About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "NASCAR '09" (EA Sports)

EA's NASCAR license is almost a license to publish money... Just update the game every year and add some new features. I reviewed the NASCAR '07 3D not too long ago, and gave it a 7.5. I'd expect this game to do at least just as well. Sadly, it ain't so. EA have introduced so many bugs and glitches, this game is a lot worse than the NASCAR '07 3D mobile. I would suggest you buy the old one, and ignore this new one, and I usually don't do stuff like this.

To describe the game is a little difficult... Let's just say that NASCAR '09, like NASCAR '07, is a "tactical car race sim". The objective, of course, is to reach the finish line first.

What's different from other racing sims is the AI will keep the car in the "lane". You decide which lane to be in (i.e. left or right) and what mode to go at: reckless (red), fast (yellow), or normal (green). Some corners can be taken faster at a certain lane than others. You can switch lanes to block other drivers from passing you, or you may want to line up behind someone to get "drafting". If you are drafting someone (shown by the draft-o-meter), you can go in a slower mode and still enjoy faster speed. You also consume fuel and tire at a lesser rate than when you're NOT drafting someone.

The fuel that you have is never enough, so you will have to pit. In fact, you have the option of playing 8 lap, 16 lap, 32 lap, or full 300 lap (!) races. You will pit a LOT. Pitting, in fact, is a major part of the strategy, You want to pit during yellow flag, and you want to make a FAST pitstop by doing as little as possible (change 2 tires instead of 4, just a splash of fuel instead of fill the tank, minimal instead of full repairs...). However, you need enough fuel to finish the race, you need enough tires so you can do the corners fast, and you need minimal / no body damage so you can go fast (aerodynamics). It's all decisions you have to make on the track as you race. That's why I call it "tactical racing sim".

Drafting, in fact, is so important, that it's the only way you'll really pass. When you fill the draft-o-meter, you gain a bit of a reserve speed. As you slide out from behind the other car, you have like a 3-5 second "turbo" period where you are suddenly doing 20+ MPH faster than your normal top speed. Use this sudden short burst of speed to pass other cars, but don't pass so many that you can't get back into drafting!

So what changed from '07 to '09? I am afraid it's a change for the worse. The game's framerate seems to have suffered. The sound effects are MUCH WORSE. The AI seems to cause a lot more collisions and you hear "crunch" sounds all the time. There's NO engine roar at all, not even when you pass someone or someone passes you. And what's worse, collision detection is horrendous. Twice I've seen this: slide the car behind someone going slow, and that car will back up ALL THE WAY THROUGH YOUR CAR, then work its way THROUGH YOUR CAR AGAIN, this time forward, thus doing major damage to both your front and rear. Also, the car's handling seems much twitchier. What used to be a safe corner to take at "fast" (yellow) with good tires must now be done in "normal" (green). There are also some severe graphical glitches. In some of the 3D rotations as you pan onto the car you control, the polygons don't clip correctly, and for a moment you thought you're looking at a Craftsman truck instead of NASCAR stock car.

The roster has been updated, but you get LESS info now. You no longer see which brand of car or sponsor the driver has, just his portrait, his number, and a TINY pic of his car / paint scheme.

You do get to play through a whole season instead of just "The Chase" for the driver's championship points, but that's not much of a compensation. Esp. with all the glitches and problem reported earlier.

All in all, I can only give this title a 6.5, which is a whole point LOWER than 7.5 I gave to NASCAR'07. It's bigger, later, but not better at all.

Overall: 6.5
Pros: updated roster, ability to play full season
Cons: much twitchier car, horrendous collision detection, major graphical glitches

Zemanta Pixie

No comments:

Post a Comment