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NASCAR Racing Review

Shawn_Sanders By:
GENRE Racing 
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Outdated, boring, and repetitive.

NASCAR Racing for the PlayStation was originally a PC game released in 1994. At that time, the realism, number of options, and true to life tracks put it at the top of the racing genre. Now, in 1997, NASCAR Racing has lost its excitement in the translation to the PlayStation with sub-par graphics, stiff controls, and repetitive gameplay.

The low frame rate and repetitive use of textures becomes quicklyannoying. The cars you can select look good, but, with the seemingly lower than usual screen resolution, looking at any car besides your own will make you think that you're developing cataracts. Everything except for the car directly in front of you is just a blurry blob flying around.

The tracks are all real locations ('cept for the "fantasy" tracks) and if you're a NASCAR fan this will certainly appeal to you. All the tracks are scaled down versions of the real life tracks, creating the realistic experience of racing around in circles. The two "fantasy" tracks are the only tracks that have varying graphics and environments. The team that put NASCAR together looks like they were more into making a racing game through forests and canyons rather than a simulation game.

The whole point of racing is to come in first place by getting ahead of the other racers and then staying ahead of them. Usually in video games, this is great fun. But then in most games the tracks go in all kinds of directions with all kinds of terrain. In NASCAR racing, you are stuck on pavement tracks that go in circles. For true NASCAR fans who can't get enough of racing and for people who just love the thought of going around in circles hundreds of times, this is the perfect game. For the rest of the world, the game throws us into stupefying boredom.

The engine sound is blaring and unrealistic. It sounds more like a kazoo than a twelve cylinder engine going at 180 miles per hour. The crash sounds are a lot better, and when the windshield glass flies you'll know it. The music is the usual racing heavy metal score that goes along nicely with the game.

The game has two modes, Arcade and Simulation. The arcade mode is really irrelevant, NASCAR racing was originally intended to be a simulation, and the game was programmed to be that way. The thought of 'arcade' brings to mind fast action with speedy racing which is not apparent in NASCAR's arcade mode. The simulation mode, which shined on the PC, didn't translate fully in this painfully mediocre product.

The controls are really stiff and are a pain to use. I think they just attempted to be too realistic with a didgital controller. It is extremely difficult to steer the car, and the controls are overly tight. Smooth controls are vital to the enjoyment of all racing games. Tight, jerky controls are all we are offered.

This game was drastically disappointing. Fans of NASCAR for the PC will be appalled by it's unsatisfactory game play. If your looking for fun on the race track, try Wipeout XL instead. I only recommend this game for extreme NASCAR fanatics.

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