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    Review By WhiteX
NDS: Need for Speed: Carbon - Own the City
Review by WhiteX
Views: 27274
Date: 2006-11-15
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NFS:C-OtC is the third try on the NFS series on the DS, being the best of the three, it comes with many implementations from the console versions and the same feeling of the first NFS: Underground but as we are about to see, many of itīs strongest points are also itīs weaknesses.

Presentation/graphics 7

The presentation and the graphics were boosted up this time around, the story is represented by some "Cartoon-like" still images an the in game graphics are detailed and good looking with all running at 60 FPS, but thereīs more to it than meets the eye.

We all know that the DS is capable of gorgeous FMVīs, so even if the still images are more than we are getting, we could be treated with some FMVīs, perhaps with compressed versions of the gameīs "big brothers", also kills to hype the next NFS babe and never have her at the game, not even at the "drive safe" intro.

The game runs at smooth 60 FPS, all cars are very good looking and detailed and they managed to have the famous (or infamous) motion blur effect emulated into our loved DS, as usual the game setting is the night of a very busy looking city, so skyscrapers and industrial zones are the sights to see.

It is all beatifull, i tell you that,but you race only two enemy cars if using a wingman, the incoming trafic is very poor and there is not much variety in the tracks you race in, i mean, there are only 12 tracks (not including reverses) and a handfull of cars.

For the 60 FPS thing, i would have sacrificed it for more effects, a decent nitro effect in the car, cooler backlights in the enemy cars to point them out, instead of an overhead pointing arrow, nicer crash effects and some rain or other environmental effect, the speedbreaker flash and all the other effects that the console versions have that the DS could have emulated or at least used a better solution.

Also to note is that you, more often than youīd want, drive over a wall to the unknown land of digitized bugs.

Music/sound effects 6

The first games used MIDIīs as music but not this one, this game has licensed music, cool right?
Erm, not so much, you see, you got only "samples" of the songs that fade out in the middle just to have another song to fade in at the half of it as well, the songs also do not start with the race nor they are different in the menus, they play constantly both at the races, loadings and menus and once again, even cutted, we only get a handful of songs.

For sound effects, well, the cars sound bad as always, we all know that the DS is capable of good music as heard on the Tony Hawk games, but we still get the same lame engine sound and rubber-like collision sounds.

Gameplay 8

Well, here is the meat of the game, and it delivers, NFS:C-OtC plays fast and furious (i canīt believe i said that) the races are very fast the turns are sharp, you can control your steering by using the diagonals, and the enemies are there for your demise, lucky you to have your wingman around, or are you?

The last innovation they tossed on us is the wingman, a frindly car ready to lose a race to help you out, wether refilling you Nitro or putting out the enemies cold, they are there to help the man, or dawg, the thing is that sometimes they are too stupid to run alongside you, the nitro guy, the drafter, have to stand in front of you to refill you but sometimes he beat you up in the process of going in front of you, the attacker goes to give hell to the car that passed you, but when it is done, he stays on the "killing mode" bumping you if you try to pass him, note that in this state he may win the race in your place.

Also to talk about is the race vatiety, we have the circuit, the sprint and the hunter races.

The circuit is the tried and true races with 3 or 4 laps, the sprint is a fast race using only a portion of the circuit design and the Hunter is a race based on a poinst bar that grows when youīre winning but can be diminished if youīre beaten by other car and grown if you do the beating, very cool race.

DS factor 6

Not much, the bottom screen is used as your dashboard, as it helps to keep the racing screen clean, it is only a gimmick, there are no touch controls, except for the custom car paints and vinyls, and no mic usage.

Learning curve 9

if you played any racing game, youīre at home but it takes some 20 minutes to educate your wingmen properly.

Lasting appeal/game modes 7

As any racing game, it can be entertaining for a short burst of gameplay for a big period of time, but the lack of more settings and cars may make the game get old a little quicker.

Final considerations

A step in the right direction, thatīs what it is, as they tried to implement things that make a NFS game recognizable they missed on underestimating the DS power and on using a small cart size, if the next one gets better usage of DS power and more cart size, it can certainly be the ultimate racing experience we can have the way it is now, it is the best racing game the DS has until now but considering the competition, it is not much to say.

If you like racing games, buy it, if not, rent it but onīt pass the opportunity to play it.




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