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Need for Speed Nitro GamesCom 2009 Preview

Need for Speed NITRO has been developed from the ground up specifically for the Wii and DS with the emphasis on fun and over the top arcade action rather than balls to the wall realism. All the cars are officially licensed from a multitude of manufacturers so expect to see the likes of Mitsubishi Evo's and Porsche 911's hurtling around weird and wonderful tracks at break neck speeds.

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The thing that stood out to me the most, was the simple yet intuitive control method for the Wii, holding A to accelerate while twisting the Wiimote left or right to steer. Tapping the B button initiates a drift which felt so natural that in no time at all I was able to hold my 150mph drifts with ease.

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So as you may have gathered this is not a serious racer at all, the graphical direction of the game also bolsters this style with exuberant artwork on the cars with bright, colourful landscapes to drive through which are as varied as the paint jobs on your rides. Expect tracks ranging from city streets to roller coasters, with loops and twists ahoy. As with any driving title the aim of this game is to finish ahead of the pack for that top spot of the podium, fighting your way past your rivals while simultaneously trying to avoid the over zealous police in their attempt to kerb street racers.

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To help this you have a nitrous meter on your HUD which builds up via your drifting around corners. Once one of the two canisters has filled you can shake the Wiimote to engage the boost propelling your car to warp speed for a short period of time; however any damage you may take in the race will decrease your nitrous ability which must be repaired via the spanner pick-ups which are dotted around the track.

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You also have a badge meter on your HUD to indicate how much police attention you are attracting to yourself; the higher the meter the more focused the forces will be in apprehending you. To combat this, there is a pick-up shaped like a police badge, also on the track, which enables you to transfer your wanted rating to a fellow competitor by simply pressing the down arrow on the D-Pad. This is quite handy when you wish to shake off your full wanted level onto the race leader, leaving you to concentrate on the road while he has to contend with the fuzz.

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The title will house a multitude of game modes to keep the replay value including seven multiplayer modes for up-to four players, featuring: Race, Team Race, Eliminator, Drag Race, Speed Cameras Challenge, Drift Challenge, and Time Attack Challenge. To enhance the multiplayer experience a cooperative campaign is included where up-to three additional racers may join your game to partake in street racing to unlock new rides and customisations.

There is plenty on offer from this take on the Need for Speed series, which I would recommend taking a look at, even if you're not really a racing fan.

 

Wedgeh | 20th September, 2009

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