Video Game Review: 'NASCAR Unleashed'
I'm all for an aggressive
So it made me happy to play "NASCAR Unleashed" on the 360 last month, with its simplistic arcade nature and its numerous options. When I heard there was a version available for
"NASCAR Unleashed" on the 3DS has more limited options than the previous versions. You can still choose to take on a quick race, go for broke in Championship Mode, see how you fare in the Time Trial, or challenge friends locally via Co-Op Championship or a Versus Quick Race. I say limited because, well, you can't hop online and take on the competition in a breezy race. You're stuck looking around for local players and seeing if they're up for playing bumper cars. That beats nothing, but come on - there's not like a registered "NASCAR Unleashed" user base to root through here.
Quick Race is "Unleashed's" best option on the 3DS, as you'll quickly complete objectives that pop up on the screen while smashing into opponents and gunning for first. It's quick and breezy, and sometimes the track conditions can be quite creative, even allowing you to defy gravity for a few seconds as you gun for the lead. On the downside, the handling leaves something to be desired, as the steering can feel a little loose, leading to unnecessary crashes. The D-pad fares a little better than the analog, but not by much.
Where the real frustration of "NASCAR Unleashed" lies is in its incredible difficulty spikes. For a kids' game, this is unbelievably nuts. In Time Trial, for instance, you're given a pre-set number of times for gold, silver and bronze. Yet even the most dedicated drivers will be hard-pressed to barely make the bronze, making us wonder if we're missing out on some shortcuts or turbo boosts. Nope . . .
But Time Trial is a cakewalk compared to Championship. Here, the AI shows undoubtedly high signs of aggression, barely letting up on you even if you take the lead. Now, "rubberbanding" AI is acceptable, because we like a competitive race as much as the next guy. But these guys don't even get to that level, instead keeping a consistent lead on you and forcing you to end up way behind in the finishes - thus starting the race again. It would be great to be given an advantage, or even have a difficulty slider to make things a little more fair, but alas, neither is provided, and as a result, the Championship feels like a drag. You might not even make it through a whole circuit without hurling your 3DS across the room.
"NASCAR Unleashed" 3DS doesn't look bad, as the 3-D effect is pretty good and some of the courses literally pop out at you. But the cars look tacky, and we don't just mean for the advertisements plastered all over them. They appear unfinished around the edges, and don't nearly show as much battle wear as they should. Furthermore, the game is missing some of its trademark drivers, a real shame considering that the entire
The music doesn't fare much better, packed with typical rock crap that doesn't rise above the norm. The sound effects are OK, but very repetitive . . . and tiring in some ways.
In an attempt to jump into the handheld racing market,
NASCAR Unleashed - Gameplay Trailer
- 'Fusion: Genesis' (Xbox Live Arcade)
- 'Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Patriots'
- Fourth 'FIFA Street' Game Breaks from Its Past
- 'NASCAR Unleashed'
- 'Dezaemon Kids!' (PlayStation Network)
- 'Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary'
- 'Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone'
- 'Pirates of Black Cove'
- Thought Leaders: John Laird
- High School Teachers Make Video Gaming Academic
- PC Gaming in Motion
- 'F.E.A.R. 3'
- 'From Dust'
- Gears of War 3 Achievement Challenge
- Top 11 Video Games for Fitness
- Dust 514 Brings MMO EVE OnlineM Into the FPS Market
- Watching End of Nations Fall
- Thought Leaders: Greg Kasavin
- 'Zenonia 3: The Midgard Story'
- 'The Longest Journey'
- Puzzle Dimension
- A Rage Like No Other
- MMO EVE Online Expands Into the FPS Market
- Fallen Enchantress Is Set to Rise: Part 2
- A Gamer's Education
- Future for Slates, Tablets and iPads
- 'Terraria' and 'Universe Sandbox'
- 'MotorStorm: Apocalypse'
- Cakewalk Case Studies: Sean Murray and Tim Wynn
- Thought Leaders: Bonnie Nardi
- Chatting With John Martin of Reallusion
- 'Galaga 30th Collection'
- The Way of the Samurai: Chatting With James Russell of The Creative Assembly
- Audio for Games Reimagined: SONAR X1
- 'Hunted: The Demon's Forge'
- Baseball Simulation in MLB 2K11: Part 2
- Video Game Thought Leaders: Matt Ployhar
- Daggerdale - Talking With Tim Ernst of Bedlam Studios
- Fallen Enchantress Is Set to Rise
- 'Mortal Kombat' and the First Amendment
- 'Infamous 2'
- 'Fable III'
- E3 2011 Showcases a Big Year for PC Gaming
- Happiness Is a Warm Gun: Chatting With Emotional Robots
- 'Fate of the World'
- 'The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings'
- 'L.A. Noire'
- PlayStation Network: After the Fall
- Value Proposition - PC or Console Games?
Video Games: 'NASCAR Unleashed'
Copyright © 2011 GamerLive Networks Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
Your Favorite Comic Strips Online
Your favorite comics strips Animal Crackers, Annie, Bound & Gagged, Brenda Starr, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy, Broom-Hilda, Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Gil Thorp, Housebroken, Loose Parts, The Middletons, Pink Panther, Raising Hector, Sylvia, 9 to 5, Bliss, Bottom Liners, Love Is..., Pluggers all online at ComicStripNation.com