Music Racer Review
Players can feel the rhythm of the night with AbstractArt’s Music Racer. With the ability to use your own tunes paired with generated levels, is this one title that can give AudioSurf and Riff Racer a run for their money?
Music Racer Review
The world of Music Racer is unique, as no two songs chosen will play out the same. By choosing an MP3, OGG, FLAC, or WAV file, a track made up of three lanes and a variety of beats is created from scratch. Players can choose their car (adjusting the color of the body and the rims), choose from one of 12 stage styles, and then play their way through each course.
This proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Though it always provides a fresh experience, the beats players collect do not usually match up to the melody of each song. We tried a number of tracks with roots in new wave, downtempo, and classic rock, but none seemed to sync up too well. As a result, it is easy to disconnect from the action, as players will constantly feel like something is amiss.
Collecting the beats is a pretty straightforward affair, and players can likely clear their head while playing this game. It does not reach the complexity or skill level of other rhythm titles like Guitar Hero or Beatmania; players can get to the end of each level fairly easily without too much effort, and running into pillars only distorts the music and takes away a handful of beats. If that is too much, there is also a Zen mode that dials things back to its most basic elements.
At the end of each run, players will be judged by the number of beats hit, their combo, and their overall score. There’s no online leaderboard, but players can unlock different tracks with the beats acquired. It’s not much of a grind though; most players will be able to unlock one after a handful of runs, depending on the length of the song. Those who have some long tracks in their library (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird is a fine choice) can definitely use those songs to their advantage.
If anything, some track layouts make things difficult. The hills, dips, and curves might look cool, but they obscure your view, making it hard to successfully navigate an area. This is a design choice that favors style over substance; something a bit more by the books would have gone a long way and could have evened out the playfield.
Music Racer has got an interesting premise, but the execution is somewhat lacking. Its generated setups could use some fine tuning, and the layout of each stage is detrimental to high level play.
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