Need For Speed Gets Real…

What a crying shame.

I’ve been a fan of the Need for Speed series ever since the original came out in the early 90s. Fast cars, great controls, and cutting edge graphics. NFS has always offered the pinnacle of arcade racing on whichever system they release it on, without question. Why they decided to abandon what has worked well for so long is beyond me.

Originally, you got a fast car, a long track, and some in your face racing that sometimes attracted the police. The long, graphically breathtaking tracks slowly gave way to street racing. No complaint here, as the street racing brought back the police chase – one of the most FUN aspects of any NFS title. Then, EA decided to turn the lights on. No more night time racing, you were back in the light of day and the tracks ranged from the tight corners of a city to the long high speed routes of the back country. Then we’re back in the dark again. Who cares, we’ve got the best of both worlds. Open roads, street racing, near infinite customization options, and high speed chases.

What happened? Why change it? Pro Street puts you on real tracks in customizable rides. The physics are far closer to any simulation on the market, and instead of different routes through dynamic worlds, the player is left running laps on the same. tracks. over. and. over. again.

That was the greatest weakness of pretty much every sim racer since Gran Turismo 1 for the Playstation, and why Need For Speed was so fantastic! Instead of a seemingly neverending rerun of the same tracks with newer and faster cars, where the only way to win a game is to give up life if you can stay awake, you had a game with a GOAL. Win races, customize your rides, and after some intense play – GAME OVER. Pro Street has left me scared for the future of solid arcade style racing on the 360.

Instead of breaking the mold and setting new standards, EA has provided us with another plug and play GT clone with marginally better graphics than most other titles in the genre. Is the game fun? Sure. It’s not nearly as fun as Carbon or other NFS titles, it requires more attention, more control, and is more real than a NFS game should be. Not to mention the idiotic load times, pointless cinematics, and the option to upgrade your cars and buy new ones with Microsoft points… I’m INSULTED. Who the hell is dumb enough to buy a virtual turbo on a throwaway car with REAL MONEY!? You charge $60 for a title and then ask for more to give us the whole game we should be playing to begin with?

Total load of crap. I give this another day or so before I send it back and play Carbon or Most Wanted. Those are real NFS games… I don’t know what Pro Street is, but it’s not Need For Speed.

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