LGR – Midtown Madness 2 – PC Game Review

LGR – Midtown Madness 2 – PC Game Review


[typing]
[funky music] Midtown Madness. I absolutely adored this game. And as much as I loved seeing
the setting of Chicago in this one, I had hoped for expansion packs with new cities. But much to my surprise back then, just a year later, Microsoft and Angel Studios
released Midtown Madness 2 in the year 2000. And despite it billing itself as a sequel, for all intents and purposes,
this is just a big, fat expansion pack to the first game. Featuring the same cars, the same menus, the same racing modes,
and much of the same game engine. But on top of that, it included
another dozen or so vehicles. and two open-world maps:
the city of San Francisco and London. Also, this original North American boxed
release is stupidly hard to find these days, so if you have a copy, please do
your part to love and cherish that thing. Although inside, it isn’t very exciting. You get a jewel case featuring
the game on a single compact disc, and a dinky little manual which is only a few pages long. But, hey, it’s printed in full color and
tackles all the gameplay basics, which is 100% better than NO
manual with racing games today, so I can’t complain. After some introductory logo animations, it’s straight to the main menu, with some ridiculously bass-filled music. [bass-filled music] [laughs] Ah, my 15-year-old friends
and I used to blast that song when comparing our subwoofers, and seeing whose speakers could
rattle my house’s windows the most. Hmm, on retrospect, sorry Mom,
and thanks for putting up with our crap! Anyways, we’ll be looking at the
single-player racing modes today. But it’s worth noting that even though the
MSN Gaming Zone support ended for this in 2006, you can still play online through a direct connection, if you can find anyone to play with. So, yeah, got some single-player modes to look at. And most of the modes in this
game are the same as the first, but Crash Course is a new mode
provided to you by your rich Uncle Donald. Thanks, Donald! Wait, which rich Donald were you thinking of? From here, you can learn to be a London
cabbie or a San Francisco stunt driver with a series of lessons and tests to complete, which unlocks new content,
like liveries and cars. It’s all pretty straightforward stuff involving
checkpoints, timers and obstacle courses, but it’s a nice little diversion from the
standard checkpoints, timers and… AI obstacles, I guess. Okay, so it’s not all that different from the
other racing modes, but hey, they tried. And yeah, the rest of the modes are all pretty similar and it’s kinda hard to tell them apart at first glance. Just like the first game, Blitz is a checkpoint-
laden timed sprint across the map, Checkpoint races provide a number of
checkpoints to pass through in any order you like, with the goal being able to hit
them all before your opponents, and Circuit races have you taking
traditional racing laps around the city. But if you’re like me,
the main event is the Cruise Mode, which lets you go wild in an open world. No timers, no checkpoints,
no opponents, just a big map with a bunch of stuff to smash up
and crazy jumps to fly off of, and some extremely obnoxious police
that will never get off your case. It’s also the most customizable race type, letting you choose the map,
the time of day, weather options, and how many pedestrians, traffic vehicles
and police cruisers you’ll run into– or will run into you. You can also choose from any
one of the 20 vehicles in the game. Many of these have to be unlocked, and many of them come from the first game, but there’s still way more variety here. I remember how having the all-caps
NEW MINI COOPER was a big deal at the time, much like how the Volkswagen New
Beetle was a big deal in the first one. You also get vehicle showcases,
complete with press photographs and websites because MARKETING! [chuckles] Well, unless it’s the London Black Cab, which is just a rendered model from the game badly overlaid onto a photo of a street corner. One thing that’s missing
compared to the first game here is the physics realism slider, which, according to producer Jay Panek, the physics are so good now,
the need for a slider wasn’t necessary. Uhh, really? If there’s one complaint I have about this game, it’s that, while some of the
cars are lots of fun to drive, others are completely useless, especially the ones that made it over
from the first game, for some reason. The physics slider would often make the difference
between a fun drive and a total crapshoot. But in Midtown Madness 2, you’re left with… whatever the programmers thought was best. This means that certain cars, like the
Mustang Fastback, are junk to drive, which sucks because certain modes like Stunt Driver force you to use that car in particular. And I really enjoyed driving the Cadillac
Eldorado and the New Beetle in the first game, but here, they’re just too far
off the rails to be much fun in any of the more serious racing modes. Thankfully, there are some fan-made
physics mods out there to address this, but this awful handling and physics model was a huge reason I didn’t like the game
very much back when it first launched. I mean, okay, I *liked* it, but I didn’t love it, how I did the first one. Playing with a steering wheel helped,
but only so much, especially since I had a crappy InterAct V3 that acted more like a joystick that rotated, as opposed to a proper analog racing wheel. While we’re on the subject of gripes,
I was also never fond of the damage model here. I mean, functionally, it works the same as the first one, but the aesthetics, we always
called it “bird poop damage” because instead of sections of your car
looking like they would crumple up, the textures would just get sort of mottled and I dunno, bird-poopy. It was never really convincing damage to me. Anyway, now that I’m done taking a
dump on my own adolescent years, holy crap, this game is fun in Cruise Mode! Once you find a car or two that you really like, the sheer madness you can cause
in the midtown is maniacally… Okay, I couldn’t think of another word
starting with M, but you know what I mean. When it’s hitting on all cylinders, Midtown Madness 2 is
classic silly gaming at its best. Just a bunch of physics and objects to play with that are almost completely unrealistic, but dang it, it’s so over-the-top and features
enough real-world similarities that it’s still a blast to screw around with. Being able to plow though the
Transamerica Pyramid in a Humvee or bowl over Central London traffic in a double-decker bus is pure wish fullfilment. Objects just fly all over the place
when you collide with them. And the trees this time burst into
a million pieces when you hit them. Thank goodness! Nothing stands in your way, whether you’re driving a Ford or a Freightliner. And the sense of abject freedom is wonderful. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this, and there doesn’t need to be,
because computer games. I can just imagine the developers going,
“Wow, look at what we can do with all this horsepower
computers have nowadays! Processors have just hit 1 GHz
and graphic cards have 64 MB! Let’s just go nuts!” This kind of relentless, pointless and cathartic
fun that exists simply because it CAN exist is something that I’ve missed in recent years. Especially when it comes to open-world racing games. Here, there’s no epic storyline, no masturbatory cutscenes, and not even any characters to speak of at all. Unless you include the
announcers at the start of each race. LIVERPOOL ANNOUNCER:
You could look for a good curry
takeout when you’re out and about, if you don’t mind. CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCER:
A cruise gives you a great chance to learn your vehicle. Oh, yeah. Make sure you swing
through Haight-Ashbury, okay? LGR:
Now that’s not to say there’s anything wrong
with a bit of storyline and panache in racing games. There’s a place for a little of everything. But Midtown Madness 2
stands out because, in a way, it’s the last of its kind. After Midtown Madness’ developers,
Angel Studios, were acquired by Take-Two, Microsoft and Dice went on to create
Midtown Madness 3 for the original Xbox. But it used a different game engine and
was really kind of its own separate thing. Angel Studios, however, went on to create
the Midnight Club and Smuggler’s Run games, using the Angel Game Engine
codebase from Midtown Madness 2. This engine was then partially used as the basis for the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine, or RAGE, powering games like Grand Theft Auto IV and V. And, yes, Angel Studios became Rockstar San Deigo who went on to create the
venerable Red Dead Redemption. So it’s fascinating to me to look
at such a simple, fun racing game and think about what it turned into
over the next decade of new leadership. But getting back on target, Midtown Madness 2 is still worth your time,
if you can track down a copy. Unfortunately, it’s not sold
anywhere at the time of this video, so that sucks. But there are various online acquisition methods
that shall remain unspoken (wink, wink), as well as various ways to play the game
at full speed on modern Windows PCs. You’ll need a combination of the dgVoodoo
wrapper, the official Windows XP patch, a fan-made startup patch,
and another patch for the fan-made patch to allow higher memory consumption. But, yeah, it’s totally playable on a
modern Windows machine these days! It’s… just a bit of work involved, but it’s awesome. Not only that, but there’s still
a solid community for the game, releasing cars, tracks, mods,
and hosting online races to this day, notably on MM2X.com. I’m glad that site’s still around.
That brings back memories. I’ll provide links in the video
description for this stuff, too. So, if you want to give Midtown
Madness 2 a shot, it’s totally doable! And I highly recommend it. It might not keep you engaged forever, but for that little bit of time that it does, it’s just… ah, I can’t say no to it. And if you enjoyed this video on Midtown 2, perhaps you’d like my video on Midtown 1. And I’m sure I’ll cover the third one in the future, but, yeah, I’m just not as fond of that one,
so I don’t know when I’ll do that. But there’s also other videos every
Monday and Friday here on LGR, so watch those, if you please. And as always, thank you very much for watching!

100 thoughts on “LGR – Midtown Madness 2 – PC Game Review

  1. This is one of the many things I remember from my childhood. I never regret taking a trip down memory lane. Anyone remember Driver 3, or the other Driver games?

  2. Motocross Madness 2 was and still is the best. With the motion sensing bat-wing controller that Microsoft gave me in the box.

  3. History of open-world driving games:
    1990s – Driver & Midtown Madness
    early 2000s – Midnight Club & NFS Underground 2
    mid 2000s – Test Drive Unlimited, NFS MW & Carbon
    late 2000s – Burnout Paradise & Midnight Club LA
    2010s – Need for Speed, the Crew & Forza Horizon

  4. Recuerdo haberlo jugado pero nunca le entendí bien, aparte de las carreras creo que otra cosa no se podía hacer…

  5. its does brings me back memories

    I think I'm more like First then 2nd midtown Madness as far as crushes and get yelled by drivers "What are you doing!"

    but I hope that I get back playing these games again soon

  6. This brings back memories, 'cnr' with City Bus getting stuck down some alley I think may be the most fun I've had playing online. Knew the maps by heart, the hours I would spend being a bus just doing a commute. A few years ago I through out all my games, boxes were long gone, nothing of collectable value, but MM2 was alone in surviving the cull and watching this and reading the comments I think I made the right choice. I'll probably never play again but my god it was good.

  7. Oh my when I saw that angel studios logo it reminded me of midnight club 1.
    Very odd how midnight club, midtown madness, rockstar and the lot have connections togeather with the music and style.

  8. Damn i remember playing this! We thought it were the best graphics and 'physics' we had seen yet haha.. those cardboard cutout buildings! Super fun game for sure.

  9. Midtown Madness was like the spiritual predecessor to Grand Theft Auto… and there was a whole modding community for both MM games where you could download new cars, new cities, and new tracks… pretty revolutionary for open-world driving games. really ahead of their time.

  10. Dude there were so many mods back in the day. My mates and I would find the fastest most ridiculous physics cars and just play "car tag" in cruise mode till the cows came home. Exactly like you said though, it was just game, no pretence.

  11. Dude this game was all about playing capture the gold bullion mode. You missed in this review and I guess you never played it. I'm down for MM4 on xbox or pc anyday

  12. ohh man i loved this game as a kid .. but unfortunately i was a stupid kid, left the disc on the floor, and my dad accidentally stepped on it and cracked it. haven't played it since 2001 haha

  13. Well, now I know one reason why I enjoyed the Midnight Club games… MM2 was my childhood and even some of my teen years, and once I finished the Crash Course stuff, I was done with it…until I stumbled across the mods. Most of the ones I downloaded weren't great or just added too little, but a few were great fun. Unfortunately, it has been so long since I owned the game that I can't remember any of them; all I remember is the disappointment I felt after using my limited 56K dial-up bandwidth and time to get what was essentially a level, car, etc. that just didn't work and/or even crashed the game…

    Still, the nostalgia is real with this game and Age of Empires…and Math Blaster Pre-Algebra.

  14. I bought midtown madness before I bought my first computer. I feel like i've made this comment before. I still have the disk for MM2, too. I really liked the cops and robbers mode in MM3 on the xbox. I loved all three games, tbh.

  15. Who else actually put in the work to unlock the hummer and Aston Martin as a kid? That was a real workout. The 68 mustang was my favorite car, I could place it anywhere I wanted

  16. This game was my life growing up lol , always working to unlock that panoz GTR1 til the day finally came oh man was that amazing. Driving the city bus pretending to be a bus driver lol

  17. ah yes, midtown madness. i still remember playing it at my friends house where we installed it on his dads computer who then completly went nuts after he found out and deinstalled it. Every time he did that. the dad was an asshole but the game was great.

  18. This brings back great memories of me playing this game when i was younger. I would play it 4 hours a day 😆. Good times had by all.

  19. Hi "LGR", My name is Marco Silva from Portugal, I am a developer and I love Games, I have converted 2 Midtown Madness games to play on Windows 10 on DirectDraw, I am trying to get 3D acceleration, however I will send you a link of both games ready to roll in windows 10 (dosBox + Win95 + Game.img).

    I really like your channel, keep it up! Best regards

    https://mega.nz/#F!65ZB1IQQ!db7NpeoVOTEjgeCfrRD2cQ

  20. Watching this video again has made me realise that I now own one of those Interact V3 wheels, just the PlayStation version (£14 at a car boot sale). Might set it up and play some.

  21. I dont have the box anymore. Lost it years ago. But the game copy is among a case with other period games. Brings back memories

  22. Just randomly remembered about this game. Damn, didn't even remember the name(just remembered smashing around stuff in a mini in London), had to look it up. This, NFS 3, Fifa 98(multiplayer with the mouse). Good times.

  23. Thanks for the review, it was surreal! And any of my fellow MM2X Bois watching this? Ex-modder for Midtown Madness 2: BIGzee here. Wonder if my account and mods are still there.

  24. The modding scene was insane for this game. I remember driving around San Francisco on a DeLorean and going up stupid ramps and onto floating platforms everywhere. Good times.

  25. This game is so nostalgic and I'm 16 years old, played this thing and filled it with so many mods that is crashed sometimes ( looking at you MM2 Revisited ), this shit was baller

  26. I dont like the Beetle, I think its quite ugly but I would drive the shit out of the one on the cover, the body kit makes it look actually good

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