I feel the need… the need for speed!

Tonight I decided to do a few laps of my Xbox 360, not literally because that would be silly and not particularly entertaining.

Racing games have probably always been my favourite genre of videogaming. From “Stunt Car Racer” on the ZX Spectrum through Mario Kart on the SNES up to PGR4, I love them all! But physics is everything, no point having bright lights if it feels shit to play.
I decided to give “Need For Speed: Shift” a go tonight. I haven’t really enjoyed the NFS series since Underground blasted on to my original Xbox. It was an awesome game and ever since then they have tweaked it and polished it in to submission, too many bells and whistles for my liking.
Now, NFS: Shift seems okay, but for some reason no other racing game can capture the right physics of “console” driving in the same way as PGR4, and Shift is no different. It’s like riding a wild pig with a red hot poker shoved up it’s arse. Charging around all over the placed, pretty twitchy at the rear and generally not that pleasant.
Why do racing game designers insist on making our games more “realistic”? I like the realism of PGR4, the handling is superb. But NFS:Shift seems to forget that I am attempting to hurtle around a track at 120mph controlling this mad machine with only my thumb, how realistic do they think that would be?
In real life it would be carnage, and in the game it is the same, so don’t try to make it so bloody realistic!
Don’t get me wrong, of course you need a certain amount of realism, but they should all just copy the PGR series, it is perfect.

[edit] played the game for a couple of days now and I’m starting to enjoy it. It is probably the most realistic racing game I have ever played, ever ever! But, for the aforementioned reasons, it is possible to be “too” realistic. Good realism with just a thumb controller is often recipe for disaster. Oh, and has anyone else noticed that the tyre screeching fx sound like someone blowing their nose? Way to go EA SFX Dept!  🙂

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About smuggsy

Life is Retro...
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