NASCAR The Game: Inside Line Review: Races Well For NASCAR Fans
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line
Platform: Xbox 360
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, takes the realism of racing and recreates it in this title. It’s been a fantastic year for racing titles covering all types and this one is trying to deliver the goods for those who are NASCAR fans. I noticed right away that this game is set up for the patient driver; if you are not patient you will end up spinning out in no time and spinning out a lot. This game caters to those who love NASCAR. It features many great modes to participate in including a decent career mode. You’ll be able to race in all of the major events, gain multiple sponsors and tune your vehicle just the way you like so that you can finish on top of the leaderboard.
Career mode is where I spent most of my time playing. Before each major race you have the ability to practice on the track and qualify before the big race. There are four difficulty settings you can choose before each event, though I must admit I spent most of my time on Medium. Hard and Champion difficulty was a lot to handle. You will have to be patient and get a good handle on how the game feels on those difficulty levels. Medium difficulty was still pretty easy at times although there were many moments where a slight mistake would send you back to the end of the pack. So, you can still get some good experience from the medium difficulty before opting for a bigger challenge.
One of the biggest things I noticed on the higher difficulty level was that the handling characteristics of the vehicles change. Sure, the AI difficulty is also tougher, but the handling becomes really sensitive and if you overturn you will end up in the wall. It becomes really difficult, which is why you will need extreme patience for this game, otherwise you will get very frustrated. You won’t pass multiple cars in one lap without making yourself very vulnerable. A lot of the time it wasn’t me that would cause the accident, but, it was a result of my aggressiveness. I would end up passing multiple cars and then try to slow down before ramming the guy in front of me too hard. On many occasions, with the game’s very sensitive controls, the AI would tap my car and more often than not, I wouldn’t be able to handle that nudge.
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, really gives NASCAR lovers what they see in every race. If you love the sport and have the patience to slowly pass one car after another while not being too overly aggressive, then this is a game I think most NASCAR fans would enjoy. You are the ones who understand that you don’t always need to finish first. Finishing in the middle of the pack a few times is ok. For the fans of this game, it is a learning and intense experience. It drives to give you the authenticity of the real race and forces you to become expertly familiar with the handling and then match that with your patience in order for you to win. I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan and enjoy the craziness of NASCAR Unleashed, a pure arcade racer, far more than I do this title. But, I also respect the strategy and effort that was put into this game and I feel that most NASCAR fans will as well. If you are not the biggest NASCAR fan and don’t have any patience when dealing with a racing game, then this is certainly not a game for you.
One of the modes that I ended up having the most fun with was the challenge mode which features real life events to play out. Some are easy while others will give you a bit of a struggle. The video below showcases one of my events on medium difficulty, not even on hard difficulty and I had a difficult time beating that challenge. Still, this is a mode I enjoyed a lot and had fun fulfilling those challenges. It features many highlights from the past two years and also has a 2013 section to get you ready for the new year.
The game also has a multiplayer mode for players to take their racing skills online. I wasn’t a big fan of the set-up and had difficulty playing a match, perhaps because it was a connection issue or just waiting to find an opponent. One thing I will point out is that the menus aren’t the best – not to knock a game on that, but I just wasn’t thrilled with the overall presentation of the game. Still, NASCAR fans will be happy with the gameplay so long as you are patient enough. Another quick note about the gameplay options is that you can race the entire amount of laps each track has or cut them down by a percentage. It will suck, however, if you have a poor qualifying time and only race 5 laps. That sure doesn’t leave you with much time to better position yourself during the race.
Visually the game looks so-so, but the cars look decent, especially when things get a bit crazy. The game also features a decent soundtrack to enjoy as you make your way through the menus. NASCAR fans will enjoy what NASCAR The Game: Inside Line offers, just remember to be patient with the learning curve and not be overly aggressive in your overtakes.