Star Wars: Episode I Racer

Would I recommend Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer? If you’re a fan of racing games and have an N64 lying around, it’s worth a look. It’s definitely not the cream of the N64 crop, and its dated graphics and sometimes frustrating track layouts can make it a chore to play, but if you come across a cheap copy, go ahead and pick it up.

After a nearly six-month hiatus, I am finally back to review Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer. Why has it taken me six months to get to this review? Part of it was just a matter of too much intervention from real life duties and responsibilities. The rest of the problem was that I just had a very difficult time getting into this game.

When I started this blog, one goal that I had was to finish each game prior to posting a review. Though you can get a feel for a game and determine whether or not it’s fun to play without playing it all the way through, I believed that to produce the most honest review of each game, I had to do so. Because of this, my Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer review never came to be.

For some reason, I could not get into this game. I remember playing it not long after it was released for the Nintendo 64 and really enjoying it. The problem is that was about ten years ago, and I was playing the game against someone instead of trying to plod my way through tournament mode on my own.

Perhaps the biggest issue I had with this game are the graphics. Though good for the late ’90s, they have not stood the test of time at all. Often while racing, I had problems discerning what certain objects were, and I found myself running into an obstacle that I could discern until the last moment, obliterating my pod racer and setting me several seconds behind my competitors. The textures are often dark and muddy, even when using the expansion pak. Also, I often felt as if I needed to memorize each track with its shortcuts and to execute a near-perfect run in order to even have a chance at winning.

If I had found a human competitor to play against, I think I would have appreciated this game more. The things I liked about the game were the ability to choose from a variety of racers, the option to change how many places were paid for each race, and the inclusion of upgrades that can be purchased for the pods. Granted, these were generally standard options for racing games when Episode 1 Racer was released.

So, my final verdict? It’s a game that I’m glad I have in my collection, if only for the fond memories I have racing against my brother a decade ago. Would I recommend Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer? If you’re a fan of racing games and have an N64 lying around, it’s worth a look. It’s definitely not the cream of the N64 crop, and its dated graphics and sometimes frustrating track layouts can make it a chore to play, but if you come across a cheap copy, go ahead and pick it up.

On the fence (sorry, can’t decide whether or not to recommend this one)

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