Genre: Racing | Players: 1 - 2 | Developer: LucasArts
SW Ep1 Racer, at its heart, is a basic racer (with NO STORY) that anyone can pick up and get good at with a little practice. The control is steady and easy to adapt to. It doesn’t send you into a wall with the lightest stroke of the joystick. Hitting walls causes damage but you can try to repair it while driving. If you hit a wall hard enough you’ll blow up but don’t worry, you respawn. If you want a more authentic controlling experience, in the list of cheat codes there is one that you can enter to utilize 2 controllers at the same time.
Tournament, free play, and time attack are the 3 play modes. You get 4 save profiles that will carry into any mode. There are 25 courses, several of them are the same place just with variations in the tracks. You can choose any course in free play and time attack along with the option to mirror them, although that is a locked feature in tournament mode. Tournament mode allows you to earn money and modify your podracer. Before races, there is a trick that lets you see the drivers taunting each other. Sadly, they all only have one line to say for themselves. If you pick Anakin, all you will ever hear is “I can run faster than your podracer.”
The tracks go from ‘easily learned’ to ‘may cause motion sickness’. The swamps, mines, and underwater tracks all have dark backgrounds contrasting with the sky, snow, and desert tracks which are bright. The speed makes things different in this game. Podracers are fast and the scenery goes by even faster. It takes many runs to memorize a track.
And you better get used to Duel of the Fates… It’s the only music in the game.
If you wish to play this game in all its glory then you’ll need an expansion pack. The expansion pack is basically an extra bit of ram allowing for higher resolution. Not many games took advantage of using the expansion pack but the ones that do look great. Without one for this game, the graphics are muddy and the cinematics are cut short, but with one it looks wonderfully crisp for an N64 game.
4½ Jake Lloyd’s bad racing taunts out of 5
Nutted by Little Perturbed Blue Ducky!