Review: Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition (Xbox)
Midnight Club 2 was a fun arcade racer with fake cheesy car names like “Cochete” and “Diablo” and limited upgrade ability. With Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition, all that changes. Rockstar Games tapped DUB Magazine to take center stage in this edition of the game, helping them get more than 60 licensed vehicles and the ability to “pimp” them with real off-market auto parts. This has to be one of the deepest arcade racers on the market.
The chunk of the game is in its career mode. You begin with a nice handful of money to purchase a car ranging from a VW Jetta to Dodge Neon and a little extra to add some performance parts. You start off in San Diego racing some of the locals and as you start winning races, you start earning more money and more vehicles and auto parts become available. The easiest way to upgrade the performance of your vehicle is to use the automatic upgrade. It’s just a simpler way to go through all three levels of the upgrade. As far as “pimping” or customizing the look of the car, that’s all on you. You have a variety of colors and paint styles to choose from, you have a plethora of rims from 20-spokes to Sprewell Spinners, and different styles of car kits and hydraulic systems. For someone who always wanted to soup their car up and could never afford it, now has the opportunity to fantasize about it even more.
Once you get rolling beating the locals, car clubs will start reaching out to you to race in their car-specific races. Tuners, muscle cars, SUVs/trucks, exotics, choppers, sport bikes, and luxury sedans all have their own car clubs and require you to race with a certain type of vehicle. Participating in these races earns you loads of money and respect. In addition, around the cities, which also include Atlanta and Detroit, you’re able to participate in tournaments of three or four races where you win big money plus custom vehicles. You have the choice of racing with the vehicles or selling them for even more loot so you can buy other cars. You also have simple city races that don’t progress your career but can help you get that extra couple thousand you need to buy your next whip.
The racing is similar to Midnight Club 2 where you hit checkpoints identified by arrows. Of course the object of the game is to find the best way to each checkpoint to best your opponent. There are always secret underground garages, sewer systems or a series of ramps on top of the roofs of buildings that help you get their first.
Another difference in the new MC3 title is the special moves different vehicles have. We still have the slipstream, nitrous, weight transfer, and two wheel steering which you really don’t have to earn this time, it comes with the car. The new moves are Roar, Agro and Zone. Roar sends out an engine sound wave that knock all of the cars in front of you out of the way. Roar can only be used by muscle cars and choppers. Agro makes your car invincible and able to crash into any other vehicles without suffering any damage or losing any speed. Agro can only be used by SUVs, trucks and luxury sedans. Zone allows you to slow down time to maneuver through traffic or turn sharp corners without crashing into a building. Zone can only be used by tuners, sport bikes and exotics. All of these special abilities will come in handy in many races.
On Xbox Live, you have the ability to race several types of races and games including capture the flag, tag, frenzy and the other games found in single player mode. Players can use any of their unlocked and customized cars online.
Like its predecessor, the graphics are above average city-wise and very well done with the vehicles. The cities are great replicas of the real thing however there aren’t really any identifiable landmarks. For gamers in Atlanta, they’ll be searching for hours to see if they can find The Underground in the game’s downtown area. The buildings are generic looking for the most part unless there’s a way for you to enter them to speed past racers. The streets and highways are pretty detailed and when using your nitrous boost, the look of you going at ridiculous speeds is impressive.
The developers looked to spend more time with the looks of the vehicles. They’re so shiny and so detailed; you can see a cat’s rims spinning from blocks away. Each of the customizations you make to your vehicle is very noticeable and just adds to the fun factor of the experience.
Along with the excellent screeches, crashes and other sound effects, MC3 has a huge lineup of music in its soundtrack. For every type of music fan, rock, hip-hop, dance, and reggae is available to race to, as well as custom soundtrack capability.
Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is one of the best arcade racers on the market. For racing fans that aren’t into the simulation thing of having to keep your finger on the brakes the entire time, racing in circles and moving slow, this game is for you. Fast moving, action-packed, wicked customization options and great music; you really can’t get much better than this.
FINAL SCORE: 95/100