Review: Star Wars: Episode 1- Racer

Review: Star Wars: Episode 1- Racer

See? Episode 1 wasn’t all bad- it gave us this racing gem!

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Year: 1999

Played on: N64

Also on: PC, Dreamcast, Mac

Developer: LucasArts

Publisher: LucasArts

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It’s a new lap record!

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Date posted: December 12, 2017

Racer_N64

PREMISE

Oh no! I have to talk about the prequels! Hurry! Someone get me out of here or- *Door Slams Shut*

In all honesty, the prequels weren’t that bad. They gave us a back story for Obi-Wan and Anakin (I didn’t say it was a good back story), introduced the clone troopers and the clone wars, Jango Fett, Sheev, and the subject of today’s review, Podracing. However, they also introduced JarJar Binks, so minus a hundred points.

Ironically, I’m not sure if podracing really affected episode 1 overall. Did it really need to happen for the story to progress? Don’t get me wrong- I’m glad it did- or we wouldn’t have this game. It’s just one of those things.

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that this was one of the first N64 games I ever owned, along with Donkey Kong 64 and Mario Party, given to me by my dear grandmother (god rest her soul).

Anyway, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer is pretty straight forward- you race these antigravity vehicles though an assortment of different tracks and planets at incredibly high speeds. Let’s see what makes this movie tie-in so special…

PROS

The first thing of note is the incredibly high speed at which the vehicles in this game travel- it’s insane! It’s one of the few games that really makes you feel like your’re going fast! Vehicles can reach an excess of over 1000 mph- and you can really feel it!

There is an incredible list of tracks here- about 25 in all! You, of course, have Tatooine from the film, but you also have tracks that take place in frozen caves, underwater, what looks like some kind of space station, spice mines, and of course, the infamous Abyss! Those thinking that this game is nothing but desert canyons are sadly mistaken- in fact, I feel like that this game has more variety of planets and locations then the actual movie!

Andoprimerace
This game has a lot more variety then expected!

You also have quite the selection of pods and characters to choose from- mostly strange looking aliens, each with their own unique pod- and most from the actual movie! Yes, you have Anakin, but you also have many other different alien folk from all walks of life. Even better is the fact that Jake Lloyd, Lewis McLeod, and other reprise their roles from the movie!

Live_Race-_Baroonda-_Fire_Mountain_Rally
The sense of speed is amazing!

The game, once again, has a great soundtrack, most of the tracks being ripped straight from the movie. Say what you want about the Phantom Menace, the music still holds up, even though it is still nowhere near iconic as the original trilogy’s score. However, it serves the game quite well, and fits the intense racing action.

CONS

This game can be hard- like really hard! You have to take care of your pod, which can easily be damaged. Not only this, but you can careen off the side of some tracks and plummet to your doom! Thankfully, you can respawn, but damn if it impedes your progress!

Ord_Ibanna_(Abyss_Map)
Behold- the bane of many childhoods!

Some of the ships handle better then others- I felt as some don’t handle well at all- almost like your driving some kind of boat at 500 mph. This leaves some of the ships unplayable for me, personally.

The N64 does not look as good as the PC version. It’s still not a bad port- it’s just that the PC version seems to have better draw distance and better visuals, as well as better audio quality. Of course, the PC version is still not available on GOG or Steam, meaning you have to find the PC version by other means. Thankfully, the N64 is one of the most common games for the system, and can be obtained for less then $10 easy. Again, the N64 version isn’t bad, it’s just that the PC version is better.

UPDATE: The PC version is now on GOG! Our prayer’s have been answered! DRM free, and about the same price as the N64 version, and judging from the reviews, a good port as well!

Not really a con or anything, but the Arcade game by Sega is a completely different beast altogether. The New York New York in Las Vegas has one- Don’t know if you want to come to Vegas just to play one arcade game- but it was pretty intense, last I played it!

FINAL VERDICT

Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer is one of the most intense and insanely fast games I have ever played, next to the F-Zero games, of course. It is one of the best things to come out of the Prequel trilogy, in my opinion. If your looking for a fast and furious game that isn’t an actual Fast and Furious game, then Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer comes highly recommended! In fact, you could really say-

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5score

Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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