Need For Speed: Shift

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Another year, another Need For Speed title. Electronic Arts have followed the trend of releasing a new game in the series almost annually, with new title 'Shift' fast approaching. Need for speed was once amongst the most seminal and popular racing titles, and indeed does remain well loved these days- if the game didn't sell the production of sequels wouldn't be called for. However, the workmanly nature of their gameplay and unenthusiastic approach means that their hasn't been a truly great title in the series since Wanted in 2005.

Shift looks to be trying to break away from the usual formula however, as the basics of the game are being reverted. Need For Speed has always been famed for the offroad or city races of the past, but in Shift the racing takes place on actual racetracks. It appears that there will be a host of different cars to race in, from some slightly modified models of your ordinary car to, eventually, the Le Mans Prototypes that can supposedly reach speeds of 200 miles per hour. It's good to see that the immense speeds the series is famed for look to remain intact.

Shift features a very impressive cockpit view, with a high level of attention to detail. Speeding up can send your head back against your seat, and braking will push your torso forward and up close to the windshield. These features may seem small, but in-game they serve to create the most realistic experience possible, adding a further dimension to the gameplay.

With a summer release in mind, EA are hoping that the name of Need For Speed is still enough to garner interest in their game. After years of unambitious releases, Need For Speed Shift does look to mix up the formula a little, adding a few new quirks into the, admittedly, tried and tested formula. Will this be enough for the fans? Probably. And then there's always next year!

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Wii Love Racing!

February 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Since the release of the Wii, the console has struggled to promote an appealing range of racing games. Some teething problems in getting to grips with the motion sensors and other controller orientated troubles led the racing genre to have a slow start on the Wii. However, over time developers have got to grips with the new system and some truly great games have surfaced. Here we list three of the best;

Excite Truck was one of the Wii's launch games, and one of the few early racers to actually get it right. This game is so much fun it still stands amongst our top racing games. Whilst this title doesn't offer any multiplayer options, it instead provides a rip-roaring racing experience, wherein sheer, unadulterated speed is the law. The game, as with most other Wii racing titles, is played with the Wii remote. The remote is held in a horizontal position in front of the player and tilted from side to side to steer. Pressing the D-pad engages your boost, which can be activated at any time but will overheat and slow down your engine if overused.

The visuals are breathtaking, and the gameplay may seem a bit one-note, but then isnt that what most racing games are about?

Next up we have Need for Speed Carbon, which builds upon the ideals of this being a street racing game. This title incorporates car shop and customization options, street car races, and police car chases into the usual mix. Being able to customize your car’s paint job, engine, etc. alone make this a very replayable game, and the races themselves are everything we’ve come to expect from the Need For Speed series; fast, furious and utterly enjoyable.

And finally, of course, we have Mario Kart Wii. This game actually offers a total of four different control schemes, first is the aforementioned Wii remote. The game comes with a “Wii Wheel”, for inserting the remote inside for easier handling. The second is the Wii “remote & nunchuk” scheme, where the game is controlled as you would normally play a game after inserting the nunchuk into the remote. Also, the game is compatible with both Gamecube and Classic Controllers.

Mario Kart also offers online multiplayer options. This is possibly the most enjoyable online game ever to be played, and it quickly becomes clear that Mario Kart was MADE for multiplayer. It's just that much fun! Throw in motorcycle racing which offersa fresh spin on the classic kart-racing gameplay, and you have a truly complete racing package.

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