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The Need For Speed - Review

Written by Matt Phelan

So, this is where it all began. The original Need For Speed. The reason why you're here at NFSCheats.com reading this review. Well sit back and relax, you're about to hear how it all began. In the U.S., racing was starting to become a bigger sport. It was starting to expand much like Football had back in the 1960's. Most notably NASCAR. Indy Car was right there with them but they would soon have many problems with the series split up. That has effectively hurt that part of American racing. Anyway, the time is 1995. Electronic Arts is releasing a new game called The Need For Speed on the 3DO platform. It had three tracks and many real world exotic cars. Some cars that were within reach, some that were totally outrageous. The three tracks were all segmented tracks. Each track itself had three segments. After each segment it would take you to a timing screen with all your times and top speed. After that, you would continue on to the next segment. The most notable thing about this new game was that once you started driving, you noticed this wasn't anything like your normal arcade racer. In fact, it isn't an arcade racer at all!! It's a simulator! So now you're about to find out what it's really like to drive the real thing! Atleast as close as computers can get. You can't really feel the g-force or anything like that, but it's damn close.

The game devoloped over time on many platforms, such as the Playstation and Sega Saturn before coming to the land of the PC. It added on tracks and many other features before coming to the PC. It basically kept everything from the previous platforms and added on more. The only really missing feature of the PC version was the single computer multiplayer in the form of split screen. The console games had, but the PC version didn't. Of course there was still the 8 player LAN game and dial-up modem connections. The graphics were great, the sound was awesome and every car had it's own unique sound that sounded very much like the real thing. The best part was how they all handled. They each had their own very distinct handling characteristics. They handled just like the real things.

I will give you a couple of examples. In classic Porschesque 911 style, the 911 Carrera 2 was a very nice handling car. But if you ever get too hot into a corner and have to let off, you better look out! The tail end will swing around so fast you won't know what hit you! Although if you keep on the throttle, it usually contains the rear end pretty well. That's actually how the real car works too. The Viper has tons of torque. It handles a lot like a race car, although sometimes it can feel kind of sloppy. The Lamborghini Diablo VT, despite it's four wheel drive system, is a very nasty understeering car. It can be provoked into oversteer, but it takes quite a lot of work to do that. The Toyota Supra is an extremely well balanced car. It doesn't understeer much, if at all, and provoking it to oversteer is nearly impossible without calling upon the handbrake for assistance.

The computer version of The Need For Speed added on closed circuit tracks. (i.e. tracks that have laps.) The game had many different kinds of tracks. The open and segmented tracks had one race in the city, one on the ocean coast, and one through twisty and snowy alpine mountain land. The closed circuit tracks ranged from a relatively small but fairly quick closed road circuit in the desert of Rusty Springs to the hills and tunnels of Burnt Sienna. The AI was quite good for back then. Although if you slowed way down so would the AI. But once you catch them they start to speed up quite a bit. But if you know how to drive then it shouldn't be too much of a problem to win.

This game was very unique. No game had stepped up to the plate of making a game with actual street legal supercars with realistic physics. Before this it was only pure racing sims such as Papyrus' NASCAR racing and Indy Car games, along with the Grand Prix series. If there was ever a super expensive exotic car that you've seen before in a magazine or elsewhere, and you always dreamed of driving one, this is the game for the job! That is what the Need For Speed series is about. If you're a big NFS buff, you need this game! This is where it all started. Plus I think that it had the best soundtracks, best user interface, best showcase and best of all was the fact that it ad movies of each and every car in the game!!! (Let alone the completely made up bonus car called the Warrior PTO E/2. That car also had the dashboard of a Corvette ZR1 and steering wheel of the Lamborghini Diablo VT. Just modified a bit.). This game is a must have for your collection!