Do you ever get the feeling when playing a game that the CEO of the
company you gave your hard-earned cash to is sitting in his overstuffed
office chair laughing maniacally while you try in vain to extract any
joy from the steaming pile they shoved in the box? This game makes me
feel that way.
I really don't know what Midnight Outlaw is all about.
The two-sided card that came with the game decided to give me hints
relating to the install process rather than mention anything about the
game I was about to waste my time on. The back of the box proudly
"Enter and explosive world where nitrous erupts and rubber
burns. You live your life one race at a time and from midnight to dawn,
the adrenaline is on. Feel the raw power of your super-charged engine
as you punch the accelerator for cash and hard-won respect."
Sounds sufficiently vague to base a game on.
have three main activities in this game: you can complete races in the
story mode, you can drive around the city gaining 'fame', or you can
play with your car.
In story mode you will predictably race for various reasons around some
random city in Southern California. Most of the time it doesn't even
matter if you win, since you will more often than not clear the mission
While slogging through the game, I was momentarily distracted from the
white-knuckle racing by the streets with no pedestrians and the almost
completely indestructable scenery. There is almost nothing in this game
that you can damage, and of the stuff you can damage, it doesn't really
matter. Your car can take all the punishment you can dish out and the
only negative effects will be that your speed is temporarily reduced to
zero miles per hour while the camera pans to an allegedly more
interesting angle and if you hit enough stuff your hood will eventually
Control is horrible. I could have probably gotten better control by
plugging a banana into my computer and using that instead of my
keyboard. The cars control like elephants on ice skates. It doesn't
matter how fast or slow I go, the car takes its time when it considers
your suggestion that you might want it to change direction. Instead,
your car will delight in hitting just about every stationary or moving
object it can find both on and off the road.
Other cars on the streets are placed in the optimal path around the
courses, ensuring collisions. They normally move down the highway at
about 3 MPH or are parked... right in the middle of the freeway. But
all of that doesn't really matter, since no matter how damaged your car
is, it'll be fully repaired after the next cutscene.
From what I can tell, the majority of the tracks in this game take
place on the same set of roads, just with differing routes sectioned
off. They're not sectioned off in a way that makes sense or is sane. In
the races there are large blue triangles indicating the direction you
are supposed to go. If you for some reason decide that you want to go
some other direction, like turning left instead of right, what looks
like a large red plastic square will slide over from the side of the
road and impede your progress. The other cars on the road are not
affected by these, so I can only assume that my car was built by
Superman and the barriers are made from Kryptonite and Lex Luthor is
forcing me to race down the roads he chooses.
Thankfully, through the alleged 50+ courses, there is only one song
that plays in the background. You are treated to the same
voice*-BOOM-CHA-BOOM-CHA-BOOM-CHA-BOOM-CHA-BOOM-CHA... etc. While I was
digging through the sound files for the game, I came across a sound
called Silence.wav. It was the best sounding file in the game.
I was never able to figure out what the 'fame' was for. I'd get fame
for spending my 'scrilla' on 'bling' to put on the car, I'd get fame
for completing missions by losing, and I'd get fame for slipping and
sliding around corners and managing to not hit anything. I took all the
fame I got throughout the game and planted it in a hole I dug out in my
back yard. I'm hoping that one day I'll have a new fame tree out there
and I can just go and pick all the fame I want.
Now we all know that people don't play games like this to experience
the driving or the storyline or anything else that could possibly be
fun or interesting. They play it for the customization. You can
customize your Phat Ride(tm) to the nth degree by selecting such
options as hood color and window stickers. Of course the only thing in
the shop worth purchasing is 'Da Boosta', which is apparently a gauge
at the top of your screen labeled 'NOx' and lets you press the space
bar to access what I like to call Disco Mode.
In Disco Mode it looks like the 'NOx' gets injected directly into the
passenger compartment since the colors go all streaky and I lose the
ability to turn left until I crash into something, run out of 'NOx', or
I "overheat my engine".
This game is so bad, I need to go and invent a machine that will let me unplay it.