If you want to play a very fun racing game, then Midtown Madness 2 is for you. There are few sure things in life, but one of them is that if Microsoft puts out a racing game with "Madness" in the title, you might as well grab it as soon as it hits store shelves. Midtown Madness 2 is no exception to this rule. It doesn't matter whether you're a hard-core simulation fan or you simply crave speed, destruction, and mayhem in your games - if you want to play a very fun racing game, then Midtown Madness 2 is for you.
But that's not to say that Midtown Madness 2 is ideal. In fact, it seems as though it could have used a couple more weeks in testing. On several occasions the game completely locked up on a fairly standard system (Celeron 450MHz, 256MB RAM, TNT2 video card with the latest drivers), and only through uninstalling and reinstalling did the problem finally seem to go away. As in some other racing games, the brakes don't truly function as real-life brakes when both pedals are configured to use the y-axis: Slamming on the pedal doesn't lock the wheels but merely decelerates your car more quickly. www.MuhammadNiaz.Blogspot.com An attempt to correct this by configuring the pedals to use two axes revealed a bug - the brakes worked in reverse, forcing you to keep the pedal down for no brakes and releasing it to stop. Your only true braking option is the hand brake, which tends to cause unpredictable slides when all you really want to do is slow down in a hurry. Also, at the beginning of one race, my car was positioned facing in the opposite direction of the other cars, and stepping on the gas sent me hurtling backward along with them even though I was in first gear. Fortunately, none of these problems were persistent or detrimental to how enjoyable the game turns out to be.
You can actually work your way around most of these issues, and in fact you might never experience a game crash yourself. But there's no getting past the game's rather pathetic engine noises. When you see a '68 Mustang Fastback tearing through downtown San Francisco, you want to hear a mighty rumbling sound that'll make bystanders think the big earthquake's finally happening. Instead, the cars in Midtown Madness 2 give off a little purr that barely changes in tone even when you're redlining the tachometer. Even in an arcade-style racing game such as this, it's good to be able to hear when you should change gears, rather than constantly have to check the tachometer.
You can drive in 20 different rides that range from standards like Mustangs, an El Dorado, and several types of Volkswagens (including the Dune and the new Beetle RSi) to big rigs, double-decker buses, and even a Humvee-wannabee called the "light tactical vehicle." But don't expect to hop in that Dune, Aston Martin, or Panoz GTR-1 as soon as you load the game. www.MuhammadNiaz.Blogspot.com Nearly half the cars are locked when you first begin play. Fortunately, unlocking the first few isn't too tough when you play on the amateur difficulty setting - for instance, to get the Audi TT, you just have to finish in the top three of half of the San Francisco checkpoint races. Still, it can be frustrating to have to unlock all those hidden cars.
Although its minimum system requirements are fairly low, you'll probably need a fast Pentium III and a cutting-edge 3D video card to play Midtown Madness 2 in higher resolutions with all the graphical bells and whistles turned on. But the action itself is so fast and brutal that you likely won't mind one bit that you have to give up some visual extras in order to get a smooth frame rate. The game might even make you consider making that hardware upgrade you've been putting off - and any game that does that is always worth checking out.
Processor= 400MHz
RAM= 128MB
Graphics= 32MB


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