Review by EAfan90

"Still arcade style, but a whole lot of fun"

Nascar 2005: Chase for the Cup is one of the best racing games out there today. It doesn't live up to Papyrus's famous Nascar Racing Season 2003 on PC, but this game still packs some exciting racing and features. There isn't much wrong with this game, but there are a few flaws that tend to drive people insane.

On the track: Better, much better. EA has improved the physics and the way cars handle. Now cars don't just suddenly spin with no reason. Sometimes cars come together, causing huge wrecks. One time at Daytona 2 cars collided way ahead of me, and in the end I was in the middle of a 23 car wreck. That leads me to 2 huge flaws in this game. One is that cars are too tough. I went through huge wrecks and been able to drive my car away, and get it repaired in 5 seconds on pit road. In case you didn't hear Nascar made a new rule that the field has to slow down as soon as the caution comes out, and no more racing back to the line. In this game the yellow comes out right away, and the car that wrecks keeps his position on the track, and depending on where you are it can hurt you too. If you're behind the wreck the computer takes over for you it will probably take you right into the crash ahead. Very serious flaw that forces me to race without yellow flags. Besides these two flaws the gameplay is great.

Graphics and Sound: Not much to say. EA keeps improving, and graphics this year are really good, despite the fact the sun tends to shine through the stands at times. Smoke in this game is awesome. It's thick, just like it should be, making getting through wrecks a lot more of a challenge. Sound still needs some work. I still can't hear my spotter that well, and the engines simply don't sound realistic. But it's not that big of a problem.

Off the track: Fight to the Top is the main mode in this game. You start as a local Featherlite driver, and work your way through different series and earning contracts. If you drive rough other drivers will remember it and hit you back, whether it's the same race or a month later. One flaw with this is that if you get the driver mad enough he will hit you full force, destroying both your car and his own. There are 4 series in this game: Featherlite, Craftsman Truck, National (known as Busch in reality) and Nextel Cup. There is a mode called Chase for the Cup where you race the final ten races with the new points format. There are also several street cars such as the Dodge Viper, Chevy Corvette, other trucks, Daytona Prototypes, and a few others. There is a season mode, but you do one year and that's it. No owner stuff, no contracts, nothing much.

In the end Nascar 2005 Chase for the Cup is definitely worth buying. The biggest flaws can be avoided by simply turning off yellow flags. That reminds me, there are no black flags and pit road speeds are still faster than they should be. Not only that but you can't drive down pit road or drive under yellow. Don't let those minor problems keep you from buying this. Renting this game isn't good enough. Buy it and you won't regret it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/28/05

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