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Electronic Arts has been losing steam with their Need for Speed franchise of late as the number of fans the series has been attracting and the quality of the games they have been producing for the Wii console have been going down (depending on who you ask). Need for Speed Nitro represents a new direction in game development for the franchise as Need for Speed Nitro will be an arcade-style video game developed specifically for the hardware and motion-sensing capability of the Wii. This philosophy should definitely work better than trying to develop a square-port of Need for Speed from the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 console to fit into the round-slot of the Wii console. It's about time they decided to spend the time that will be required to create a great racing game for the Wii and we can't wait to wrap our hands around the wheel, and take her for a spin around the track.
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Need for Speed Games for the Wii
The arrival of Need for Speed Nitro can't come to soon for Wii gamers and racing fanatics who have been waiting patiently and putting up with average games like Need for Speed: Carbon, Need for Speed: Prostreet, and Need for Speed: Undercover. Hopefully, EA will develop a racing game for the Wii that everybody can play, both casual and veteran gamer, and around November of 2009, will be talking about the outstanding job that the developers did with Need for Speed Nitro for the Wii console. Until that time, we'll just have to keep playing the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of Need for Speed and keep dreaming of the racing-fun we'll be enjoying if EA is finally able to develop a racing title for the Wii experience that doesn't disappoint, more than it entertains. It's great that EA has finally realized they need to take a different route to reach the casual gamers who make up the majority of the Wii consoles customers and develop Need for Speed Nitro specifically for the Wii console. Hopefully, the final product is as good as expected, and a few months from we'll be anticipating the next Need for Speed title for the Wii, because Nitro is the best Wii racing title we have ever played.
Need for Speed Nitro is going to be something new for Wii gamers who have probably been getting use to racing titles for their Wii console that are below average, at best. My first look at Need for Speed Nitro has left me wanting to see and play more of this game and I can't wait to play the final product. EA hasn't released anything new for us to take a look at to help us get an idea of what this game will look and play like, so we'll talk about what it looks and plays like, so far
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Need for Speed Nitro; the First Reports
The first demos of Need for Speed Nitro definitely show why they named this game Nitro, as nice looking speed blurs and bloom lighting appear when you hit the nitro. The nitro system is a boost system that rewards the racer for drifting and jumping, you just shake the Wii remote to unleash the nitro. The nitro boost system works great in the demos seen, so far, it responds quickly to the input, and definitely increases the feeling of speed gamers are looking in their racing games. You never run out of nitro because it fills up on its own as you race and it didn't matter if I was losing or winning, the nitro still filled at the same rate.
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Need for Speed Nitro; the Latest Reports
The latest demos have included more of the final product and this series is starting to show definite signs of improvement in this latest Need for Speed title for the Wii console. The visual style is interesting, all the cars had an exaggerated look that included bigger tires and body parts, and the camera angle was really low, which increased the feeling of speed. The frame rate during the single player experience stayed pretty constant, it stayed around 60 fps through out the demo, and didn't dip below this very much. However, the frame rate dipped while playing the included split-screen multiplayer option to about 30 fps, which is understandable, but it was noticeable.
There were a number of nice cars available to drive, the Audi R8, 2010 Ford Mustang, and even a 69' Charger was available to try. The developers say they plan on including a few exotic rides, like a tricked out VW, but that was all they have said, so far.
The control system included worked well, you hold the Wii remote sideways, tilt to steer, and use the buttons to accelerate the car. You press the B button to use the hand brake, accelerate using the A button, and can power side around the corners, nicely. They do plan on including the option for using the Nunchuk and Wii remote together for even better control of the cars and even for you to be able to use your classic GameCube controller to play the game.
The really interesting part of the game was an impressive, engaging, and useful tagging system that was included with the game. The leader of a race can tag the environment as he goes around the track, you can customize the look of your tags, and the system helped to add balance to the game play, nicely.
The tracks all looked pretty good, they all included short cuts that you can use, and the game rewarded you for finding them, so it's useful to find them. It takes awhile to learn the tracks, but once you do the feeling of speed increases to another level. The developers are definitely trying to get the racer to think more, instead of racing in brainless circles.
You can expect to see Need for Speed Nitro on your screen sometime in November, and if they make improvements to the work they have done, so far, we can expect to play a fun, satisfying and engaging racing game for the Wii.