Besides Rockstar’s Midnight Club II, the Xbox has yet to see a true arcade racer hit the Live service. Now the wait is over as Microsoft has taken their Midtown Madness series away from the PC and onto the Xbox. Midtown Madness 3 proves to be a hit, an excellent arcade racer that combines fun with more fun. What could be bad? Not much.
The Midtown Madness series has always just been a ’pick up and play’ title that you could just play and start having fun. From time to time I throw in the Midtown Madness 2 for my PC and just drive around. This is just one of those games that has the great replay value because you don’t have to continually play it, but take a week off and then you can get right back into it.
In Midtown Madness 3 you are given two gigantic cities to drive around in which are Paris and Washington DC. You might be thinking why are there only two cities, well although it would have been nice to had have seen more, the two cities are big enough to where it takes quite some time to figure out where everything is. Paris is the easier of the two maps, but both of them have their difficulties but also there are fun goodies that you will be able to find. But out of everything what is so great about these cities are they are so open ended that you can really make jumps out of things and this makes exploring the maps quite enjoyable.
Midtown Madness 3 has a few different game modes including the main career mode (Undercover Mode) as well as a single race, and there is also the multiplayer portion of the game which includes System Link, Split Screen, and Live support.
The single player mode basically I see it as a tutorial and a getaway from the multiplayer part of the game. The single player modes are basically self explanatory and they include Cruise, Blitz, and Checkpoint. The actually single player mode itself has you going undercover to complete a variety of different missions. These missions consist of you doing a lot of escorting and making it places before time runs out. You will also face off against rivals and race to complete tasks, but you always have to make sure you don’t damage out. The Undercover Mode is a bit corny and the characters in the mode can be comedic but for the most part you will ignore the storylines. The mode itself isn’t half bad, this is where you will be unlocking all of your vehicles so it does give you a good reason to play through it. The only problem is that the missions can be extremely boring, and for the most part I just could had done without playing through it.
Another great feature of Midtown Madness 3 has to be the nice selection of vehicles you can choose to race with. From Mini Coopers to a School Bus all the way down to cars like the Dodge Viper there are all the cars you would ever want to drive. What is also nice is that each car handles quite differently, so driving the H2 and the Volkswagen Beetle feel quite different.
Out of everything the one mode that puts this game over the top is by far the Live support which is probably the most fun I have ever had on Live thus far. Besides the cruise mode which just allows you to ride around the towns doing whatever you please, the rest of the modes have certain objectives and goals you will be competing for. Some of the other game modes include Capture the Gold, Checkpoint, Tag, Hunter, and Stay Away. Checkpoint is the one mode that doesn’t involve people crashing into to each other but instead is basically just a race. My personal favorite is the Capture the Gold mode where gold randomly spawns and you want to get it and take it back to the base. All the modes are extremely fun and fast paced. The voice communication is great for smack talking, as well as team work when playing team based games.
The controlling of Midtown Madness 3 is basically what you would expect from an arcade racer. Turning is quite loose so you will have a lot of mobility and the braking is what you would expect. This is one of those games that you could pick up and play with ease, but it is also a game that can take time to master, which can be rewarding later on.
The sound of Midtown Madness 3 has it’s ups and downs. The voice acting is as wacky as you would expect from a game like this. Some of the voice acting can be quite funny but at most parts of the game it seems like the games commentary can be quite annoying, the term “overkill” comes to mind. The custom soundtrack feature is available, but not to what you hope. When you put on random track you still seem to get the same few songs over and over again. Overall though it is still quite nice that you can listen to your own music, but I just wished it worked right.
There are a lot of different factors that go into making Midtown Madness 3 an excellent looking racing title. There are two towns that you will be driving through with a laundry list of different cars. We have already heard that the Gameplay was superb but how do the graphics match up against all of gorgeous racing titles already released for the Xbox.
Since there are only two towns (DC, and Paris) you would come to expect some great looking cities. For the most part you get that with great looking environments with nice buildings and interesting surprises. There are a few things you will find out in the cruise mode either online or off where you will be able to go off jumps and even go on a nice loop.
With so many cars it’s quite impressive how well the car models match that of the real cars. Each car has quite a few different colors to choose from. So with the nice size selection of cars you will find that there is a lot of variety in the games graphics.
Overall the graphics of Midtown Madness 3 are quite impressive. With a few glitches here and there it’s just a solid looking racing title that gets the job done. There could have been more detail placed in some areas, but for the most part everything looks quite good.
This is an arcade racer, which means it’s not a game that is aimed to frustrate you, but instead a game of pure fun. This is exactly what Midtown Madness 3 is, it is a game that will have you addicted from the get go with the fun and fast Gameplay and the interesting game modes, it just makes for a fun game. When you add in the Live support and being able to ride around with people all over the world, this is one of those games that will have you glued to your television.
If you are looking for a light hearted racing title for your Xbox, look no further then Midtown Madness 3, an excellent arcade racer that combines a great single and multiplayer experience into one game. With the Live support you will be given an insane amount of replay value that will essentially give you an excellent arcade racing experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.