Review by WyreWizard
Not a race game designed for the masses
Ah yes, a new game in the awesome race series, Need for Speed. Shift as this one is called. I've seen a lot of reviews for this game which convinced me to buy it. But boy did they fool me. I mean, this game is not as good as these over-hyped-up reviews say it is. That gives me the feeling these reviews were written by the people who designed this game. To be honest, I give Need for Speed Shift the same overall rating I gave to Donkey Kong Country, More Graphics than Game. I mean face it, which would you rather play, A good game with bad graphics or a bad game with good graphics? To me, Need for Speed Shift is the latter of these. Need for Speed Shift should have been made like Need for Speed Underground and Underground 2, searching for races all around the world rather than going through menus. Now I'm going to break this down into three categories for this review: graphics, game play and audio. Lets get started
The makers of Need for Speed Shift really worked overtime in making the graphics on this game shine. Unfortunately, this is the only aspect of this game that shines. The graphics are very photo realistic. I haven't yet spotted any graphical glitches. Nor do the graphics make things unrealistic. For instance, when you hit certain obstacles, they don't stay there like they were bolted down or held down with masonry. And your car doesn't go through smaller obstacles without knocking them down. You see this a lot in the Drift races when your car knocks down those blinking cones. Also, your car is not impervious to damage in this. But you can control the level of damage your car incurs, like Full or Visual only. You see every dent, every ding, every scratch and when you beat your car up enough, the engine hood will fly off. I wish there was the ability to completely shut all damage off. That's why I only give the graphics of this game an 8.9.
GAME PLAY 4.2
Man, Electronics Arts should have contributed as much to game play as they did to graphics. Game play is the weakest aspect of Need for Speed Shift. One of the weaknesses of the game play aspect is the fact you select races fro a series of menus rather than traveling around the world searching for races like in Need for Speed Underground and Underground 2. I mean, part of the fun is actually traveling around looking for the races, not going to the races by flipping through a snoozefest of menus. Another poor aspect of the game play is the AI difficulty settings. Even on easy, the AI driven cars cheat a lot and are hyper-aggressive. I see cars that can't be equipped with nitros actually use them in the course of many races. I also see cars run at speeds they can't possibly run at. And this is all on EASY AI DIFFICULTY!!! If this is easy man, then the higher difficulty setting have to be near-impossible! The way I see it, this game was designed more for hyper-fanatical racing gamers and professional racers rather than casual race gamers like myself. I'm sorry but game play in Need for Speed Shift is very weak.
The audio of Need for Speed Shift is another of its weaknesses. I mean sure, the sounds of the cars on the tracks and the ambient sounds are very good. My biggest complaint is with the music of this game. I don't like 75% of the music in this game. The problem is you can't select which tracks play and which don't like in Gran Turismo 2, 3 and 4. The most you can do is hut the music off by lowering its volume to its lowest levels. If you wanted music, you're stuck playing your favorite tracks off your stereo or ipod. Me, I can't do this because I don't have an ipod or mp3 player and my ps3 is hooked into my stereo. I would love to just race these races while Judas Priest's Turbo Lover or Sammy Hagar's I can't drive 55 plays. And I would just love doing the drift competition listening to Stan Bush's The Touch. Yes, I admit I am pretty old school when it comes to my music selections. Like Bob Seger says :Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill." But hey, we all have our personal music choices and we should apply that to this game.
Well, that's my review for this game. I certainly hope I've helped most of you save your money and not be fooled by the overhyped reviews.. There are definitely better races games out there than this.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Need for Speed: Shift (US, 09/15/09)
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