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Multi-Racing Championship

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Reviewed by Joe Boerner

Short Review -

Graphics, 8.5/10:
It has clipping (fog), nice backgrounds and vehicles, weather conditions and the time of day changes, light-sourcing, plus transparencies. Sound, 8.5/10:
Thumps, different road effects, skids, echo's in the tunnels, digitized speech, and engine rev's. Music, 8.9/10:
Like WipeOut, this game also has techno tunes. However, there's only three music tracks for the three race courses. Control, 9.0/10:
If you tried Ridge Racer for the PlayStation or High Velocity for the Saturn, it plays like those games. Otherwise, MRC is pretty easy to learn, but it does have a little learning curve. Rumble Pak accessory, 9.5/10:
It shakes the most on the off-road tracks. Also, you'll feel thumps from other things (like running into a vehicle, etc.). Overall without the Rumble Pak, 8.7/10:
Your missing some of the fun that comes from Nintendo's accessory. Still a excellent title without it. Overall with the Rumble Pak, 9.0/10:
MRC is a great racer. If you only buy one to two racing games in a year. Rent first, along with the other racers that are releasing near Christmas time, and then decide, which one or two you want the most. Otherwise, it's a great buy!!!

Long Review -

N64 owners have waited for a "quality", while realistic racing game for their system. Well, here's even more good news for you, Ocean has bought Multi-Racing Championship (MRC) from the Japanese maker (Genki) and publisher (Imagineer) to release it in the U.S. It is the start for racing games to come on the N64, and also please many gamers who enjoy this genre (Like me!). Now, pick a car or truck, check the weather stats, tune your vehicle up, and hit the track. Race through the on-road and off-road paths, different weather conditions, time of day settings, and battle the most competitive rally driver's to win first place. Graphics, 8.5/10:
When you first turn on the game, you will see one of the best intro's for a racer! Basically, it shows two cars racing against each other, then they turn into separate directions, the Meteora picks the off-road, while the Galient goes with the on-road. The only negative part, is that Genki chose to go with the low-resolution (256 x 224) mode, instead of high-resolution. MRC does use fog to hide the backgrounds (Like in other games of this genre, but have pop-up.), and it's more apparent here than in Star Fox 64. The backgrounds have a European look, and in them, you'll see seagulls flying, a ship, buildings (Including a church, and on the Mountain course, the lights in the houses come on at night.), animated people, street lights (They aren't turned on at night.), jumping dolphins in one of the many animated lakes, a light house (Comes on at night.), tunnels (Most of them have light-sourcing.), a statue, columns, banners, billboards, mountains (With snow and without it.), trees, waterfalls, windmills, a 747, speed limit signs, one-way signs, turn signs, moving clouds, sheep in the fields, a horse running across the course, bridges, hot air balloons, and a helicopter. In a small part on the Mountain track, the water doesn't splash when vehicles drive through it, but it still animates. Pine cones fall over, and barricades get destroyed when you crash into them. Time of day and weather conditions are also here, from: morning, noon, evening, night, rain, snow, and fog with overcast. Cars and trucks each have their own logos, colors, and some of them have different looking speedometers. When the vehicles go through a tunnel, the lights bounce off of them, and has a nice light-sourcing effect. Clouds do reflect off the windows of each car and truck as well. During the off-road courses or the side of the track (Such as the grass.), debris shoots off the tires. Skid smoke comes off the tires on the black top to, whenever you turn the vehicle a little bit or a lot. In the behind the car or truck views, or in the Replay mode, you'll see a tiny flame from the exhaust pipes. Sparks come off the vehicles when you hit the side of the track, or landing a jump on a street road. In the evening and night times, plus in the tunnels, the cars and trucks headlights, foglights (Both are transparent.), and taillights are on. If you brake, the taillights will become brighter. The cars and trucks have little (When modifying them.) to no pixelation when your right behind them! Genki put in a rear-view mirror for the windshield view (See the smoke and off-road kick up, plus the sparks in it to!), and MRC is the first racer on the N64 to have this feature. Slowdown occurs when there is three or more vehicles near each other. However, if your only racing one-on-one in the Match Race, sometimes choppiness happens to. Otherwise, the frame rate runs pretty fast, and with smooth animation most of the time. Other cinemas are in MRC to, such as a winner's sequence for each track when you get first place. Plus, when the Match Race mode becomes available, you'll see a cinema for each hidden car before the race. Sound, 8.5/10:
Effects come from skids, thumps (When you run into the track, hit a vehicle, or landing a jump.), engine rev's (Each vehicle has there own sound, while some are louder than others.), the 747, the helicopter, an elevator (Down Town victory cinema), echoing in the tunnels, and hitting pine cones or barricades. You'll hear on-road and off-road effects for the brick road, bridges, grass, snow, rocks, water, dirt, and sand. The co-driver helps you out, but he sounds like Captain America from the old cartoon series and the arcade game, Captain America & The Avengers. He says, "Your coming up to a fork soon." (Multiple paths), "Sharp right curve.", "We'll win if you keep this up.", "Don't give up, yet. Go on, pass 'em all!", and other comments. The race announcer tells you when your running out of time, how many laps are left, etc.. Music, 8.9/10:
The music for MRC is techno, and like every other racing game that has these types of tunes, they fit. You can't choose from a selection, because they're preset. However, the composing for the other things, such as: cinemas (One of them even sounds like it's from Virtua Fighter. The music for the game's intro is nice!), replay's, title screen, and options screen have good background beats. Control, 9.0/10:
There's a total of ten vehicles in MRC (Cars - Galient, Tigris, Verno, Meteora, Dog V, GTV4, VH11OR, and Deus. Trucks - King, Roader, and Ocean.). You can pick eight of them at the beginning. After beating each of the hidden cars (VH11OR and Deus) in the Match Race on all three tracks, you will be able to use them. Tune-up the car or truck that you choose, from the tires (Between on-road and off-road, or equip them for both types of land.), brakes (If you pick soft, the vehicle will brake gradually. If hard, it will reduce the speed quickly.), suspension (Change the vehicle's stiffness. When hard, the chassis move a little bit. Select soft, the chassis quite a bit.), transmission (automatic or manual), gear (Set it to high, and your vehicle can try to reach the top speed. Put it to low, and the vehicle will have fast acceleration.), and aerodynamics (This is for wind resistance. When you turn the wing toward the 45 degree angle, resistance is improved. If directed towards 0 degrees, you'll have less wind force.). There's five modes in MRC: Championship (Race against nine other cpu opponents in a three lap race.), Time Trial (Try to get the best times within three laps, and you can race against a ghost vehicle.), Free Run (With this mode, you can practice on the race tracks, and test the vehicle's settings.), Vs. Race (Two-player mode, you can use all of the courses, and up to ten laps can be raced.), and Match Race (Go up against hidden car number one, beat the cpu on all three courses, and you get to use it. Win against the second hidden car, and you will be able to select this one as well.). In the Course Selection, you can pick the "Close Road" setting for on-road's only or off-road's only, and the particular track will be blocked off. Weather conditions are in this racer, and you can look over the course, to show you where it's raining, snowing, clouding, or clear. When you check the weather statistics, it just shows that the sun is out, even when your racing at night. Racing in the rain or snow tends to make your car or truck lose a little grip on the turf, and adds some realism to the game. Now, onto the tracks themselves. The first one is called, Sea Side (easy). It's mostly black top with two off-road paths (sand and dirt), and theirs a couple sharp turns to look out for. The Mountain (medium) course is about an equal split in on-road (different styles of pavement), and off-road (dirt, snow, rocks, sand) paths. Expect a few sharps on this one, plus two jumps (One for each direction.). The last one and the toughest of them all, the Down Town (hard) track. It has more tight turns than the other two courses. Like the Mountain course though, it almost has the same amount of on-road (Different styles of street top.), and off-road (Separate styles of dirt.) directions. Once you beat all three tracks, the Mirror Mode is usable. Which makes a total of six courses. MRC plays like Ridge Racer for the PlayStation or High Velocity for the Saturn, because you need to powerslide (or drift) around the turns. Once you learn how, the technique becomes simple. Theirs three perspectives to use: windshield with a rear-view mirror, and behind the vehicle (regular or zoomed out). The controller configuration can be modified, and here's the normal layout - Control Stick = to steer the car or truck (The D-pad can't be used.), A = acceleration, B = brake, C = change views, R = shift up, and Z = shift down. In the sound configuration, you can increase or decrease the music and sound effects, change the output between stereo or mono, turn the sound on or off, listen to the music, and sound effects/digitized speech. Finally, you can save the game on the Controller Pak, and load in the information later on. However, MRC does have internal memory, because it saves the tracks that you've won on, as well as, the best course and lap times. You do need a Controller Pak to save your modified vehicles though. Rumble Pak accessory, 9.5/10:
MRC doesn't shake as hard as Star Fox 64, it uses the Rumble Pak (RP) for a longer time. Go on the off-road and you will feel the RP the whole time, which adds fun and realism. When your car or truck lands from a jump, runs into the side of the track or into another vehicle, and hitting the barricades or pine cones, the RP will also vibrate. Overall without the Rumble Pak, 8.7/10:
Overall with the Rumble Pak, 9.0/10:
While MRC is excellent without the Rumble Pak, but you are missing the fun and realism with Nintendo's accessory, in my opinion at least. The graphics have fog, which will bother game player's who hate it. Hopefully, you'll look past it, because Genki did put effort into it, and it is the first realistic racing game for the N64. Sound is excellent, with very nice tunnel echo's, speech from the co-driver and race announcer, different road effects, and each vehicle has their own engine rev. The music is excellent (Almost reaches the "great" rating.), and techno, in my opinion, always goes with this category. Finally, the playability, this is the most important department in a racer. I'm glad to say, it's great! Which has a little learning curve (powersliding or drifting), once you get the hang of it, you should have little to no problems. Plus, you can even tune-up each car and truck for each race track. Should you buy it? Yes, this is a "quality" title!!! For racing fans, there's more games coming this year, such as: Lamborghini 64, Top Gear Rally, San Francisco Rush, Extreme G, and F-1 Pole Position. If you only buy one to two racer's a year, rent all of them first, and then decide, which one or two you want the most. All I know is, I wasn't disappointed with MRC. My rating system: 10 = Outstanding, 9 = Great, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very good, 6 = Good, 5 = Okay, 4 = Fair, 3 = Skeptical, 2 = Poor, and 1 = Stay away

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