Monday, February 7, 2011

My Childhood Reflections; Part 2: Star Wars Racer

I think everyone has come to the fact that Star Wars Episode 1 (which I will refer to as just episode 1 while writing this) was garbage. I don’t need to shovel more crap onto a shit-pile; it’s just redundant! What I will say is that there was some good that came out of the film. And that would be Star Wars Episode I: Racer for the Nintendo 64. Let’s keep things in perspective though; at the time when this game was released I didn’t think episode 1 was a complete bastardization of a once proud film franchise. I was a kid, and kids see things differently from adults… Star Wars Episode I: Racer is an exception to this rule. It was a great game then, and now.

Is this really the best cover they could come up with?

 Anakin’s "podracing" scene from episode 1 was the most iconic imagery from the entire film. I don’t think anyone doubts that. So one could easily stand to reason why making a video game out of said scene is a plausible idea. The matter of execution is something else entirely. Yet Podracer really just barrows heavily from games like F-Zero or even Wipeout.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer was all about speed; and an unrelenting style of faced passed reflects driven racing. Of course this speed came at a cost…the Nintendo 64 just couldn’t draw terrain and textures fast enough. Despite the technical limitations of the N64, I loved the adrenaline fueled ride each course presented; even if you couldn’t deduce where you were going half the time! It was nonsensical fun; just like F-Zero before it. Sure many of the characters outside of Anakin were uninteresting and bland (Yes Anakin is still just as annoying, but less so then most of the other aliens), yet we’re talking about episode 1 here, most of the characters from the prequels were all pretty uninspired at best.

Yes it was an ugly game -- visuals aren’t everything though!

Because of the how negatively the prequels are perceived many believe that nothing good came from them at all. Yes that is true in most cases. To be honest there were many Star Wars games released alongside the prequels, all of questionable quality. Even then I still say give Star Wars Racer some slack; yes it’s just a clone of Wipeout or F-Zero, but a clone of good games isn’t always a bad thing. The clones of Jango Fett on the other hand -- lets just say they did eventually hit what they were aiming for; it just took something like 100 shots. In the case of Star Wars Racer, it wasn’t a cloned miss. It was just stupid fast paced racing fun, just shut your brain off and enjoy the ride.

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