NASCAR Unleashed Review
NASCAR Unleashed gives you a taste of NASCAR in a fun arcade style racer. Don’t expect your realistic NASCAR racing with this title as this is pure arcade fun from slamming into your rivals to boosting past them to give yourself the checkered flag!
From the game menu in NASCAR Unleashed you will choose from playing in Championship, Time Trials, and Quick Races. Also available is a local multiplayer option. In addition, the game menu on the top will keep track of your game completion stats as well. In Championship mode you will start with the rookie class tournament in which you will move on from there to Pro and then Legend. Each class has at least 7 races for you to participate in and you can even unlock bonus races for you to race in. Each race has a primary goal for you to complete in order to move on which is a required placing. If you don’t place and finish high enough in the race you won’t unlock the next race to participate in. Outside of your primary goal you will also have bonus goals that come up, such as performing a slingshot maneuver to pass a car in front of you using the draft feature. You are also allowed to perform a certain number of slams, meaning how many times you are allowed to slam into another racer.
Speaking of the gameplay and some of it’s features like the slingshot, during the race you will be able to gain speed by drafting behind other vehicles and then use that extra speed to slingshot past the vehicle you were drafting behind. Also, you have a boost meter for you to fill up. You do that by drafting behind vehicles and drifting on turns. Once you fill the meter all the way up you will be able to boost. You will also be able to boost every time you go through the pit stop. Boosting is of course a lot of fun and causes you to go extremely fast. If you do it right you will easily be able to leave the competition behind you. The entire gameplay is a lot of fun to play and handles fairly well once you get use to it. It’s your basic arcade racer as there really isn’t anything to special here, but it’s still done right and can be a lot of fun. There are times where the vehicle becomes pretty difficult to handle and that’s when you are racing on grass or on the beach. Yes, there are plenty of off roading going on here to go along with the speedways.
Also, during each race other goals will come up for you to complete as well, and you only have a certain amount of time to complete them during the race. By completing these goals you will earn points which then go to being used to unlock additional paint jobs for different vehicles. Speaking of vehicles, you have 16 of the most well known drivers for you to select from, and each driver has multiple sponsored cars for you to choose. Again, you will need to unlock those additional paint jobs by earning points so that you will be able to choose them. Also, on your driver select screen you will be able to choose some bonus rewards to use. Nothing too special, but you can choose from things such as a crazy spoiler that will go on the back of your vehicle. There are only a few of these options though.
When it comes to the tracks you will have 6 different speedways to race in with each having multiple tracks to race on. You will also unlock these as you make your way through the Championship mode. Each track is a lot of fun to race in though and many can be pretty challenging so that you will certainly need to get use to them. Each track looks great though, as NASCAR Unleashed has some pretty nice visuals going for it. It also looks decent in 3D and is a lot of fun to race in 3D. It also has some nice “scenes” for you to enjoy if you are to crash or make big jumps. Visually the game looks pretty solid overall. The soundtrack to the game is fairly decent as it has some good rock style songs throughout, and it also has a few not so great songs as well.
NASCAR Unleashed should be a game that gets attention especially from those who enjoy a good arcade racer and those whom enjoy NASCAR. It features some of the most well known drivers with their sponsored cars and has some very nice tracks for you to race on. The arcade style of racing is quite fun as it handles fairly well though the off roading will be your greatest challenge. Of course that’s not the only challenge though, because when you hit the other vehicles just right and destroy them they will come back with a rival marker on them. Meaning they will be out to get you since you got them. This makes the races even more challenging and enjoyable as you will be fighting in many ways for that first place position. The AI will provide you with a pretty good challenge as well once you get out of the rookie circuit, although I had a few difficult races on rookie myself.
This is certainly a game that shouldn’t be ignored as it will provide you with some good arcade racing fun. You will also have a decent number of awards to go after and unlock as you play through as well. It helps that feeling of accomplishing something when you do it in the game and it pops up to let you know you achieved it. Even though it doesn’t do much of anything different compared to other arcade racers, I still came away really enjoying this title. Of course I love slamming into vehicles and playing a rough racing game anyway. So, a game that is built that way and is fun to play is a good game in my book.