Need for Speed: NITRO
Dropping behind the wheel of a Charger or Cobra for a quick race is immediately satisfying and while NITRO definitely suffers from low-res car models and building textures, that doesn't stop the game from feeling frighteningly fast
- Breakneck speeds in varied (and always-frantic) co-op/competitive races
- Imprecise controls, muddy visuals and a shallow single-player experience
Even though it doesn't boast the same brand of gritty realism as such racing heavyweights as Forza and Gran Turismo, Need for Speed: NITRO's ridiculously fun flair was more than enough to win us over.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
I dreaded my first race in Need for Speed: NITRO because I couldn't think of a more inconvenient way to drive than pointing the Wii remote forward and tilting it side to side, especially in a balls-to-the-wall arcade racer. The "street" imagery -- ridiculous car mods and an uncomfortable amount of bling -- didn't lift my spirits either. Then something happened as I started playing. There's a co-op career mode? And it plays like Mario Kart with cops? And I can paint profanity on the side of my Volkswagen van? Word, dawg. Word.
So I was obviously a little sideswiped by what the game had to actually offer -- to paraphrase an old quote, don't judge a game by its cover -- but something else that blindsided me was the killer sense of speed. Dropping behind the wheel of a Charger or Cobra for a quick race was immediately satisfying and while NITRO definitely suffers from low-res car models and building textures, that doesn't stop the game from feeling frighteningly fast. Recklessly smashing my way across the streets of Rio de Janeiro at top speed had me giggling like a schoolgirl and nabbing power-up items along the way made it even more enjoyable. There's nothing quite like sicking an aggressive Hummer highway patrol on your opponents or boosting into the lead after perfectly timing a turbo tank-repair power-up. Even losing holds some enjoyment because you're respawned as a cop if you get knocked out of an elimination match, which gives you the chance at some sweet vehicular revenge.
But the best parts of NITRO come into view when you pull your pals into your career mode. You can tackle all of the events cooperatively and engage in post-race activities like painting and tweaking your cars as well. Helping each other earn stars to unlock new events, cars and aesthetic-upgrades is a satisfying way to progress. Sadly, this is the only way you should play NITRO: I was having so much fun cooperatively and competitively that it disguised how hollow the arcade-racer really is. It's a middling single-player experience that boils down to a disappointing checklist of drag racing, team-based races and drift matches that are predictable and dull. The true potential only comes through when you're competing for style points -- nailing sweet jumps and tight turns -- or vying for the top spot with other people.
But warn your friends that the controls can be unnecessarily frustrating at times. My initial fears were confirmed rather quickly: swiveling the controller to turn just isn't precise and I wound up wedged against walls more often than I would have liked. It works but not as well as it should. Oh, and if you have friends who are seasoned racing game fans, expect them to roll their eyes at the ludicrousness of NITRO's gameplay -- it's the polar opposite of simulation-oriented games like Forza 3 and Gran Turismo. But then again, they're not the game's target audience, so they can go tighten a lug nut while the rest of us hoot, holler and high-five during the entertaining co-op shenanigans.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Saints Row II is free on GOG, but not for long
- The original StarCraft and its beloved Brood War expansion are now free
- Xbox One Insiders get first crack at player-organized tournaments
- Meet the new Microsoft Edge: 5 key improvements with the Creators Update
- Microsoft will unveil Project Scorpio, the next Xbox, at E3
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTMarket Data Analyst, Investment BankingNSW
- FTMobile Studio Manager/ Mobile UX Manager - GAME CHANGER!NSW
- FTAsst. Director - Claim AnalysisACT
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- FTInfrastructure Architect - UrgentSA
- CCSystems Engineer - WintelQLD
- FTUser Support AnalystNSW
- TPPrincipal Project Officer - ReportingQLD
- FTPHP Full Stack DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Domain ArchitectVIC
- CCArchitect/Senior Capacity Planner Network Engineering - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Helpdesk/Junior Systems AdministratorQLD
- FTTest AnalystACT
- TPWeb DeveloperNSW
- FTICT Relationship Manager - Service Delivery EnvironmentNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - BI, Analytics & Big DataNSW
- FTSenior / Lead iOS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - RANVIC
- FTInformation Security ManagerACT
- TPProject Manager | HealthQLD
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistTAS
- TPBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantVIC