For most of the people on the Old Continent Nascar racing is a bit odd and unknown motor sport. For most, this is a race in which the cars only turn left and go in circle until they all crash into each other, eventually. People are confused of all these cars that look the same, perform the same and even pit at the same time. Apart of the sponsors livery and colors Nascar cars are absolutely identical. And for many…. absolutely boring.
Well, this is all quite true. But for a real racing fan, who knows the thrill of driving at 200 mph in just inches behind the bumper of the car in front, waiting for the moment of slingshotting the car out of the slipstream, the game can be a decent racing experience. Just the actual rules and regulation of this north american motor sport, make this game different and exotic. Strange to understand but very, very interesting.
The game has a few basic rules that you need to follow in order to progress. You need to hold a steady line almost all the time. Racing at a constant speed of over 180 mph requires total concentration and the slightest mistake can throw you into the concrete wall or spin your car until you find yourself at the back of the pack. So don’t be too confident when you start. Just because you’ve raced many video racers before, don’t necessarily mean that you know everything yet.
This is where Jeff Gordon’s tutorial comes in handy. The Nascar champion will show you all you need to know and adapt to the american style racing. The races are divided in Career, Sprint Challenge, Test and Tune modes. In the challenge and career modes, you will have to complete various challenges in order to gain fame and reputation. The rep is what brings new sponsors and is accumulated from your ranking: leading most laps, lead between you and opponents, clean races, lap records etc. It is not just about winning races, building reputation is much important as well.
Visually the game is not great. I mean it is good, but it’s nothing phenomenal to be honest. And most surprisingly, Nascar 09 looks better on Xbox360 then the PlayStation3. Times better. Normally is the other way round but what do you know, eh? Reflections and car damage are a bit dull but like some other race games, its the racing that actually matters. And because of the total concentration required, a cockpit simulator is an absolute must have. Keeping the ideal race line for 200 laps is not an easy job sitting on the sofa with your back bent towards the coffee table. With the simulator you can focus much better on you race and strategy. Because Nascar can be a very tricky race and it is not to be underestimated. Not at all.
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date: June 10, 2008