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Videogame Review: Star Wars: Episode I: Racer

Updated on June 10, 2018
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Star Wars: Episode I: Racer PC CD-ROM cover.
Star Wars: Episode I: Racer PC CD-ROM cover. | Source

Quick Info:

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Released: May 17, 1999
Platform: PC Windows download, Windows 7, 8, and 10
Availability: On disc or on GOG.com (Newer computers can run the GOG version)

Premise:

In Star Wars: Episode I: Racer you take control of various podracer pilots and compete in races on planets throughout the galaxy in easy, medium and hard podracing courses. You can upgrade your podracer and try to beat your own high score. You can also play multiplayer against other players online.

Star Wars: Episode I: Racer Official Sega Dreamcast Trailer:

How To Get The Game To Run On Your PC:

Star Wars: Episode I: Racer has not been able to work on new 64-bit systems until the GOG.com release came out, but there is a trick to get it to run on your new Windows PC. If you just try to start the game up and run it, the game will crash. You have to change the game compatibility settings before you run the game:

  • You have to right-click on the game icon and left-click on “Properties”.
  • Go to the “compatibility” tab, then you have to choose to make it compatible with your version of Windows.
  • After you hit “Apply” and “Ok”, you can run the game without any problems.

Screenshot from GOG.com.
Screenshot from GOG.com. | Source

The Controls Are Easy And Have Keybinding Customization!

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace has been controversial among fans for a long, long time. The haters have been vocally whining about it for almost two decades to the point of becoming obnoxious, but for the most part, they have moved on to complaining about Disney’s Star Wars movies instead. And while I enjoyed the movie, there is one thing that most Prequel haters did like that came from the Prequel Trilogy: This game.

The game is so much fun and it’s an excellent racing game. The gameplay controls are easy and they are also completely customizable too, so if you don’t like the default controls you can change them to whatever you want.

The game also supports Joysticks and controllers as well.

The Race Tracks Are All Unique:

Although the racetracks take place on a limited amount of planets, the tracks for each difficulty has a unique track for each planet. It’s what makes it so much fun, you get to race through different tracks on the same planets. I think it looks really neat.

Each unique course has different shortcuts and ways to get through the race quicker. I enjoy it because it’s always about winning and getting the best time you can.

Screenshot from GOG.com.
Screenshot from GOG.com. | Source

The Graphics Are Dated:

These graphics are almost 20 years old so it’s not going to look amazing compared to modern graphics that today’s games have, but it’s still a lot of fun because it has great gameplay and it’s very exciting to play.

The races are intense and you get really competitive trying to win. It’s what makes this game so exciting even if the graphics don’t look top of the line by today’s standards.

The Voice Acting is Great!

I loved the voice acting in this game, they got the main voices for Anakin Skywalker and Watto in the game, and they also have very close voice matches for the announcers in the film. The fact that they went out of their way to get some of the main cast from the movie is a nice touch since nowadays they usually just get sound-alikes for most licensed games.

The voices for the announcers are not the ones used in the films but they’re still fun to listen to.

The sound effects are really cool too and I really like the sound effects for this game. The engine roars are really cool and the sound design is different from a lot of other racing games out there, it also has that unique sound design that is associated with Star Wars movies.

The Music is Fantastic!

John Williams’ music is great; the soundtrack is from The Phantom Menace film, so it’s Star Wars music and not just generic background music. I love the music from the Star Wars movies and it’s so much fun to hear it in a Star Wars videogame, but they do license the music for the games so that is always a plus when playing Star Wars games to hear the soundtrack from the film.

Online Multiplayer is Back!

Online multiplayer is back thanks to GOG.com putting this game up for sale again after so long of it being out of print and wouldn’t work on modern computers due to the architecture of the game only working for 32-bit systems and not modern 64-bit systems from Windows Vista onwards.

Fortunately, as long as you make sure to have your compatibility settings correct before you run the game, you should be able to play multiplayer online now that GOG.com is supporting multiplayer for Star Wars: Episode I: Racer.

The Game Really Nails the High-Speed Racing Aspect and you Might Feel Motion Sickness:

This game did take a little bit of time for me to get used to playing it again, mainly because the high speeds the game can simulate did make my stomach lurch a little. I did get used to it after awhile, but it felt weird because I hadn’t played it in so long.

You might also get sick if you play from the view of being in the podracer cockpit because it really does feel like you’re in there, even if the game’s graphics aren’t ultra-realistic like modern graphics, it’s the sped of the podracing that might make you feel queasy.

If racing games make you feel like you’re going to be sick then you should probably stay away from this game, sometimes you’ll race in areas that make your racer go upside-down and spin a lot so if you don’t like that then you shouldn’t play this game.

Reader Poll:

Will you buy Star Wars: Episode I: Racer?

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It’s a Fun And Entertaining Racing Game!

If you love Star Wars games, you’ll want to buy Star Wars: Episode I: Racer, it’s a fun and entertaining game, I especially enjoy the harder courses because they’re longer and more challenging to complete.

The gameplay is solid and the controls are great, especially since you can customize them to whatever you want them to be. It also supports controllers and joysticks and that is a plus if you want to use other options besides the mouse and keyboard.

Final Grade: A+:

I highly recommend you buy Star Wars: Episode I: Racer. It’s so much fun, not only as a Star Wars game but as a fantastic racing game. It is so fun as someone who enjoyed Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and I enjoy that I can race pods as Anakin Skywalker in the Boonta Eve Classic on Tatooine just like in the film.

There’s also a ton of interesting worlds to race on and interesting podracers to races as. It’s such a fun game to play.

You don’t have to like Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace to enjoy this game, you’ll enjoy the game if you’re a Star Wars fan and you want a good videogame to play. Even if you’re not into Star Wars and you’re looking for a racing game to play, I’ll recommend this to you, because it’s so much fun to play.

The graphics might be old, but that doesn’t really matter when it has exciting gameplay and plenty of race tracks to choose from, along with 16 racers that you unlock as you win more races.

There’s plenty of replayability and nice difficulty levels to pick from and now that it’s on GOG.com, you can actually play multiplayer games against other people online now.

It’s also not very expensive to purchase at full price at $9.99, but it has been discounted often because of sales on GOG.com. I will update this review if it comes to Steam as well, but if you want a DRM free experience and if you want to own your favorite Star Wars racing game again, you should definitely buy this game. It’s worth your time and money.

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia

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