NASCAR 2009 Review
- Posted June 21st, 2008 at 18:03 EDT by
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NASCAR 09 is a step in the right direction, but it’ll still be another year or so until the NASCAR franchise becomes a must-own to those other than diehard fans.
- Great custom design ability
- Improved game mechanics
- Solid online servers
- AI is too predictable
- Lack of offline multiplayer
- Only friends can see custom paintjobs
Ricky Bobby and Tom Cruise couldn’t save NASCAR 08 from the disaster that was EA Sports’ first attempt at next generation stock car racing. That disappointing entry hasn't exactly paved the way for NASCAR 09. With a year of development under its belt, the question still remains: Is it significantly better than last year's installment? While I have to say that it is, it's not hard to improve an almost entirely broken game.
One of the first big draws to fans of the sport is going to be the photo-realistic implementation of Jeff Gordon throughout the game. You’ll be invited into the world of NASCAR the moment you get into the game’s menu system as Gordon is there to greet you and walk you through the basics of the title. At this point you’ll choose between two different racing modes; Normal mode (recommended for the casual driver) and Pro mode (recommended for the hardcore racing simulation fans).
Another difference between the two driving modes is that the Pro mode offers you the option to tune your vehicle in every aspect such as traction and steering. On the flip side, Normal will initially set these options into a fixed position. For those car enthusiasts who enjoy an arcade-style of racing yet also enjoy tuning cars however, you’ll still be able to do that if you so choose.
Once you’ve decided which racing style you’ll feel most comfortable in, it’s time to jump into one of the limited gaming modes that NASCAR has to offer. You’ll be given the chance to primarily take part in a career, single season or a variety of Sprint Driver Challenges that are designed to increase your reputation. For those veterans of NASCAR, you’ll probably be excited to find out what’s new in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup career mode.
Upon selecting the career mode, Gordon will pop back up onto the screen in order to walk you through the process of signing certain sponsors and choosing a racing circuit that’s best for your current level of ability. Most likely you’ll be pitted into either the Craftsmen Truck series or the Nationwide Series as your reputation level will not be high enough to garner attention from the Sprint Cup sponsors. As you progress through your career, you’ll either become respected by fellow drivers or they’ll dislike you for your dirty tactics (if you follow such a route). Regardless of how they feel, as long as you’re stacking up the wins it won’t matter so it's a bit of a moot point.
Outside of the career mode, you’ll probably find yourself focusing a lot of time on the Sprint Driver Challenges. Not only do these challenges help you hone your driving and pitting skills, but they also help raise your reputation amongst sponsors. This was a nice addition to the game and definitely adds a tad of replay value to an otherwise very repetitive game.
This brings us to the core concept of NASCAR - the driving mechanics and gameplay. Anybody who played last year’s title knows that the driving was an absolute atrocity and that handling a car was like trying to balance a fat kid on a fishing line. If you tapped the analog a bit too much, your car would go flying into a spinout or off the track into a wall. EA Sports has done a great job improving this aspect of the game and the controls not only give you a tighter feel of what you’re doing, but they also give you the sense of actually controlling the stock car you’re driving. This will come as a relief to fans of the series who were plagued with last year’s title and were on the verge of giving up. Unfortunately, the good rarely comes without the bad in NASCAR and this year is no exception.
While the driving may feel much more stabilized, the computer AI seems much more predictable and a lot less skilled. You’ll have no trouble being able to attain the checkered flag race after race on your way to winning many championships for whoever you’ve let sponsor your automobile. Obviously this is a huge concern for anyone who is looking to get months (or even weeks) ... (continued on next page)
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- 1:15pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
Ugh, NASCAR is the most boring sport in the world. why did they have to make a game out of it? Driving in circles on a GAME! How exciting, if you start first you finish first. Unless, you crash.
- 1:20pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
i wouldnt say its the most boring sport in the world, but it is quite boring to watch even though what they do takes a lot more skill than what it looks like.
- 1:26pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
There isn't that many tracks is there just a oval Bulls**t. Anyway I'd rather play formula one: Championship Edition than play Nascar
- 1:34pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
fine then go watch f1 where they can drive the car from the pit box...
- 4:50pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
I liked the nascar games on the ps2.
- 5:11pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
even in America nascar is known as a redneck sport....next up: tractor pulls and cow tipping...lol
- 6:09pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
NASCAR = National associated sport centered around rednecks.
I hate nascar. shouldn't be considered a sport
- 6:49pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
yeah i liked the demo but won't be interested in the full game. if anything this would be a buy for my dad who loves nascar.
- 8:09pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
WOO Their making a left turn!!!
seriously that is what nascar is
- 8:23pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
Personally, I couldn't agree more. Left turns - Woohoo! But I'm biased regarding NASCAR, which is why I didn't review this game.
- 8:46pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
To all NASCAR haters- SCREW YOU!!! NASCAR is the BEST sport, if you don't like it, why are you reading this review?????!!!!!!!!!
- 8:56pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
If you don't like NASCAR it doesn't mean you can diss it. I can't stand Pro Wrestling, but you won't hear me say "I think it's just a soap-opera in a boxing ring starring spandex-wearing, steroid-popping gorillas." ...oh, wait....
- 10:11pm EDT - June 21st, 2008
nascar should be considered a sport for the simple fact that you can lose 20lbs doing it once its mentally and physically taxing to drive at speeds upwards of 200mph for so long but yes its extremely boring to watch
- 12:03am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
the demo was sh it it expected me to do 66 laps on one of the crappest driving games ever made driving on the same track as the speedway on proluge just alot worse so i delted after 1 lap crap graphics crap gameplay and overall just crap. and how you gave it a 7.0 i do not now i think youve got your marking the wrong way round u musto f meant 3 surely! keep away!
- 1:43am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
Graphically poor, boring gameplay, how a 7 is justified is beyond me its only a jumped up PS2 game. The only advantage is its an EA title so it wont be released over here for about a year, then when it is it will be a timed exclusive on the 360.
- 2:07am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
The demo was better than last year. Just not my type of racer.
- 3:41am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
The Nascar game has not been good since Nascar Thunder 04. Great offline & Online and that was on the PS2. I rented Nascar 08 and it sucks. No Offline multiplayer at all. The 04 was the best. me & my freinds would play 4 player split screen with the rest of the field fill with Computer A I, it was very good not one of us would dominate the game. After Nascar 04 the series has gone down hill.
- 5:56am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
You guys don't think it is a sport because you don't understand it. It takes a lot of stamina, endurance, and strength to do what they do. These guys have to sit in 110+ degree cars. Trying to turn a heavy car into banked turns pushin as much as like 5 g's. Watching the races is fun when you understand what is going on. Whether they are loose or tight what they may need to do to fix that condition. Pit road is a sport in it's self. Changing tires, fueling up, adjusting track bar and what not in 14 secs or less. Please give me a break.
- 7:02am EDT - June 22nd, 2008
Pfft. Still rednecks.
- 11:19pm EDT - June 22nd, 2008
Rubbish redneck roundy roundy racing, as the infamous top gear crew once dorbled on a car in their trip accross america: NASCAR SUCKS. Best thing about NASCAR was Taladega nights..........if your not first, your last!!!!
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