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We first heard the Street Racing Syndicate name mentioned around the turn of the millennium when it turned up on a 3DO (remember them?) press kit. Well, the 3DO imprint has disappeared, but the SRS phrase never went away. There's no trace of the 3DO mark on this game - nothing visible anyway - but with a Namco logo on the pack to reassure us, we're surely in for a smooth ride, right? These are the people who brought us Ridge Racer after all, and this is their take on the tuner culture. Electronic Arts' Need for Speed Underground caught on like someone setting fire to flames, so what can SRS do to steal some of the accolades that (undeservedly in our opinion) went to EA's overrated racer.
Brought to home video consoles by Codemasters, Street Racing Syndicate uses, as has now become the norm in the fast expanding genre of street racing/car tuning games, a free-roaming approach to game progression; in other words, you're free to cruise the streets looking for opponents, girls and places of interest, just like in real life. Cash and respect are the two most important aspects of Street Racing Syndicate. Cash is used for the obvious - race entry fees, upgrades, wagers and so on. Respect has to be earned, and is a measure of how well the other racers regard your standing and reputation. Respect is earned by winning races, impressing girls and pulling off some nifty drift moves.
Players can choose from 40+ performance cars, from seven well-known manufacturers, including Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota and Mazda. To give themselves the extra edge, players can modify their car with a selection of aftermarket tuning and body-styling products.
With four Arcade racing modes for a quick racing fix and a two player multiplayer mode as well as the chance to take on the career of a genuine street racer, Street Racing Syndicate gets the green light for go from us.