I never played the original Midnight Club Racing for the PS2, but I did play Need for Speed: Underground on the original XBOX. Anyone that’s played NFSU will recognize the similarities right away. I’m not sure which came first, the original Midnight Club or NFSU, but it seems to me that NFSU was the blueprint for Midnight Club LA.
This game is really hard, even by racing standards. I’m a big fan of racing games, and it was pretty challenging even for me. The most annoying part is that it’s really easy to go off course, and once you’ve gone too far off course, you just have to re-start the race. That gets old pretty fast.
The best part of the game is the car editing. If you don’t like car editing, and you hate races that are hard to beat, then you’ll probably hate this game.
- Buying faster cars and adding performance parts just puts you in different brackets. It’s not exactly easy to just go buy a fast car and race. You’ll always end up on the line with cars that are just about as fast as yours because they’re in the same class. Try to keep your performance level at the top of whatever class you want to race in (I usually use B-Class, for example), and try to max out acceleration. Don’t worry about speed or handling.
- It’s worth it to go through and find the hidden barrels (map) in the game. Finding the hidden barrels will allow you to enable cheats from the settings menu. The cheats themselves are actually worthless: you can’t gain cash or rep, or progress your career. However, if you find 50, you can get the “No Police” cheat, which is useful in case you either need to escape the police after a race or if you need to travel all the way across the map to start a race and don’t want to get hassled.
- To level-up easier, and get cash fast, the best tip is to wait until one of your friends calls you to start a race that you determine. Accept the race (make sure your cheats are off first!) and use the Ordered Race map called Welcome to Hollywood. Select the “Easiest” level and you should be able to win just about every time in about 45 to 60 seconds. As long as you keep selecting “Race Again” at the end of the race, you can keep repeating the race. This is the fastest way to gain cash in the game.