Metropolis Street Racer

released on Nov 03, 2000

Gameplay in MSR is centred around the single-player mode, with tracks and cars in the multiplayer mode being unlocked at the same time as in the single-player game. The premise is that, as a street racer, the player must impress other drivers with quick but stylish driving in a series of challenges. These challenges are in sets of ten (called Chapters - there are 25 in total), with completion of all challenges opening the next chapter (assuming the player has enough Kudos, see below) and unlocking a new car. Each challenge is on a different track, and unlocking a challenge unlocks that track in the time-attack and multiplayer modes.

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Playing this after the first PGR makes it feel like a prototype of what would be to come, but I think in actuality PGR is just this game but more fleshed out.
The Kudos system originates here, and rather than being more combo-focused and giving direct feedback while the race is going on, this game kinda just tells you how many kudos you earned once the race is over. This game also subtracts Kudos for every time you bump into a wall or a driver or something, as well as offers a bonus if you finish the race with no penalties. That definitely sounds like the game would be punishing as all hell but I actually found myself having a kudos surplus by the end, as the quotas for progression are actually quite low.
The game aesthetically is a vibe, with the fun colored lighting and low-poly dreamcast graphics providing a different take on the cities that would later go on to be more realistically rendered in the first PGR game. An interesting attention to detail is the games use of the dreamcasts internal clock to have the time of day be accurately reflected in every city according to the correct time zone. The only problem with that is if you play the game at roughly the same time every day that means there will be little variety in the time of day each city takes place in. The nighttime versions of courses have difficult-to-see elements due to the darkness and there's no time you can set that will make it day across all 3 cities so that's kinda annoying.
The music is incredible and diverse, though that's to be expected considering it's done by the pair of Richard Jacques composing and TJ Davis on vocals. There's essentially a whole section of the OST that feels like a spiritual sequel to the Sonic R OST, and that always gets a big thumbs up from me.
Altogether its a decent racer, probably one of the best you can get on the Dreamcast. Though due to the fact that this game is rather substantially long to go through as well as the fact that PGR is just this game but better, you might just want to spend your time on that game instead. You could even use the custom soundtrack feature in the PGR games to carry the music from this game to those to keep the vibe going.

Was so amazed when this came out that it let you change your car's registration number plate.
I changed mine to 'SAUSAGE'

Vou ser super honesto em relação a esse game, simplesmente não dá, esse jogo é graficamente bonito mas peca no principal que é a dirigibilidade, é muiiiiiiiiiiito ruim, e sem uma boa dirigibilidade não existe um jogo interessante. Bom saber que eles melhoraram isso na sequência PGR

The Kudos mechanic starts super weird, as the first batch of cars are very difficult to do any sliding in, and that’s just about the only way to rack up Kudos, which you need in abundance in order to advance, and initially that feels really difficult! That being said, the persistence is finally paying off as the requirements to unlock a chapter is based on your total accumulation of Kudos, not completion of all the prior races.
The early mix is very heavy on European compact cars, the presence of the MX-5/Miata/Eunos Roadster being the one exception (I do like that you can choose which region’s badge you want, a nice touch!), and most of them aren’t particularly sporty. For a game with international aspirations as it had, I’d have liked to see more variety early on. It looks like there are some Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Mitsubishi badges further up the unlock tree, but they feel pretty far away at this stage!

Realistically, there are dozens of better racing games than this, and the Kudos system is easy to exploit, but I still have a soft spot for MSR as wide as an ocean. The racing action itself is different enough from modern games (more focused on incremental improvement than overtaking opponents) and fun enough on its own to immerse in, but at least one full star of this score goes to how its ingame radio contains a Sonic R's worth of sappy original songs by vocalist TJ Davis and composer Richard Jacques.