Metropolis Street Racer
From Sega Retro
|Metropolis Street Racer|
|System(s): Sega Dreamcast|
|Peripherals supported: Jump Pack, Dreamcast Modem, Race Controller, Visual Memory Unit, Dreamcast VGA Box|
|Number of players: 1-8|
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Metropolis Street Racer, known as Metropolis during development and frequently listed simply as MSR, is a racing game developed by Bizarre Creations for the Sega Dreamcast. Highly praised at the time of release, MSR was often considered to be the Dreamcast's answer to the PlayStation's Gran Turismo racing series, as it has over 250 circuits (set in real-world locations) and numerous officially licensed cars.
MSR's origins date back to 1997 when Sega's Kats Sato was tasked with finding out who had developed the PlayStation games Formula 1 and Formula 1 Championship Edition for Sony Computer Entertainment. Reportedly Sato purposely pulled the power cable at a display at E3 1996 to see the game's intoductory credits, and, upon discovering the team was Bizarre Creations, a meeting was arranged with Kazutoshi Miyake in an attempt to get the team to produce games for Sega instead.
Sega initially wanted the team to work on Sega Saturn titles, but the plea was rebuffed. Bizarre Creation's head, Martyn Chudley, however kept in contact, and was won over when Sega demonstrated a prototype Dreamcast (then codenamed Dural). Bizarre weren't keen on the original proposal to create more Formula One games, but agreed to make a "serious city-based game with real cars".
Metropolis Street Racer had an extremely rocky development cycle, being announced well in advance of the Dreamcast's Western launch and repeatedly missing deadlines over the course of a year. It was reportedly the first Dreamcast project to be started in the United Kingdom.
While initially aimed at the Dreamcast European launch date (1999-09-28 as it was then), the game did not materialise fully until November 2000, at a time when Dreamcast sales were on the decline. Development on a Japanese release was started but never completed.
Thirty hours of real-life footage from the streets of London, Tokyo and San Francisco were captured in order to create accurate representations of the host cities, as well as 32,000-35,000 photographs. Initially the team wanted to let players drive down every street, but to maintain the same level of accuracy across the experience, the task proved too daunting. Some of these roads are partially modelled in the final game, but are blocked off by invisible walls.
The cars in Metropolis Street Racer are officially licensed and are designed around real specifications supplied by manufacturers. The use of licensed cars, however, meant that none of the vehicles were allowed to be deformable. The physics model is mostly accurate, but the handling was slightly adjusted to make the game more fun.
Richard Jacques who had at this point composed many soundtracks for Sega, provided the audio for the game. He recorded car revving noises at a "motor industry research centre" (whose location was not disclosed through fears of tipping off rival developers).
Metropolis Street Racer originally launched in PAL regions with a number of bugs, so much so that the game was recalled and Sega felt the need to issue replacement discs (the later North American version is the bug-fixed version, although not all the bugs were actually fixed). A replay option, included in review copies of the game, was scrapped at the last minute due to time restraints.
Despite initially high expectations, MSR sold 101,757 units in the U.S. through January 2003 according to NPD Group. In the UK 13,297 were sold in the week ending November 4th, 2000 according to Chart-Track. In Germany it debuted at number one in Media Control's November 2000 Dreamcast chart. Martyn Chudley described releasing the game exclusively on the Dreamcast at this time was like "The Beatles exclusively selling The White Album on Mars". £1 million of Bizarre Creations' own money went into the project, and although the team was happy to port the game to the PlayStation 2, management at Sega declined the offer.
- Managing Director: Martyn Chudley
- Business Director: Sarah Dixon
- Technical Director: Walter Lynsdale
- Design, Structure and Frontend: Martyn Chudley
- Technical Coding: Roger Perkins
- Engine and Dynamics Coding: Walter Lynsdale
- Tools and Effects Coding: Phil Snape
- AI Coding: Dave Al-Daini
- Sound Coding: Jonathan Amor
- 3D modelling and Textures (Tokyo): Jon Dugdale, Paul Spencer
- 3D modelling and Textures (San Francisco): Matt Sharatt, Glen Griffiths
- 3D modelling and Textures (Tokyo): Julie McGurren, Derek Chapman
- Car Modelling: Steve Heaney
- Car and City Textures: Lee Carter
- Frontend Artwork and City Textures: Gren Atherton
- Senior Producer: Brian Woodhouse
- Associate Producer: Peter Wallace
- Production Support: Glynn Williams
- Bizarre PR: Sarah Dixon
- Office Management: Michelle Langton
- QA Manager: Ged Talbot
- QA: Kevin Reilly
- Director of Product Development: Naohiko Hoshino
- Executive Producer: Kats Sato
- Sound Producer: Richard Jacques
- Associate Producer: Jose Aller
- Test Manager: Jason Cumberbatch
- Lead Tester: Pete O'Brien
- Technical Support Manager: Serge Plagnol
- Hardware Engineer: Tamer Tahsin
- Support Engineer: Sandeep Bisla
- Spanish Translator: Roberto Párraga-Sánchez
- German Translator: Angelika Michitsch
- French Translator: Caroline Ruiz
- European Product Marketing Manager: Jim Pride
- European Product Marketing Executive: Mathew Quaeck
- UK: Tunde Orelaja
- Localization Producer: Howard Gipson
- Supervising Producer: Jason Kuo
- Lead Tester: Benji Galvez
- Assistant Lead Testers: Shawn Dobbins, Robert Reich
- Localization Manager: Osamu Shibamiya
- Testers: Gabrielle Brown, Jason Jensen, Steven Jee, Devin Tomcik, Jason Mercer, Todd Slepian, Rafael Meza, John Saito, Eric Ling, Joseph Amper, Derek Wong, Aaron Poser, Walter Kim, Daniel Airey, Shaheed Khan, JR Villatuya, Raymond Kwan, David Taleg, Chester Lee, Michael Jones, Joseph Mora
- Product Manager: Rob Alvarez
- Associate Product Manager: Dennis Lee
- Director Product Marketing: John Golden
- Public Relations: Heather Hawkins, Gwen Marker
- Source: US manual
- Main article: Metropolis Street Racer/Magazine articles.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
- Official Dreamcast Magazine, "Holiday 2000" (US; 2000-11-28), page 87
- Computer & Video Games, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-11-15), page 82
- Sega Magazin, "Dezember 2000" (DE; 2000-1x-xx), page 13
- Hyper, "February 2001" (AU; 2000-12-20), page 44
- Edge, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-19), page 46
- Edge, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-19), page 47
- Next Generation, "July 1999" (US; 1999-06-22), page 32
- Edge, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-19), page 48
- Arcade, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-06), page 13
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, "July 2000" (US; 2000-06-06), page 64
- Edge, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-19), page 49
- Edge, "June 1999" (UK; 1999-05-19), page 50
- Next Generation, "July 1999" (US; 1999-06-22), page 34
- File:Metropolis Street Racer DC US Manual.pdf, page 25
- Official Dreamcast Magazine, "March 2001" (US; 2001-01-28), page 24
- Consoles +, "Décembre 2000" (FR; 2000-xx-xx), page 88-90 (88)
- Computer & Video Games, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-11-15), page 82-83 (82)
- Edge, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-11-02), page 98/99 (98)
- Hyper, "February 2001" (AU; 2000-12-20), page 44-45 (44)
- VideoGamer, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-xx-xx), page 46