Midnight Club II -- FULL CD RIP

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Midnight Club II -- FULL CD RIP

Post by diceman on Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:49 pm




Rockstar continues their fascination with the criminal elements of society by delivering up a game about illegal street racing. Offering up three large cities, a suite of fast cars and an arcade sensibility, Midnight Club II is a game that starts fast and never lets up. You'll take on a number of street racers, pitting your skills against theirs in a winner-take-pink-slip affair. As you progress through the game you'll unlock more cars, more tracks and more special moves.

You simply need to find an opponent, flash your brights at them and try to keep up. Once you've proven that you're no first-day wonder, the racer in question will challenge you to a checkpoint race through the city. You're free to take shortcuts using ramps, tunnels and anything else you can find.

In terms of character, the Los Angeles map offers a lot of open area and not too many cars. Once you graduate to Paris and Tokyo, you'll see an increase in the number of cars on the road. What's more, these two later cities offer up a greater sense of vertical action and more levels than you'll find in Los Angeles.

Midnight Club II is one of the fastest racers around. The game sells the sensation of speed with detailed road textures and a slightly relaxed crash model. As you tear down the streets, you'll find that small collisions don't really get in the way of winning (as long as you can keep you car heading in the right direction, of course) and you can really beat the crap out of these machines before you'll have to respawn in a new car.

In terms of cars, you simply won't see the same degree of variety that's apparent in titles like Midtown Madness or Vice City. All of the cars here are designed for high-speed action, so you won't get the fire trucks, minis or taxi cabs you find in those other games. The cars that are included here have a phenomenal grip on the road that still manages to convey a powerful sense of mass in the powerslides.

In addition to unlocking cars, you'll also earn new abilities. Some, like burnout, come quite early and help in almost every situation. Giving a quick burst of power right at the start, burnout's a key part of the start of every race. Another useful power that helps balance the game in addition to making it more fun is the slipstream turbo. If you're right behind other racers long enough, you build up a slipstream meter that gives you a free turbo boost.

Other abilities are less useful in general situations but still fun nonetheless. The weight transfer function allows gamers to tilt the center of gravity on the car to pop it up on two side wheels. While this is merely novel in the early stages of the game, as you progress to the more congested streets of Paris and Tokyo, you'll find this feature remarkably useful.

Weight transference is much more a regular part of motorcycle racing. Shifting your weight to the left or right results in tight turns (much more so when a little E-brake is applied) and shifting it forward or backwards results in either a head-down streamlining or a wheelie. It's even possible to do an endo on the bikes but, apart from sticking your landings, shifting your weight to the front or rear of the bike doesn't have many straight gameplay applications. (I found the slight camera shift that occurs when you shift your weight takes a while to get used to.)

I'm really impressed that the bikes have been balanced so well against the cars. A higher top speed and better acceleration are compromised by the overall fragility of the bikes and a less reliable powerslide. If you're not careful you'll find that understeering is a big issue with the bikes (making the weight-transference on the turns absolutely essential) and you'll eventually find your body flying off the bike in all but the most gentle collisions. Compared to the paint-trading, rail-scraping nature of the cars, it's a nice change of pace.

In races where the checkpoints needn't be passed in order, you'll see some startling variety among the AI routes. It seems that no two races ever take place exactly the same way. Some AI drivers will veer off and take a new route, often encouraging you to look for some of these secrets yourself. This new railbranching system even works in races where you have to pass the checkpoints in a particular order. In that case, the shortcuts aren't as extreme a divergence but you'll still see a few cars pull off from the main pack to cut through a part of the course.

But even if you're not impressed with the adaptability of the AI (even though you should be), the aggressive nature of the other drivers will still get your blood pumping. They know how to hurt you and will even plan ahead by causing accidents ahead of you. Coming up behind the second place driver don't be surprised if you see him leave behind a pile of destruction for you to negotiate. Naturally this tactic works for you as well. I was impressed at how imperfect the AI drivers were. They make the same mistakes human players do from time to time, taking turns to soon or too late or misjudging a key opening in the environment. Cops are also incredibly effective in Pitt maneuvers, roadblocks and even straight out crashes.

My only real complaint in terms of AI is that racers towards the back of the pack fight a bit too aggressively, and often to their own disadvantage. I don't see that it makes much sense to screw me out of a chance at winning if it means the racer who did so also falls behind the pack. Racers in the rear should be more concerned with getting closer to the front before they start worrying about who's going to come in fourth.

The challenge level is pretty satisfying overall. You can probably breeze through the first dozen races in one try but the difficulty ramps up enough by the end of the first city that you'll frequently have to retry the same race over and over again. The promise of frequent rewards in the form of new cars and new courses is compelling enough to bring you back again and again. Since many of the races can be won following different routes, there's enough room for experimentation here that constant reattempts don't really get stale.

Once you've exhausted all there is to see and do in the single-player game, you can hop online and try out some human competition. The various courses and challenges from the single-player game are available in multiplayer as well. You can also try your hand at two Battle modes. Capture the flag tasks players with grabbing a flag and running it over a scoring point. Detonator is pretty much just like Capture the Flag except the flag here is a bomb. Multiplayer also allows for plenty of power-ups that offer a range of abilities as unrealistic as they are fun. Having your car turn invisible (even to you, strangely) or hitting an opponent with ice can really turn the tide in your favor.

There's even a handy race editor that lets you set your own checkpoints in the three cities. Setting up your routes honestly couldn't be easier. The only complaint here is that you don't seem able to backtrack over an old checkpoint and include it again later in the race. It's not a big problem but the few races in single player where you have to retrace a part of the track are kind of cool.

As you can tell from the screens, the game looks great. Though the game is relatively dark by design, you can still see the great texture work that's gone in to the buildings and street environments. The cars are a bit simple but have nice reflective surfaces and seem clean and shiny overall. Realistic shadows add to the realism as do the skidmarks that appear on the road. Seeing glass shatter as you plow through an office building or watching the sparks dance from a downed light pole are definitely high points in the game's visual presentation.

As good as the game is, we hope that Rockstar manages to establish Midnight Club II as the premier arcade racing series on the PC. Although asking what you'll be having for dinner tomorrow when you've got a perfectly good meal in front you tonight might seem a bit tacky, we've been without such a great racer for far too long. Bring us more, Rockstar, and I promise to be your best friend.

Closing Comments
Given the fact that Midtown Madness is now an Xbox exclusive, Midnight Club II has come along almost at the perfect time. There's been a real void in the arcade racing genre on the PC lately and Midnight Club II fills it perfectly. With loads of courses and plenty of smart opponents and lots of fast cars, you simply couldn't ask for more -- unless you're a shameless ingrate.

The only real strikes against this title are those that are inherent in the design. While I'd love to see some of the levels in the daytime or have access to a wider range of cars, that's simply not what Midnight Club is about. If you like arcade racing (or just like good games, regardless of genre) then Midnight Club II is definitely for you.

System Requirements:

Windows 98/Millennium/2000/XP; 800 MHz Intel Pentium III or 800 MHz AMD Athlon or 1.2GHz Intel Celeron or 1.2 GHz AMD Duron processor;128 MB of RAM 32 MB video card with DirectX 9.0 ;ompatible drivers ;1400 MB of free hard disk space ;4X CD-ROM

*You really DONT need a gfx card for game play, but it can make the game more faster!*

Code:
Size: 180 MB
    Link: Rapidshare
    Pass: www.riparena.prv.pl

http://rapidshare.com/files/54333412/Midnight_Club_2.part1.rar
  http://rapidshare.com/files/54337168/Midnight_Club_2.part2.rar
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Re: Midnight Club II -- FULL CD RIP

Post by WatchFul EyE on Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:37 am

Exclamation great game br0 Exclamation

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