🐳 Latest Moby v2023.06.02 update

Star Wars: Episode I - Racer

aka: Pod Racer, SW E 1 Racer

[ All ] [ Dreamcast ] [ Macintosh ] [ Nintendo 64 ] [ Nintendo Switch ] [ PlayStation 4 ] [ Windows ] [ Xbox One ]

Critic Reviews 77% add missing review

Jeuxvideo.com (18 out of 20) (90%)

Avec Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, Lucasarts signe un des meilleurs Wipeout-like qu'on ait pu voir sur PC. Aucun gros défaut majeur ne vient noircir le tableau,... L'ambiance Star Wars est parfaitement restituée, les graphismes sont superbes, la jouabilité exemplaire. A conseiller à tous les fanas de vitesse et de Star Wars.

Jun 9th, 1999 · Windows · read review

NUKE Computer Gaming (9 out of 10) (90%)

All in all, a fiendishly addictive racer, and by far the more impressive of the two Star Wars: Episode I games releases.

2001 · Windows

Gamezilla (84 out of 100) (84%)

What it boils down to is this... if you are a Star Wars fan (who isn't?) and you felt that youthful urging during the podrace scene in Phantom Menace, go get this. Be prepared, though, to be confused in almost every aspect of the game except for the actual racing. Since racing is where Racer shines, enjoy yourself and scream like a Wookiee as Sebulba knocks you onto the service-ramp... yet again. But remember... in space, no one can hear you scream like a Wookiee.

Jul 7th, 1999 · Windows

WomenGamers.com (8.4 out of 10) (84%)

Next to the lightsaber duels of Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Podracing sequence of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was the most exciting and hair-raising action in the movie. Racer takes that area of the movie and places it into a simulation format for the rest of us to enjoy! Although there are five pods to initially choose from, everyone I know, myself included, HAD to try Anakin Skywalker's pod first! You're first test of skill will be the Boonta Training Course, which is to remind you of the Boonta Eve race in the movie. It is here that you will get an easy taste of what to expect.

Jul 19th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Game Revolution (B+) (83%)

All in all, Star Wars: Episode One Racer is a pretty good game. With fast action and neat FMV, it's sure to entertain most Star Wars fans. The lack of any Internet playability is very disappointing and hurts the replay value of the game. On the plus side, however, they didn't have Jar Jar in the game, and for that, I thank them.

Jun 1st, 1999 · Windows · read review

Hacker (82 out of 100) (82%)

Star Wars Racer je iznadprosječna igra, pogotovo gledano sa stajališta konzola. No, ipak Episode I: igra nas je razmazila glede tehnološke dotjeranosti, stoga ova igra i nije zaslužila 90%, koliko smo joj mislili dodijeliti...

Jun 1999 · Windows

Gamer's Pulse (82 out of 100) (82%)

Star Wars Episode 1: Racer is an enjoyable, but flawed game, more of an Anakin Skywalker in the grand theme of things. A more accessible multi-player aspect would have greatly enhanced my scoring of it. As it stands, the single player game is a little on the light side, and without access to a LAN or a good connection to Heat.Net, the multi-player is non-existent. With that said, Lucasarts has by no means created a sub-par product here. If you are a Star Wars fan, you will enjoy this game. Any time you can strap into one of the fantastic vehicles created by Lucas and co. over the years is an experience you won’t want to pass up. So, if you are one of the aforementioned Star Wars fans, or a fan of speed and great graphics, you won’t go too far wrong getting this game. If you aren’t, you might want to steer clear.

1999 · Windows · read review

IGN (8 out of 10) (80%)

The game's graphics are superb with a good card and when you're hurtling past them at high speeds, any blemishes quickly vanish. The framerate maintains a good clip throughout--in short, the PC version of the game is heads and shoulders above the Nintendo 64 version, so if you've been put off by the N64 version's less than stellar performance, be assured that on a high-end PC, the game looks fine and runs fast.

May 27th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Spel för Alla (8 out of 10) (80%)

Annars är Racer ett väldigt bra actionfyllt racingspel. Det kunde ha blivit en klassiker om inte programmerarna hade slarvat för att tajma filmpremiären.

Aug 1999 · Windows

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (80%)

That said, RACER is still a real blast. For Star Wars and arcade racing fans alike, the dizzying speed, marvelous tracks, and stunning visuals should provide hours upon hours of fun. I know its staying on my hard drive.

Aug 1999 · Windows

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( ) (80%)

Other than rendered sequences at the start of each race and enhanced graphics, the PC version of Episode I Racer is practically the same as the Nintendo 64 version. There's a good choice of racing games on PC already but anyone into Star Wars would be stupid to miss out on the chance to compete in a Podrace. For the sheer thrill of being part of the biggest movie of the year, Star Wars: Episode I Racer is essential.

Aug 1999 · Windows · read review

Game.EXE (4 out of 5) (80%)

Сама гонка - аркаднее некуда, с полосками энергии для каждого двигателя. И не моргайте, если не хотите потерять один из них и отправиться на одной вожже в смертельно быстрый штопорообразный полет за оставшимся горящим. Реакция, внимание и еще раз реакция, те самые освобожденные рефлексы, которым, по словам шибко умных Джедаев-наставников, надо безоговорочно и беззаветно верить, - вот все, что от вас требуется.

Jun 1999 · Windows

Imperium Gier ( ) (80%)

Chyba wszyscy na to czekacie - podsumowanie. Star Wars Episode I: Racers jest niesamowicie dobrze zrobiona wyścigówką. Nie wiadomo, kiedy wasze oczka zobaczą coś równie doskonałego. Bogactwo, którym epatują trasy, oszołamia. Każdy świat posiada swój własny niepowtarzalny klimat. No po prostu miód się z tej gry leje litrami.

Feb 14th, 2000 · Windows · read review

Power Play (79 out of 100) (79%)

Auf der einen Seite ist der Star Wars Racer neben Rollcage das schnellste Rennspiel, das mir jemals über den Monitor flimmerte. Auf manchen Kursen verfällt man vollends dem Geschwindigkeitsrausch, befindet sich so tief im Geschehen, daß man erst nach Passieren der Ziellinie wieder befreit aufatmen kann. Auf der anderen Seiten gibt es viele kleine Mängel, die sich auf Dauermotivation und Wiederspielbarkeit auswirken. Die Hälfte der Kurse ist viel zu simpel zu bewältigen, spätestens beim zweiten Anlauf ist es keine Kunst, eine der vordersten Positionen zu belegen. Zudem sind spannende Duelle mit Konkurrenten absolute Mangelware, meist rast man mutterseelenallein auf weiter Flur dahin. Letzlich ist die ganze Präsentation zu durchschnittlich, aus dem brillanten Thema hätte man durch feinere Grafiken und Sounds einiges mehr herausholen können. Trotzdem: Nur selten konnte mich ein Action-Raser derart in seinen Bann ziehen (zumindest für ein gutes Weilchen)!

Jul 1999 · Windows

Game Over Online (79 out of 100) (79%)

On the whole, this isn't a bad game. The complete lack of a challenge really takes away from it, because while it does eventually get difficult and fun, its still not good enough to justify the 'hard' work of playing through the first group of levels. Lucasarts definitely captured the speed of pod racing, especially in first person mode, but unless you are willing to stick it out until late the game, there isn't much to hold your interest.

May 25th, 1999 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (77 out of 100) (77%)

Das Spiel erfüllt die meisten Anforderungen, die ich an eine leicht kapierbare Fun-Raserei stelle. Doch das halbe Programm hat man schon nach einer Stunde gesehen, weil es lächerlich leicht losgeht. Erst im letzten Drittel wird es mit verschlungenen Strecken und forscheren Gegnern herausfordernder. Durch das hohe Tempo sind Begegnungen mit anderen Podracern relativ selten und hektisch. Richtig gezielt einen Gegner wegzuschubsten, fällt in der allgemeinen Hektik schwer. Aber alles in allem bin ich angenehm überrascht. Racer ist ein spritziges SF-Actionrennspiel, das sehr manierlich Filmatmospähre rüberbringt. Den Mangel an Tiefgang kann jeder verschmerzen, der Star Wars mag und auf eher leichte Rennkost steht.

Jun 1999 · Windows

PC Gamer (76 out of 100) (76%)

Given the strict deadlines surrounding the release of Episode 1 merchandise, I understand why Lucasarts may have been forced to ship Racer before its design could be fully realized or all the bugs exterminated - but it's still a damn shame. Gamers with access to LAN should take a look, but everyone else is advised to wait for a comprehensive patch or an expanded and more challenging sequel.

Aug 1999 · Windows

Player One (75 out of 100) (75%)

Star Wars Racer n'est certes pas une révolution, mais il s'impose si vous aimez le genre Wipeout.

Jul 1999 · Windows · read review

Power Unlimited (7.5 out of 10) (75%)

Episode 1 racer is op de PC wel een stuk mooier dan op de Nintendo. Beschik je over een krachtige bak met 3D acceleratie dan kun je je verheugen op een supersnelle framerate en strakke graphics. Het geluid is ook zuiver, al hoor je niet veel meer dan het lawaai van die enorme straalmotoren die een paar meter voor je neus hangen te ronken.

Aug 1999 · Windows

Gamesmania.de (75 out of 100) (75%)

Wer endlich auch das letzte Register seiner 3D-Karte kennenlernen will und auf die Grafikeffektekollektion '99 gespannt ist, sollte sich statt dessen Expendable ansehen. Hier ist nämlich nicht viel zu holen. Wer aber nicht auf Transparenzeffekte zählt, sondern die Grafik als Gesamtkunstwerk betrachtet, strahlt schon eher, denn sie bereitet dem Film nun wahrlich keine Schande. Wer das Spiel pausiert, sieht vielleicht Schwächen - doch Racer ist zum Spielen da, und da stimmt die Optik. Da könnte man fast vergessen, daß man ja ein kritischer Journalist ist und unter der Star-Wars-Verzierung nur ein relativ einfaches Rennspiel steckt. Die eine oder andere zündende Idee, ein paar Strecken mehr, ein etwas ausgeglichenerer Schwierigkeitsgrad und vielleicht eine Online-Option - damit wäre Racer das Star Wars unter den futuristischen Rennspielen geworden, Kult nämlich. So ist es ein Pflichtkauf für Fans, nicht aber für andere.

1999 · Windows · read review

Computer Bild Spiele (2.34 out of 6) (73%)

Atemberaubend schnell flitzen die Gleiter in Star Wars Racer über die bunten Planetenoberflächen. Wollen Sie da mithalten, dann müssen Sie konzentriert und verbissen fahren. Der Umgang mit den schnellen Gefährten und ihrer Steuerung erfordert zwar zunächst etwas Übung, geht dann aber locker von der Hand. Und sind Sie erst einmal Profi, dann können Sie auch bei Höllentempo noch die Umgebungsgrafik der Planeten genießen. Die ist nämlich schön abwechslungsreich gestaltet. Enge Tunnelröhren sind genauso dabei wie Eis-Seen, Lavaströme und Baustellen mit riesigen Fahrzeugen. Das wird nicht nur Liebhabern des futuristischen Märchens „gut“ gefallen.

Jun 2001 · Windows

PC Player (Germany) (73 out of 100) (73%)

Die Podracer reagieren auf Eingabebefehle gut und vorhersehbar, werden manchmal aber schneller, als das Imperium erlaubt. Das Umfeld donnert dann in so unglaublichem Tempo an Ihnen vorbei, als würde ein Hypersprung unmittelbar bevorstehen. Der Sound ist gut; ab- und anschwellende Geräusche der Turbinen erleichtern das Einswerden mit dem Fahrzeug. Ein spielerischer Höhepunkt ist der majestätische Klang des gut besetzten Orchesters, das in allen Star-Wars-Spielen auftritt; manche werden die bewährten Melodien allerdings schon rückwärts pfeifen können.

Jul 1999 · Windows

PC Action (Germany) (73 out of 100) (73%)

Auch wenn ich mich nicht zu den Hardcore-Star-Wars-Anhängern zählen kann (Schande über mich!), hat mich Episode 1: Racer in seinen Bann gezogen. Selten ist es einem Computerspiel gelungen, die wahnsinnige Geschwindigkeit von fast 1.000 Stundenkilometern so realistisch rüberzubringen. Die Soundkulisse mitsamt den auf die Strecken abgestimmten Tracks ist ebenfalls über jeden Zweifel erhaben. Leider, leider nur ist der ganze Spaß relativ schnell wieder vorbei. Zwar werden die Computergegner im letzten Spielabschnitt endlich zu ernsthaften Konkurrenten (die ersten Rennen lassen sich ohne Probleme gewinnen), doch trotzdem hatte ich das ganze Spiel an einem halben Tag durchgespielt und alle Strecken freigeschaltet. Das ist insgesamt zu wenig, LucasArts!

Jun 1999 · Windows

PC Joker (71 out of 100) (71%)

So ganz war die Macht diesmal nicht mit Lucas Arts: Das Handling der Pods könnte besser, das Streckendesign lebendiger und die Spannung größer sein - als ich die erste Liga ohne nennenswerte Positionskämpfe gewonnen hatte, war ich ob der sieben öden Strecken schon ziemlich enttäuscht. Die gelungene Gestaltung speziell der am Asteroiden Govo IV abgehaltenen Läufe hat mich dann zwar etwas versöhnt, trotzdem ist dieser Racer insgesamt mehr ein netter Tempobolzer zum Film denn ein ausgereiftes Rennspiel.

Jul 1999 · Windows

Gameplay (Benelux) (70 out of 100) (70%)

Episode I Racer bevat iets wat sommige racers nogal eens durven te missen, namelijk een gevoel van snelheid... Alleen het feit al dat het gebaseerd is op de nieuwe Star Wars film, zal voor de fans waarschijnlijk al reden genoeg zijn om het spel aan te kopen. Voor mij hoeft het echter niet...

Jul 1st, 1999 · Windows

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( ) (60%)

Like an ambitious star amidst a crowded galaxy, Racer burns hot and brightly for a moment, then quickly fades away. Most people will initially be floored by the awesome sensation of speed and sound that Racer provides. Unfortunately, it won’t take long for players to advance through most of the game and reach the extremely difficult and misguided final tracks. Some people may enjoy the racing experience so much they won’t mind repeating the earlier tracks, despite the lack of competition. But I believe many players will become angry about the lack of overall balance, and as we all know, “anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.” To its credit, though, Racer provides a clean, exciting and ingenious style of racing. The experience, while short-lived, is fun while it lasts.

Jun 19th, 1999 · Windows · read review

FiringSquad (50 out of 100) (50%)

The lack of interactivity, multiplayer playability, a decent graphics engine, and overall fun are enough knocks against Racer for us not to recommend it. The thrill of the game comes from its franchise, and if this weren't a Star Wars title, few people would give it a second look. Unfortunately, we all know the track record for games based on movie titles, and Racer fails to deliver a breakthrough. Mind you, not everything was bad about Racer. As a racing game it's fairly interesting, and some of the tracks are imaginative and well designed. Of course, the soundtrack is top-notch, as are the rants and catcalls of fellow racers as you hit the turbo boost and shoot past them. However, we're sorry to say that overall, the game did little to inspire a sense of action or fun, and thus falls squarely into the chasm of mediocrity.

Jun 6th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

A maddening rush of speed--and a maddening control system.

The Good
Speed. There's always a problem in computer games that try to convey a sense of speed when you race, and that's not their fault--you, the player, are doing exactly what you don't do in a race. You're sitting still. And your surroundings are stationary as well. So computer games essentially have to go way over the top in order to convey a rushing sense of speed, and many don't because that takes away from the 'realism'.

Star Wars: Episode I Racer gleefully goes way over the top, because it can. It's set in the Star Wars universe, so piloting a pod racer (two jet engines and a piece of string, essentially) that can reach speeds in excess of 750 MPH is... well, over the top. It definitely gets your adrenaline pumping. (A decent 3D accelerator helps, too.)

The tracks are large and varied. They aren't as large (and sneaky) as the tracks in, say, Carmageddon 2, but they are much nicer in appearance and represent their homeworld well with plenty of detail.

The Bad
Frankly, I'm a bit annoyed at the control system. You'd expect in any racing game that you would need to slow down, speed up, move left and right, brake, and hit the turbo. That conforms very nicely to a two button joystick. But Pod Racer introduces additional elements that I view as 'featureitis' -- hard air braking (why is regular braking and turning not enough?), rolling your craft sideways, moving up and down slightly, and reparing your engines on the fly are features that come to mind. They don't significantly enhance the gameplay, other than the ability to roll sideways allows you to fit through a verticle slot on one level easily (although you can fit through it normally anyway if you go straight through the center).

A two-button joystick doesn't cut it, and it's distracting to keep one finger near the keyboard to perform in-race functions. An obvious criticism of this is "Why don't you use a joystick with more than two buttons?" To that, I answer "Why do I need a joystick with more than two buttons?"

An 'obvious' solution is to use a gamepad or keyboard. But any true racing fan knows that keyboards and gamepads are 'total-on, total-off' devices that make subtle steering adjustments impossible--you're either turning as hard as you can, or you're not turning at all. Another solution, then, is to use a multi-button digital joystick. This reviewer had marginal success using Microsoft's popular force-feedback joystick, except that it didn't feel natural at all, since it's a flight throttle.

I would imagine that a multi-button steering wheel or yoke would be best.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a mind-numbing sense of speed, look no further. But be sure you have the right input device for the job!

by Trixter (8950) on Apr 16th, 2023 · Windows

Great sci-fi, high speed racer

The Good
I think that this game is a good reproduction of the podracing sequence in "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace". Each of it's tracks are detailed fairly well, and it's characters look pretty good. My fingers fell right into place with it's controls, but finding out what they were took some time in the manual. The scenery was great, and the moving objects off the track Definatly a good addition to the Star Wars universe.

The Bad
The computer opponents were terribly detailed. Some had black squares in the front of there podracer. Their movements were jerky, and their speed wasn't constant. The screenshot option was not as good as I had expected. Some of them came out blank, others made the podracers disappear, but left their shadows. I think that some other sort of multiplayer option would have been in order. Something like the Nintendo 64 version (split-screen) would have been nice, but that would have required another input device. The sound was strange, because the sounds of the engines in each podracer each sounded the same. Even then, the engine noises would get quiet, then loud, then quiet, then loud. I didn't here any of the fans cheering unless I stopped.

The Bottom Line
This game is a good addition to any racing gamers collection. If you like Star Wars, you should this game on any platform. I would recommend it to just about anyone.

by Mullet of Death (592) on Mar 9th, 2005 · Windows

Great high-speed racing excitment!

The Good
I'm not really a fan of racing games, but this one I must say I rather like. :) It has many downfalls, but you just can't beat the thrill of racing at 700kph across the 21 different tracks offered by this game. The pod racing scene in the Phantom Menace was one of my favorite parts of that movie, and this game does a decent job of recreating the excitment. You can use all the pod racers from the movie (and more, I think), and buy parts to upgrade them. I ran this on a Pentium 233 with a Voodoo3 2000, and it ran at great frame rates.

The Bad
A few things: The graphics really aren't that good. This is most likely because the game developers didn't expect you to slow down and examine the scenery closely. Another thing was upgrading your pod racer... At the end of each race you get an amount of money corresponding to what you placed, and how much you bet. You use this money to buy parts to upgrade your racer. But, annoyingly enough, it seems these parts will disappear after your racer gets destroyed enough times (I think... it's hard to tell why or when it happens). This means that you have to spend even more money just to get back the parts you lost.

The Bottom Line
Episode One Racer isn't a revolutionary racing game or anything, but if you have time to kill, it's a heck of a lot of fun! :)

by Null McNull (25) on Jun 8th, 2000 · Windows

High Speed and Action Packed

The Good
Going +700MPH really gets your blood pumping...Its really fun to see the scenery just rush by you in a blur...does a great job in conveying the speed and excitment in pod racing...

Multiplayer is quite fun...Going head to head against a buddy while travelling at such high speeds is a real thrill

Accurate to the movie, as many of the famous pods are present ie Sebulba, Anakin...Also the tracks are varied, and takes place on many of the familiar star wars worlds...

It runs great even on slower systems...A P300, 16X CD and a nvidia 128x is all it takes to get the game to run as smooth as silk

The Bad
The graphics aren't so hot...but that's okay considering you'll be traveling way too fast to see it anyways...

The contorls seem counterintuitive...and it takes a while to get used to the controls

The Bottom Line
A great racer to attract fans of all genres...I'm not much of a reacing fan, but the action in this game really sucked me in. Hardcore racing fans might cringe at the lack or realism, but I think its a great game even for non-racing or non-Star Wars fans...

by MadCat (53) on Aug 8th, 2000 · Windows

Great game when mixed with a force feedback and a subwolfer.

The Good
When I cranked the sound and hooked up the force-feedback this game ROCKED!!!!!!!!!! Lots of cool gaming here.

The Bad
Well this really isnt a PC game in my book. It is written like a station game. I knew that going in otherwise I would have burned, stomped, shot and generally loathed it. This really only has the good parts of a playstation game. Lots more could have been done to make it better. (aka storyline, more thought less button or lever pushing-pulling)

The Bottom Line
If you have to above mentioned hardware then this title will provide an occasional cool 10 minutes. But not much more.

by William Shawn McDonie (1130) on Jan 3rd, 2001 · Windows


The Good
(mini review) PLOT: Race on several planets and become the master Pod-Racer...or something like that.

MENU: Rather granulated and misplaced buttons that try to reflect an alien style but does not quite get the leg over.

GRAPHICS: Good (for 1999). Lighting is well done and the levels are interesting enough to look at. The pod racers are well detailed, though the drivers are a bit lacking and the purple binder rays overlap sprites, such as signs.

SOUND: It's there but lacking. Music is pretty out of the game so the pilot is suffering from engine whinies and humms. All of the opposing racers have their own voices but the bangs and scrapes when you hit somthing are dull.

GAMEPLAY: Fast, almost uncontrolable fast. Often you will find yourself lagging behind the racers after one slip up, with the tracks being hard to navigate and offer some pathways that slow you down. The tracks themselves have lots of spills to offer with ramps, flying and landing craft as well as rock slides there is never a dull moment. One of the great things though is buying upgrades for your racer. This has often been missed out on in other games but in SW:PR it is well done with each element of the racer avalible for upgrade with many different parts, you earn money from each race and you can spend it on upgrades. The AI is pretty marginal, they don't do much like in the movie, you don't get jostled around or bumped, just yelled at. Also there are lots of Racers to choose from.

The Bad
The graphics and sound were lacking, the A.I was boring and Sebula's flame weapon was of no use to the AI players who are invincible.

The Bottom Line
A good game for a rainy day or a LAN party.

by Sam Hardy (80) on Sep 27th, 2001 · Windows

Remember when Pod Racing was cool? I still think it is...

The Good
I have a confession to make. I have a tiny, just sitting there in the corner appreciation for Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It isn't the best Star Wars movie, that's a given, but you can't say no to the cool stylings of Liam (fellow Irishman) Neeson, the horned devil Darth Maul and, of course, pod racing.

Many fans argue that the racing sequence half way through the film should have been its own movie, being as long as it is (the extended footage adds even more), and I do tend to agree with that statement, the pacing of the movie changes completely once that race gets under way. What you can't argue, however, is that Episode 1: Racer will forever stand as the one true game that defined that generation of Star Wars gamers. There were others, platform and puzzle among them, but Racer was the only one you could clearly say was beyond 'average.' Way beyond average, actually.

What sticks out the most in terms of its gameplay is how well it evolves the movie's concept, adding a good assortment of tracks with massive loops, long straights and tight turns mixed in with a story not unlike F-Zero in that sense. Unusual characters within a sense of history of a racing circuit that everyone wants to put a bet on. It's no work of art, but it makes sense.

Even compared to the standards set by today's racing games, the visuals hold up remarkably well. You could argue that LucasArts didn't go over the top graphics wise, but there's a decent amount of detail amongst each track and racer. What works better, however, is the sound. Much like the movie itself, the first two laps of each race builds on the momentum and soundscape of the race itself, crashing pods, screaming engines and the like, until the last lap when the musical score kicks in to ramp up the tempo and remind you you're close to home.

The Bad
Unfortunately when I wrote this review, MobyGames was still in its infancy, yet to include the console platforms in its database. If it had been there at the time, I would have reviewed this on the N64, a console with a respectable thumb stick and trigger system that is built for this kind of game. In this case, being a PC title, you've got two choices to make. You can stick with the keyboard (which I did) or use another form of input such as a 3rd party control pad.

For my method, the keyboard is hit and miss. You probably shouldn't play a racing game with a keyboard anyway, you have no real sense of direction with the four way arrow keys compared to a 360 degree stick. I did, being me, and found it .. well, not too bad I guess. Timing is everything in this game, especially at the speed you play at, and for the most part it worked well enough. But there are maps in this game that require an even higher level of accuracy with turning, braking and acceleration out of corners, and the keyboard just can't handle that.

The truth is, the PC platform isn't the best for racing, and the N64 edition of the title had a better overall appearance and the advantage of a quality control pad compared to this PC edition. To be fair though, with the right setup you can certainly improve that side of the game. Just trust me, control pad all the way on this one.

The Bottom Line
So let's backtrack a little. Episode 1 was an average movie with one key, dominant scene. The fact that the only good game to come from that movie stems from that very scene just goes to show you how effective that sequence was. The advantage, however, that Episode 1: Racer had at the time was a lack of competition. The hasn't been that many sci-fi styled racers in the past, and only a minor number of them have been effective enough to make a name for themselves (the previously mentioned F-Zero and the other key franchise, Wipeout).

It's a shame, then, that Racer didn't become a bigger franchise. There was only one sequel, the PS2's Star Wars: Racer Revenge and something about a grown-up soon to be Jedi Anakin Skywalker taking on Sebulba once more. They missed the boat though, I feel, with what could have been a far more entertaining and enjoyable series, especially on the bigger and brighter consoles with online multiplayer. Perhaps in the not too distant future, LucasArts may revisit the franchise once more, but I won't hold my breath for it.

So for the moment at least, Episode 1 will be fondly remembered for this reviewer by delivering a fast paced and entertaining racing title that served up plenty of enjoyable moments and fun characters ... even with keyboard in tow.

by Kartanym (12404) on Jan 8th, 2011 · Windows

Plus 52 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, jean-louis, Scaryfun, Cantillon, Plok, Johnny Szary, lights out party, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Virgil, ti00rki, Wizo, vedder, Alsy, Cavalary.