should we memorize the entire city?

Granted I haven’t played it, but this is standard orienteering bullshit.

You’re right about the first part.

 -Tom

Sounds a lot like Tokyo Xtreme Racer, Tom, one of my favorite racing games. I may give this a try. Thanks for the info!

If you are talking about that one that is a white cabitent (sp) with a drawing of four guys at the top, then yeah, I have played it.

It may not look amazing, but I can tell you why its my favorite arcade racing game now: Full races and physics. Unlike other arcade games, the checkpoint isn’t always killing your races like other games such as Daytona USA or Sega Rally. If you are doing good, you will be rewarded with the full race. If you are doing bad, the game will end early because of the whole ‘check point’ deal.

Its also popular because when you are driving the car, you actually feel like you are driving a car. Things like braking, powerslides, wide turns, etc, all take effect here. In other words, games like NFS, Gran Turismo, MC2, and other racing games will take effect here. And with steering wheel and pedals, you can’t go wrong :)

There is also that card thingie I heard about where you can customize your own car as you play more. That I am not sure about, but its a fun game nonetheless and I really suggest you give it a try. It might not look good, but it plays good.

Sounds a lot like Tokyo Xtreme Racer, Tom, one of my favorite racing games. I may give this a try. Thanks for the info![/quote]

MC2 is NOT Tokyo Xtreme Racer. I love TXR. I hate MC2. Wumpus pretty much summed up my hatred for orienteering in races. TXR doesn’t have that, and therefore is a much better racer, IMHO.

a) Why even have the idiotic NPC-doing-random-spastic-driving-maneuvers-as-they-try-to-lose-you-instead-of-leading-you-to-the-race sequences? Why can’t you simply flash your highbeams, and a 2-second cutscene shows both cars approach the starting line? As is, it’s a needless convention that serves nothing except to irritate.

b) Internal consistency is a good thing in games, Tom.

Because we’re right and everybody else is wrong, of course.

SR2: Warzones had other strikes against it… it was “just” an enhanced port of SR2: Hostile Territory, so that seemed to give the green flag to reviewers to give it the same pretty good scores.

The only problem is that SR2:HT was a better game than it was given credit for, and SR2:W is a great game with all the improvements. They really, really worked on the port. Another vehicle, double the countermeasure weapons, another enormous area, a couple terrific new multiplayer modes, 4 player support, and better graphics.

I don’t get it, either, I guess. Some reviewers slagged it for repetitive play in the single player… but geez, it’s off road crazy taxi with weapons and enemies! You have to carve different routes depending on a lot of factors, especially if your cargo is explosive. And they do actually throw in a few chase scenarios and other stuff. It’s easy to get 10+ hours of play out of single player.

And I suspect that some reviewers gave about 10 minutes of time to the multiplayer, which is great fun. Get a big TV and 3 friends and it’s an utter blast.

Dammit Cathcart, you’re turning into the Khan to my Kirk with the taking the opposing stance against me. :P Really, it’s not like this game involves text-based carjacking.

It’s not that I want a straight-line racer, it’s that I hate the fact that in MCII, winning the race depends more on your mental map-wrangling skills more than your racing ability. The key to the game is to drive around the city long enough to memorize all the shortcuts and alleyways so that, come race time, you can play NYC taxicab driver and calculate the fastest roads to take given the checkpoints shown.

I like racing games where the race is won by the best driver, not by the best map reader/memorizer.

That’s why I’m the one who likes it and you’re not. Actually, I haven’t played it, but now I want to. Also, I’m mildly annoyed at Tom because when I said I might get MCII in that buy 2 get one free deal at TRU he was all “Midnight Club II? Really?” and I was like “Hmmm, maybe I should rethink that.” So anyway, the point is that if it was the most boring game ever made our conversation would be reversed :P

It’s not that I want a straight-line racer, it’s that I hate the fact that in MCII, winning the race depends more on your mental map-wrangling skills more than your racing ability. The key to the game is to drive around the city long enough to memorize all the shortcuts and alleyways so that, come race time, you can play NYC taxicab driver and calculate the fastest roads to take given the checkpoints shown.

This is just proof that your opinion of video games is the exact opposite of mine and, therefore, wrong. That sounds great! Plus, it’s not like it’s so hard for you to find a game with set tracks.

I like the idea of finding your own way through the city, it just makes me want to play that game even more so I can learn where everything is. And the best part is that you get a real return on that investment. Especially when you get online and have to play against other people who know the shortcuts. Hey, even better, are the start and finish places random, or are you always going between a few set points? Random destinations would be great, talk about replay value.

Seriously, you guys just sold me this game.

I like racing games where the race is won by the best driver, not by the best map reader/memorizer.

I like to think of it as if you were racing people around your own city. How cool would that be? I know Philly pretty well, I’d love to race some friends through center city, maybe from the Art Museum to Pat’s Steaks. Of course, they can’t model every city in the world, but I think it’s supposed to be like that. You get to know this city and it’s more immersive because you really have to think things out, not just follow the blinking arrow. OK, I’m not explaining this well and my boss is walking by, but I hope you get what I’m trying to say. Gotta go.

You’re fired.

I wish. When my roommate got laid off he spent his six months of unemployment time playing Baulder’s Gate II and selling stuff on eBay. I don’t think he finished BG2…

a) Why even have the idiotic NPC-doing-random-spastic-driving-maneuvers-as-they-try-to-lose-you-instead-of-leading-you-to-the-race sequences? Why can’t you simply flash your highbeams, and a 2-second cutscene shows both cars approach the starting line? As is, it’s a needless convention that serves nothing except to irritate.

A needless convention? It’s a substitute for yet another loading screen. It fosters a sense of location in the city rather than throwing up a dopey ‘Please Wait…Loading Race…’ screen.

I don’t understand your complaint. You only have to do this once for every three races or so. From then on, when you start the game, it saves your position at the beginning of the race. You might as well complain about that part in Quake where you had to walk into one of the doorways to pick which episode you want to play.

You’re worried about not getting to try the checkpoints for a specific race? Guess what? You can take your dear sweet time exploring checkpoints to your heart’s content when the race starts! It’s not going to time you out! Drive it at 5mph and when you’re ready, restart the race and play it to win. Sheesh.

b) Internal consistency is a good thing in games, Tom.

Which is why you can drive through breakaway metal street lamps and not wooden telephone poles. That get’s you another ‘sheesh’. Damn, balut, for you I might just have to learn that eye rolling emoticon.

What’s your deal? Did one of the MC2 developers run off with your wife? Are you one of those wacky racer game advocacy guys? Because you’re really grasping at straws. There are some legitimate problems with Midnight Club II, but you haven’t come within 5 miles of one yet.

 -Tom

The game gets really crazy in some of the later races. Sure, much of the time you do end up working the route and path in your head, but there are several pure highway ‘breakout’ runs sprinkled here and there that go for nitro-infested stuntstyle impulse racing. Trading up some of the heavy intersection/alleyway angular layouts for visceral traffic dodging/stunt driving thrills. Even once that course has been logged in your synaptic matrix after the dozenth-time of restarts, the game still demands all those luscious dexterial reflexes that any self-respecting arcade speedster would require for victory.

I tend to love it myself, but it’s a frustarting and sometimes tedious process no doubt. Just makes that victory all the more rewarding in the end.

But even still, it’s not like every race devolves into that same muck of trial and error memorization. Plenty of straight-up highway driving and neighborhood tussels that keep the maze-esque pathfinding to a minimum all tucked in there now and again.

Hell most every race contains more than a few sections where actual dexterity behind the analog stick becomes more complacent to victory than pathfinding. I beat the sucker and honestly never spent much time utilizing the mini-map to any real extreme. The arrow provides enough support to lead in whatever direction is necessary,(if you notice a turn coming up, I glance briefly at the mini-map for support as to which of the next intersections may provide a faster path, but it’s not like I ever kept an eagle-eye on the sucker). The Halo-esque ‘X-ray’ indicators on your rival cars that allow you to pretty much see them anytime on screen give solid information as to what route is usually recommended just by keeping up with the leader and simulating his patterns, and then simplifying them into your own unique route to cut them off.

Yea, I had a blast with this game.

Now, I traded the game awhile back now, but IIRC even after you get to the race point, the game pauses to load some more. “Fosters a sense of location”?? So when your opponent careens around the slum area, then cuts back and drives across the aqueduct bridge, then cuts back the way he came, then does a 180 around traffic, then cuts to the left, then back to the right, then back another 180, that’s “fostering a sense of location”?? I’d rather have the load screen.

I don’t understand your complaint. You only have to do this once for every three races or so. From then on, when you start the game, it saves your position at the beginning of the race. You might as well complain about that part in Quake where you had to walk into one of the doorways to pick which episode you want to play.

I complain because it means every 3rd race I get irritated like somone jabbing their thumb in my eye.

You’re worried about not getting to try the checkpoints for a specific race? Guess what? You can take your dear sweet time exploring checkpoints to your heart’s content when the race starts! It’s not going to time you out! Drive it at 5mph and when you’re ready, restart the race and play it to win. Sheesh.

The fact that you’d be forced to play like that irritates the hell out of me. It’s like a puzzle racing game, then.

[quote]b) Internal consistency is a good thing in games, Tom.

Which is why you can drive through breakaway metal street lamps and not wooden telephone poles. That get’s you another ‘sheesh’. Damn, balut, for you I might just have to learn that eye rolling emoticon.[/quote]
So you find nothing wrong with plowing through an entire sidewalk full of metal street lamps at 100mph in a sports car with little to no effect, and then coming to complete and abrupt fiery stop only when hitting a wooden pole?

What’s your deal? Did one of the MC2 developers run off with your wife? Are you one of those wacky racer game advocacy guys? Because you’re really grasping at straws. There are some legitimate problems with Midnight Club II, but you haven’t come within 5 miles of one yet.

 -Tom

My deal is that the game is hyped up and universally praised as this great underground street racing game, when at its heart it’s 1/3rd racing game (the highway-only races) and 2/3rds racing puzzle game (the normal city races). I’m sure there’s some underlying factor I’m missing on why I hate the game so much, but the bottom line is that I like racing games, but every time I played this it just served to irritate me. Maybe it’s like you and Deus Ex or something (although I admit that I, too, enjoyed Flying Heroes, for what that’s worth).

I’m sure there’s some underlying factor I’m missing on why I hate the game so much

Ah, I see. Well, you might want to take that into account when you’re slagging a perfectly good game by blowing inconsequential complaints into hyperbole.

As I said, there are legitimate problems with MCII, but none that I’ve heard you mention.

-Tom