METROPOLITAN STREET RACER for Sega Dreamcast. $60. Rating: NNwhen sega pulled the plug on itsDreamcast player last week (see sidebar), dedicated users flocked to gaming Web sites to mourn the end of a great video game machine. Surely, though, they won't miss things like the dreary Metropolitan Street Racer.MSR, a driving simulator that lets you pilot fancy cars through twisting urban streets, has typically stunning Dreamcast graphics. The cars are all name-brand vehicles -- Audis, Opels and more -- that look like the real thing.
So do the routes. Drive through the streets of London or San Francisco and all the familiar landmarks are there, right down to the pedestrian markings by the curb of busy London roads.
Looks aren't enough to make a game, though. MSR is clearly modelled on Sony's wildly popular Gran Tourismo series, which allows you to build up a fleet of cars you can race in different situations, but it's nowhere near as interesting. In fact, although it might be absurd to say this about a video game, there doesn't seem to be much of a point at all.
Players get "kudos" for not plowing the car into walls or other vehicles, but after driving around a few times, accidents end up being more fun than the game itself.
Anyone with even a basic knowledge of how the accelerator and brake pedals work shouldn't be too challenged. Anyone with ears, meanwhile, will surely be offended by the steady stream of jazz lite and Satriani-esque guitar wank that's blasted non-stop by the radio in your car. There's something to be said for driving in silence.
of the week of the week of the week
With half-assed Internet start-ups dropping at
the rate of three or four a day, the time has never been better for the self-proclaimed dot-com
deadpool. Listen in as soon-to-be-dismissed workers detail the meltdowns within their workplaces, watch the pink slips fly, and be glad you didn't quit your job to go work at a "sure thing"