Reviewed: April 15, 2006
Released: March 13, 2006
I am sure that I was not the only gamer out there that felt slightly disappointed with last year’s release of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition – was I? I mean, for a game that I had on fully paid preorder for well over a year, waiting patiently as release date after release date slipped by, even to the point of dropping off the face of the earth without a rescheduled date for weeks – I was fully expecting to have my world rocked by Midnight Club 3.
What I found instead was much different; Midnight Club 3, for all of its advancements, licensing, and touted technological improvements, had somehow lost a great deal of the magic that made its predecessor so damn addictive and fun just a year prior.
Eventually, I did play through the single player mode, but more out of obligation than actual addiction; if I paid fifty hard earned dollars to have my heart broken, by-golly I was going to make sure it was broken. And while I did end up enjoying the overall experience of racing my pimped-up licensed rides through the streets of San Diego, Atlanta, and Detroit, in the long run I just couldn’t shake the regret over having traded-in my copy of Midnight Club 2.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition was a bad game, it just failed to grab my attention like MC2 did. And considering the game was released alongside the likes of Burnout 3, Need For Speed Underground 2, Gran Turismo 4 and Forza (on the Xbox), there was some seriously stiff competition vying for (and winning) my attention as well.
So here we are, a year after its original release and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is now officially a “Greatest Hits” title. But, instead of simply slapping a red stripe and a $20 price tag across the face of the box and calling it good, Rockstar has gone the extra mile and given us a seriously juiced-up revision aptly entitled Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix; adding tons of new content, extended gameplay, and even an extra city chock full of missions.
And while I may have had issues with Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition a year ago, the release of Remix might not fix any of the original release’s shortcomings, but it sure makes up for them.
I won’t waste your time rehashing the original Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition’s gameplay in detail – we already have a great review posted on our site to give you an idea of how the game plays. What I will say is that the whole of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is present and intact in its original and unadulterated form, and all of it is accessible to the new gameplay and content additions. Best of all, any saved progress from the original game – pimped up cars and all – can be melded into the new game without a hitch, including the new city.
So what is new gameplay wise?
Well, for starters there are 24 new vehicles just begging for your pimping – everything from early model muscle cars to high-end sports cars, SUV’s to motorbikes, have been added for your driving pleasure.
Now, having a bunch of new cars added generally does not mean a whole lot in the long run, save for the one or two top-performers you might find buried in amongst the crap. However, since a majority of the original release’s fun revolved around the process of painting, decaling and modifying your rides, having this whole new palette of cars to fool around with is a real hoot. Just be forewarned; you still have to sit through the annoying tire-screeching transition animations as you select from amongst your stable of vehicles.
As cool as the cars are, the most substantial gameplay addition to Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition’s Remix would have to be the inclusion of the Tokyo Challenge. Taking place in MC2’s Tokyo level, which has been revamped with the new graphics and physics engines used in Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, the Tokyo Challenge features a whole bevy of new cinematics to watch, racing missions to tackle and hookmen challengers to beat.
Best of all, although the Tokyo Challenge is fully integrated into the normal career mode –including the use of all previously purchased and tuned vehicles – the mode can be selected independently from the game’s main without having to 100% the original three levels of the game. This is a real bonus for the casual gamers out there, since many times these special add-on features (which are popular on the Xbox in games like Ninja Gaiden Black and Fable the Lost Chapters) often never see the light of day.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix still looks just as sketchy as the original version – while the cars feature the same wonderful lighting and reflections, they are once again marred with the same horrendous jaggies and framerate drops of the last year’s release.
In fact, after seeing the likes of Burnout 3, and most recently Burnout Revenge and Need For Speed Most Wanted, I would have to say that Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is downright ugly by today’s standards.
To Rockstar’s benefit, there really is a lot going on in the Midnight Club world, and the game chugs along sufficiently enough to give a good gaming experience. With the wide-open cities teaming with massive amounts of unique traffic models, the fact that Rockstar was able to pull it off on the PS2 is a feat in itself.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix features the same hard-edge and hip-hop soundtrack as in the original, and then adds a full 25 additional music tracks to get your groove on.
While it is nice to have the added content and a little more variation to the musical choices, I can’t really say as you would notice the new songs – unless, of course, you are already a fan of the DMX-style of abrasive aggro hip-hop that Rockstar has associated with their Midnight Club games. To me, it all begins to sound the same after a while and save for the few treats (like Iggy and Peaches), I would rather be listening to my own selections on the stereo.
I was bummed a year ago because I paid $50 for Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition and felt like I did not get my money’s worth. A year later – and $30 cheaper – Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix has added a third more gameplay, a new city, two-dozen more cars and a whole new soundtrack.
For the newbies out there looking for a great racer on the PS2 – the $20 you are going to drop on Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is a no-brainer. There is a good 20-plus hours of gameplay, and with all of the pimping possibilities and online play – there is a wealth of fun to be had in Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix.
But for those of you that already paid $50 for the original, you may want to think this one over before you go plunking another $20 down. While Rockstar was kind enough to let you use your game saves and vehicles in Tokyo – experienced racers can conquer the city rather quickly. Sure, $20 ain’t nothin’ but a thang’ for you pimpin’ clubbers – but when games like Gran Turismo 4, God of War and Devil May Cry are also hitting the Greatest Hits rack – your cheese might be better spent elsewhere.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is definitely an advancement over the original release – not so much an improvement, mind you, just a bit more quantity at the same quality. I had a great time reviewing the game, and newbies will absolutely dig the bargain to be had within – but those who already paid their dues in Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition last spring might not be so impressed.