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Popular Street Racing Video Games
The street racing video game series Midnight Club has been very successful in the market and is available on many platforms. This series includes the first title Midnight Club for the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance; Midnight Club II for the PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox; and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and then later released on the PlayStation Portable. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix was later released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Midnight Club: Los Angeles was the first of the series to be released on seventh generation video game consoles.
Several missions in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto series see the player participating in races on the city streets. While a few are mandatory, most are offered as side-missions that the player can undertake to earn money.
The Need for Speed series originally started on the 3D0 system in 1991. Although the earlier games were noted for daytime racing on public roads with high perforamce cars of their times, several later titles affiliated with street racing, which came out after the Midnight Club series was established, after Midnight Club II in particular. Among them, the Underground series (encompassing Need for Speed: Underground and Need for Speed: Underground 2), takes place at night in various urban areas, but lacks any police to pursue the player. Need for Speed: Most Wanted reintroduces police pursuit into gameplay and is set in daytime. It also draws controversy by encouraging the player to damage police cars by any means necessary to acquire points. The next Need for Speed title, Need for Speed: Carbon sees the return of night time racing and features police pursuits, although not mandatory to damage police cars as in the previous installment. The 2007 Need for Speed title, Need for Speed: ProStreet has gotten rid of the illegal street racing, and is now entirely legal, closed-track races, with no police involvement - much to the disappointment of some of the series' fans (and worse reviews by most game reviewing companies ). The latest title Need for Speed: Undercover does return to illegal street racing and features gameplay similar to Most Wanted and Carbon. Unlike Most Wanted and Carbon this time the plot invovles an undercover police officer who is trying to breakup a international crime ring. Two new upcoming Need for Speed tiles Need for Speed: Nitro and Need for Speed: World Online will also feature street racing whereas the third upcoming game Need for Speed: Shift will return to legal racing once again.
The popular multi-platform (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox, PSP, GameCube) series Burnout showcases fictional cars racing at highspeed through traffic, with crashes rewarded by highly detailed slow motion destruction sequences. Later iterations include specific competition modes rewarding the largest monetary damage toll in specifically designed maps.
Another game that has street racing is Juiced by THQ. The game mentions that is was developed with the intention of giving the gamer the thrill of high-speed driving.
To meet commercial expectations, these games often compromise the realism of the car handling physics to give the user an easier game play experience, which is an asset to the game's enjoyment by general users (and helps the game to sell well).
The greatest disparity is that most games have the player's vehicle completely indestructible, where it's possible to crash head-on at high speeds with another vehicle and continue driving as if nothing had happened.
The indestructible car from those games makes possible to devise strategies that would be impossible in real life, such as using a wall to stop lateral velocity through a turn — rather than picking an appropriate line, which takes more skill, and slows the vehicle down, sometimes substantially. By using the wall, the user is able to halt lateral velocity, while retaining axial acceleration, thus exiting the corner at a much higher speed than braking, turning, and accelerating.
This lack of realism could give gamers a different impression of driving in real life.
In a German-made game, Emergency 3, one campaign mission features an illegal road race. However, the mission is not a first-person race to avoid police, but rather a third person game that requires the player to coordinate emergency forces. In this case, the mission requires the player to arrest the drivers, put out the fire from a car accident, and treat the injured.
A game highly based on Japanese mountain road racing is Initial D, an arcade game using real Japanese mountain road settings.
Another of these Japanese racing games is Wangan Midnight, which involves racing along wangans, or bayside expressways or roads.
The Cruis'n series also associated with street racing. It starts with the Cruis'n on the Wii. This game has several references to street racing like real cars and an upgrading system such as spoilers, decals, neon lights, ground effects, and engines. Sometimes during the game you can use the nitrous oxide, otherwise known as "N2O" or simply "Nitrous,". However, the player is limited to the number of times the nitrous boost can be used. Like the past Cruis'n games you can players race down one-way courses consisting of streets based on real-life locations while avoiding various road hazards such as oncoming traffic and construction. However unlike Need For Speed there is not pursuit system nor car damage.
Before Wangan Midnight and Midnight Club came to be, nighttime street racing started out with Tokyo Extreme Racing for the Dreamcast.
There are also three street races in Driver: Parallel Lines, available as side jobs. One in Redhook, one in Harlem, and another in New Jersey.