Star Wars Episode 1 – Racer is still waiting for a new release date. Meanwhile a look at the PC port might be worth a try.
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A shocking delay
Star Wars Episode 1 – Racer should have been originally published for PS4 and Switch on May 12th. Then the developer Aspyr announced a short delay for the PS4 version which should be released on May 26th. The Switch version was still supposed to launch at the original date. On May 11th, one day before the launch, Aspyr surprisingly announced the delay of BOTH versions to an unknown date. The only information was that it still might happen in the near future.
The situation has not changed so far. We don’t know when it will be released. We also don’t know if the Switch version will still be published first or if both versions will launch simultaneously.
Fans of the game have reacted differently to the announcement. While some understand the issue and acknowledge it as a given problem of the industry, many are not amused by the sudden delay.
When a journey to the past is still in the future
The temper of the fans is primarily motivated by nostalgia. Star Wars Racer was a hit when it launched on N64 in 1999 and later on Sega Dreamcast and PC. For many passionate racing fans or gamer in general, it was one of the first big Star Wars games. On top of that, it was definitely quite a good game and not one of the examples that brought licensed games their bad reputation.
Rushing one meter above the ground at insane speed with all the pod drivers from the movie and even beyond: That was something fascinating for every young person or Star Wars fan back then. Besides the original track on Tatooine, we got to see a lot of other circuits around the galaxy, all set on planets of well-known names like Malastare, but also in rather unknown places like Aquilaris.
The game came with cinematics and voice acting in an until then unknown quality for N64. It also motivated the player with podracer tuning at Watto’s garage and the pit droid feature, letting you repare overheated or damaged parts of your podracer on the fly during a race. As the procedure slowed your pod down a bit, the feature brought some tactics into the high-speed races.
The gameplay is similar to Nintendo’s F-Zero series and still works like it did 20 years ago. Fans were really eager to get that feeling to-go on Nintendo Switch or in high resolution on the big screen on PS4.
Is it worth waiting?
If we take a look at the list of features, we realize that there aren’t many new features, at least compared to the original:
– 25 playable racers, including Anakin Skywalker, Sebulba, and Ratts Tyerell
– Race tracks spanning 8 unique worlds, including: Tatooine, Baroonda, and Malastare
– Work with pit droids to upgrade your podracer for higher top speeds and acceleration
– Discover shortcuts and secrets to master your lap times
– Split-screen multiplayer (Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4) and LAN multiplayer (Nintendo Switch)
Of course the game will get modern resolution and new cinematics as well. The PS4 version is even supposed to look fine on a 4K TV according to Aspyr. The controls will also be overhauled in an attempt to feel “more natural”. But aside from that, we will see nothing new and the graphics itself won’t look as modern as you can witness in this fanmade UE4 demo:
So if you don’t insist on playing on the bus, you can also have a look at the re-released PC version on CD Project Red’s gaming platform GOG. Two years ago, the PC version of Star Wars Episode 1 – Racer was updated with Full-HD resolution and brought back to the gamers for the first time. It was also not a classic version remastered, but no one can deny that it definitely looks way better than the original. If you truly want the original feeling with the unique controls, then this version might suit you even better than the Switch or PS4 releases – and you won’t even have to wait.
Source: Star Wars Episode 1 – Racer