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Friday, September 1, 2017

Midtown Madness Series Thoughts

John B. Marine | 8:42 PM |
The concept of having a city to yourself to drive is not foreign, but Midtown Madness made it plenty fun. Microsoft came along with Midtown Madness to fulfill the desires of urban motor mayhem across this entire series. The blog post you are about to read here on "John's Race Space" is a look at the Midtown Madness series. I haven't played any of the games, so I am basing my commentary merely on impressions. Welcome once again to "John's Race Space!" Or... welcome to "John's Race Space" if this is your first time here!

Midtown Madness Series

The concept of an open world-type racing/driving game is nothing new in most circles. However, one of the first to try to offer an open-world experience was the Midtown Madness series by Microsoft. Helping develop the early games of this trilogy were Rockstar Games (yes- THAT Rockstar Games) and Angel Studios. This tandem of Rockstar Games and Angel Studios were also responsible for the early Midnight Club series games. Anyhow, the Midtown Madness games offered driving madness and racing madness to be thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Remember- this blog post mostly offers thoughts based on impressions. I have not played ANY Midtown Madness game as of the initial date of this blog post ().

Midtown Madness (1999).

Microsoft Midtown Madness
^ from: - Chicago is all yours to drive around in the first Midtown Madness.
The first Midtown Madness gives you Chicago, Illinois, USA to traverse around. You can compete in races around town or do some casual cruising. Do some driving or cause some mayhem. Your play can run any time of day and with any number of weather conditions. You can even adjust how much traffic there is as well as pedestrian density and police density. You have ten vehicles to choose from. You have various machines ranging from a bus, to a Volkswagen New Beetle, to sports cars, and even the exotic Panoz GTR-1. On top of that, you can choose between different handling models. You can also have a say in damage models.

Midtown Madness 2 (2000).

Microsoft Midtown Madness 2
^ from: - More motoring insanity was to be had when Midtown Madness 2 was released before the turn of the millennium.

So Chicago wasn't enough for you in the first game? How about San Francisco, California, USA to race around? Or what about racing around London, England, United Kingdom? That's right! What you are getting in Midtown Madness is what some have mostly considered a glorified Expansion Pack of Midtown Madness 1. You still are getting to do some incredible action in San Francisco and London. You can still race/drive in Chicago as well in this game.

In the game's "Crash Course" mode, you can be either a stunt driver in San Francisco or a cab driver in London. Either way, you are going to get your fill of action in both locales with a number of challenges. Completing these challenges grants you unlocking of various material.

The game features a handful of vehicles ranging from civilian vehicles to commercial vehicles. Vehicles are mostly either American or European. You can choose between any number of cars while also adjusting certain features like colors. Unlike the first title, you have one set for a driving model. Races can be run at any time of day under any number of weather conditions.

Midtown Madness 3 (2003).

Microsoft Midtown Madness 3
^ from: - Take your motoring mayhem through Washington, D.C. and Paris in Midtown Madness 3!

Midtown Madness 3 features you racing on the streets of Washington, District of Columbia, USA; and Paris, France. This game is available for the XBOX, but there is also a mobile phone version of Midtown Madness 3. You mostly do a number of jobs in both cities good for unlocking some extra content in "Undercover Mode." Try to find yourself some work as you settle into both cities. The different jobs have different levels to them, so you'll be doing quite a lot. You can, of course, go do some racing in both cities. Blitz and Checkpoint races are available for both of the included locales.

An even more diverse array of civilian and commercial vehicles are featured in Midtown Madness 3. You can drive anything from a Volkswagen New Beetle RSi to a Koenigsegg CC. Options include seasons, time of day, weather, pedestrians, police, and more.

Midtown Madness Series: Final Thoughts

Midtown Madness didn't invent the open-world driving/racing game, but it is one of the more fun, if not minutely obscure titles in the genre. These games are the very definition of having a city all to yourself to drive around and race. All of these games deliver wonderful performance overall with a variety of race types and various vehicles. And remember- these games, especially the first two, were made by the same Rockstar Games and Angel Studios that would create the successful Midnight Club series. So you could say Midnight Club is the godfather of the Midnight Club games. Regardless, the Midtown Madness series is a very vital piece in the history of racing/driving games.

I'd like to offer video previews, but I was unable to find any decent ones to show off any of the three games. So I'll leave that up to you.

Want to pick up these games? Please view these items below:

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