Nascar Rumble Review
EA Sports' Nascar series for the Playstation is pretty accurate to the real thing. I personally think that watching a real Nascar race is kind of boring, because it just doesn't have the energy to pump my adrenaline. Well it seems as if a few programmers from EA Sports may feel the same way about Nascar and have decided to break all the rules as well as road signs. Nascar Rumble is EA's newest and meanest game since FIFA 2000, taking the arcade approach Nascar Rumble is a San Francisco Rush's fan dream come true. When SF Rush was ported over to the PSX it was a very stale and empty conversion from the arcade, loyalists bought it but weren't satisfied much. But now never fear 'cause Nascar Rumble is finally here. See how the game stacks up against EA Sports' other great titles.
Racers such as Gran Turismo 2 have very high detailed graphics, there aren't many racers that can really compare to GT2's monstrous visuals but Nascar Rumble can. Unlike GT2, Nascar Rumble has no pop-up at all, the backgrounds are in excellent detail and they will never leave you questioning where the next turn is. The car detail is solid, all the Nascar cars look as close as possible to there real life counterparts, the chroming used is very clean looking and adds a lot more polish to the games overall look and feel. The frame rate is never sluggish and even in the two-player mode the FPS manages to keep very steady with still no pop up. I really have to give EA Sports props on the super smooth and lush CG intro that I was greeted with. The intro right away lets you know that you have to prepare for the ride of your life. And if all of that wasn't enough, the track design in the game is some of the best I have seen in a while. So NR gets a definite plus in the visuals, now lets see how the gameplay fares.
Those of you who played SF Rush in the arcades will really love Nascar Rumble, the game takes many of Rush's features and includes Nascar cars, trucks and original car designs courtesy of EA to go along with the action. The shortcuts in the locales are not only death defying but are also so frigin' awesome. I can literally smash into a building and ride right through it almost as if I was re-creating the memorable Lethal Weapon 4 scene all over again. Not only can you smash through buildings but, back alleys, woods and much, much more. To my knowledge every track has at least one killer shortcut just like SF Rush. Although not everything about this game can be compared to SF Rush, Nascar Rumble has power ups that can be picked up and Rush doesn't, so this game is definitely not a knock off of SF Rush, instead it excels in places that games like Rush and Beetle Adventure Racing didn't. If you want to know the weapons the list goes as follows:
- Nitro (Turbo)
- Joker (Random pick up)
- ShockWave (Sends a big wave to nearby racers)
- Big Rumble (When car is touched in front, opponent goes flying)
- Bad Gas (Makes car slowdown and puff out black smoke)
- Oil Slick (Drops oil on floor, oldest trick on the book)
- Twister (Launches a twister that attacks speeders)
- Freeze (Launches a freeze cloud that freezes speeders)
- Storm (launches a dark cloud that attacks speeders and slows them down)
I'm not done yet, we still haven't even gotten to the games core yet, NR (Nascar Rumble) features tons and tons of tracks and vehicles to race on and with. In total the game features 151 Nascar vehicles and 21 hardcore tracks. There are 57 original vehicle designs with 3 different classes, so you are able to play with three different performance varied cars. Still don't get it? You basically have three of each car, with different performance for each car, truck or original EA designed car. The gameplay is something that will please almost any gamer especially if you are into the battle racers.
Most racers have talent behind their soundtracks but Nascar Rumble has its own original soundtrack that EA produced themselves. The beats do keep your adrenaline paced but instead of the soundtrack which by the way sounds very good, I want to talk about the sound effects and quotes that are shouted out by the driver. When playing NR you definitely feel the sound effects send shivers down your spine, the crashes, wind blowing from the tornado, the sound from the storm all give Nascar Rumble a lot more atmosphere and make the game deserve the name Rumble. The sound would have received a higher score if it weren't for the somewhat shallow commentary done by the drivers. The quality and clarity is all there but the way its said is rather annoying but tolerable.
If you have been playing GT2 for the past 2 months than you may have some trouble adjusting to NR's loony control physics that make the game feel even more like an arcade game. The Dual Shock is supported very nicely but only on of the analog sticks works with the game. I am very comfortable with the right stick for motioning the car and the left stick for maneuvering it but I can only use the left stick. Although we gave the game a little challenge to see if the V3 Racing Wheel and the TopDrive Roadster wheels would work. Both wheels worked fine although the TopDive wheel was slightly harder to drive with due to the wheels scattered buttons, making some of the buttons a pain on the ass to reach. Still the control isn't too lacking, if you have a steering wheel or NegCon and like games that can test your reflexes, then Nascar Rumble is definitely the game for you.
Nascar Rumble is a game with some of the nicest visuals and tightest gameplay around. If you are done with Tony Hawk and need your adrenaline to be refilled then be my guest and pick up Nascar Rumble right away. Featuring so much replay value you should not even wait a moment to pick up the game. I really have to give credit where credit is due, congrats to EA Sports for pulling out one hell of a game". (Great, the review is done now I can go back to playing Nascar Rumble for the next 72 hours).