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?

KMGR of "Nitro Street Racing 2"

COLOGNE, GERMANY - AUGUST 19:  A visitor plays...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Nitro Street Racing 2 is a sequel to the origina NitroRacing by Gameloft, and this time, it truly is MOTS (more of the same), albeit tweaked. The result is a decent racer, but with "city scapes" and some sort of choice when it comes ot the actual route, that made it a combination of most racing games. The end result is a bit of chop suey: a little of everything, but not all they added are fun.

The game gives you access to ONE car to start, but as you gain "levels" (by earning street creds via missions and winning races) you'll get access to more, and of course, none of the cars are free. You will need to pay for them using your "winnings". There are also plenty of parts to upgrade, though you unlcok them one or two items at a time. However, money is a bit too easy to come by in this game, and many of the parts makes no sense.

There is a "campaign", where you join the a local underground racing team that's also in the business of intimidation and a bit of turf war, along with FBI undercover agent and stuff. Between missions you can roam the streets and explore the city, and do the pickup missions (sprint, speed camera, duel, destruction, etc.) and earn more $$$ and street creds at the same time.

If you thought all of this sounds a bit familiar, that's because it IS used in several of Gameloft's mobile "racers" before, except for the free roam city and alternate routes. Those are out of the PC racers.

The game thrown in a bit of a NFS:Most Wanted by adding the police and a WANTED meter. You are encouraged to do a bit of "destruction", such as run civilian cars off the road, slam through signs, and so on. If you do it often enough, police cars will try to force you off the road, but they are easy enough to deal with, and there are "safezones" to reduce your wanted level to zero, and those ARE marked on the map.

Money is a bit easy to come by, and you are encouraged to do the side missions which does keep things interesting. If you don't win a mission, you are given the chance to retry immediately. And for some of the missions, you will need to.

Actual driving takes a bit of ugetting used to. You are encouraged to drift around corners, even though it may not be the fastest way. You have a multi-stage nitro, where you can choose to have a little boost (and use a little nitro), or you can have a bigger boost (using more nitro) or max boost (and almost the whole bottle), and later parts upgrade will increase the nitro bottle capacity even more. You can also recharge the nitro bottle via powerups on the roads, or go through a gas station (more of a 'gate' on the road). Other powerups include repair and money.

There are a lot of "achievements" you can aim for, such as very long jump, very long drift, destroy a lot of cars, unlock all cars, and so on. Most will give a monetary bonus as well.

After each race (main or side) you get at tally of money you racked up. There's main winnings, plus all style bonuses, and destruction bonuses... and so on and so forth. Those bonuses can be as much or even MORE than the main winnings.

There are more than one city region to race in, with different maps and all that. There is a map and a GPS so you can use that to plan your route. You can drive to the various missions on the map (or garage), or you can choose it from the map and save the driving time. Driving however, lets you rack up a bit of destruction bonus, as well as pick up a couple powerups.

The cars are realy 2D, acting as 3D, and it's hard to describe... It's more Outrun Turbo than a true 3D racer. Not saying it's bad, but it's not true 3D, when you know that mobile racing games can do better.. MUCH better. AI also rubber-bands... I.e. they seem to catch up when left far behind, and slow down when far ahead. So a lot seems to be in terms of TIMING when to use your hoarded amount of nitro.

One of the missions is VERY tough as all of a sudden you're prohibited from hitting cars. Hit even just ONE (except the cops), and you fail the mission. This is ridiculous as hitting other cars was encouraged in all previous missions, and most vehicles travel way too fast to even DODGE other cars. You have to pick the slowest ride, and tap brakes frequently to go slow enough. What's worse, in the 2nd part of the mission the cops are after you, and if you stop you fail as well!

The vehicle upgrades also don't make much sense. All vehicles get the SAME upgrades, even the motorcycle, be they FWD, RWD, or 4WD, turbo or non-turbo. And who makes hoods out of titanium when carbon fiber is available? And who says HARD tires are better than soft tires? (and the costs are ridiculously low)

All in all, Nitro Street Racing 2 is exactly what you'd expect in a sequel: MOTS. You can find better looking games such as Fast and Furious: Pink Slip 3D, but it's not as "free form" as this, nor does it have a campaign mode or car upgardes like this, but I can't help but feel that the car upgrades are more fluff than actual benefit to the racing, and overall the game just feel "tacked on" instead of actually being challenging, due to the rubber-banding AI.

Pros: one of the "bigger" racers on mobile, alternate routes, lots of upgrades
Cons: very "MOTS", most upgrades are "fluff", AI rubberbands, less-than-good graphics
Verdict: closest thing to Tokyo Street Racer or NFS: Most Wanted on a mobile

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