Flashback Friday took a holiday for the death of Jesus last week so apologies for those sitting on the edge of their seats last Friday morning in anticipation!  Anyway, we’re back now – so lets get to it!

Project Gotham Racing.  What a game!  The first of its name, but a spiritual successor to Metropolis Streetracer on the Dreamcast.  PGR was different though.  Like Halo, it was an original Xbox exclusive title.  The PS2 had Gran Turismo.  PGR on the other hand was not geared towards out and out simulation in the way GT was.  Winning a race didn’t guarantee progression to the next stage.  Advancement depended on speed and style.  Power-sliding round corners or similar feats of driving skill powered the Kudos bar.  Enough Kudos meant you could take your pick of new cars in the store to go even faster!

Okay so the handling was a little bit ridiculous and the opposition AI felt a bit cheap at times, there was so much game for your money here!  The Xbox was well known to have more grunt than the PS2 (although this didn’t add up to more sales) at the time and every single horse had been poured into making PGR look absolutely fantastic.  London, New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo were all modelled realistically and were an absolute pleasure to drive around.  It had Big Ben!  And you could drive right past it!

It was a prime candidate to showcase another new Xbox feature too.  Custom soundtracks.  Sure, Bizarre Creations had poured hours into creating their own audio utopia just for us.  But, what did that matter when you could blaze through Time Square whilst blasting out Incubus?!

Let’s not get too carried away.  PGR wasn’t perfect, as already mentioned.  But, it put racing on the Xbox on the map and along with Halo presented a pretty desirable package for those looking to pick up a beastly (in both performance and size!) new console with a couple of terrific launch titles.

Did you play PGR?  Do you long for Bizarre game’s racing heyday?  Let us know in the comments below.