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Need for Speed: Nitro Review


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On 03/30/2010 at 05:20 PM by Lukasz Balicki

After a series of mediocre sequels, my "need for speed" has finally been rekindled.
RECOMMENDATION:

Fans of arcade-like racers with an excellent sense of speed will truly enjoy this title. If you are a fan of realistic racing simulation titles, you might find this title a little too shallow.

The Need for Speed series had a great start many years ago, as well as a number of enjoyable sequels. Unfortunately, over time, the series lost its luster and many of the newer titles in the series were either dull or mediocre. Need for Speed Nitro is the latest game in the series, and one that EA has made specifically for Wii. While it's not as deep as a realistic racing simulation game, this fast paced arcade title is one of the better racing games on Wii.

There are two main gameplay modes in Nitro, Arcade and Career mode. Arcade mode allows you to perform exhibition races in any of the locales available in the game. In arcade mode you can also chose from cars from various classes, such as city cars, performance cars, or super cars. I found that the Arcade mode serves as a decent way to practice on courses that trouble players in the Career mode.

Career mode, like in many other games, is the true main mode of the title. Players start off their quest as a nobody with a terrible car. As you take part in races, you will earn money, which can be used to purchase new and better cars. In each course you can earn up-to-five stars, with each star being awarded when meeting the objectives listed at the start of the race. The more stars you earn, the higher payout you receive from the race.

In career mode, you will visit various locales and there are different race types in each location. The only bad part about career mode is that the race types are quite repetitive since you have to do the same race types in each location. Test Drive races help break up the monotony, allowing players to race in extremely powerful and fast cars.

By far the worst race type in the game is the drag race, which shouldn't even be called a race. In drag race you have to press a button at the correct time to shift to a higher gear while avoiding traffic, once you reach the final gear you have to boost at a strategic time in order to reach the finish line first. At best, the drag race feels like a lame mini-game that was forced into the final product.

The game features five different control schemes. If you want to play the game with traditional control schemes, the Classic and GameCube controllers are compatible with the title and both control schemes are identical. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk control scheme is similar to the traditional control schemes with the exception that swinging the Wii Remote will trigger the nitro boost. The most unique control schemes take use of the Wii Remote. The first Wii Remote control scheme uses the Wii Wheel allowing players to steer their cars similarly to any other racing titles on Wii that take advantage of the peripheral. The other is holding the Wii Remote vertically with one hand. With this control scheme you tilt the Wii Remote left and right to steer. All of the control schemes work well, leaving the choice up to the player and their preference.

The most memorable aspect of Need for Speed Nitro is its presentation. Not only does the game run at a very smooth framerate that never drops, the sense of speed is one of the best I have ever experienced in a racing title. The game’s graffiti is the coolest aspect, allowing players to put decals on their car in any way. When players are in first place, the buildings in the city are covered with the same pattern and color used on your car. This aspect provides a truly unique mechanic that hasn't been really done in any other racing title.

The career mode’s repetitive nature is easily the worst aspect of the game. Players will find themselves doing the same types of races in different locations and over time, the game starts to feel a little stale. The game also lacks depth when compared to most other racing titles. There’s no online mode and a lack of options, which fans of realistic racing titles won’t likely appreciate.

Overall, Need for Speed Nitro is a great and a very enjoyable game with some minor faults. If you enjoy arcade-racing titles with a great sense of speed or the Burnout series, you will really enjoy this title. Fans of realistic racing titles should rent the title first, as its lack of depth is likely to turn them off.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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