previews\ May 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Need for Speed NITRO - NDS - Preview

Pre-E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

With EA’s Need for Speed franchise going in several different directions this fall, they’ve also decided to spread some of the love to Nintendo’s handheld, the DS. Need for Speed: NITRO for the Nintendo DS utilizes many of the concepts from its Wii big brother, including a different visual style and accessible gameplay. However, this iteration also includes some features completely unique to the handheld, including some special gameplay elements and modes.

The DS version of the game has special evasive moves where you have to press the X button in order to jump over roadblocks set up by police cars in order to keep the lead in the race. Additionally, by drafting your opponents, you’ll be able to hit the X button at the right time in order to jump over them and take the lead.

The games tracks are built in a pretty over the top way, where you’ll be running on roller coaster tracks at certain moments. The track style is a lot like the old PC racing game Whiplash in that they aren’t very realistic but more fun and frantic.

Aside from the races, you’ll also be able to play through some special mini-games. One mini-game on display was a pinata mode where you’ll have to run down a certain number of pinatas in a set period of time. This mode was pretty fun, and there is a personal challenge in trying to get all the pinatas in the lowest time.

Graphically, the game looks pretty solid. The graphics are pretty cartoony, with big bright environments and colorful cars.

Although the game is still pretty early in development, Need for Speed: NITRO is shaping up to be a solid playing racer with accessible gameplay that casual racing fans should be able to enjoy.

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