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NASCAR 09 Review - PS3

6
Gameplay: 6 stars 6
Graphics: 3 stars 3
Audio: 7 stars 7
Multiplayer: 5 stars 5
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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NASCAR is such a massive phenomenon in the United States that EA can continue to release games each year based on the series despite the poor reviews they get. Never in the history of Gamerankings.com has a NASCAR game scored an average of 8/10 or higher, yet every year another title hits the shelves. NASCAR 09 brings in some fresh gameplay modes and new ideas that previous games in the series lacked, but can the series actually perform well against such racers as Race Driver GRiD, Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 2? With 42 other cars on the field, NASCAR 09 heats up the track like never before, so buckle up your seat belt and get ready to go round and round (and round and round) in circles.

Gameplay

NASCAR 09 is all about circuit racing. If you’ve never played a NASCAR game before, it’s worthwhile trialing a demo first. At first view, the game is as simple as it gets: drive a car in a circle, and get/stay in front of the dozens of other cars. Albeit, there are different styles of NASCAR circuits, there’s the Talladega circuit which isn’t a complete oval shape, and there are actually two road courses on the NASCAR circuit, but your typical NASCAR 09 race will consist of going round and round until you get dizzy. Fortunately the game provides a lot of help. Every track has a running commentary that you can watch which tells you the best way to take every corner, something we haven’t seen in any other racer this year. If you’re a NASCAR fan we can actually see how this game could be quite enjoyable, but with so many other racing games with better graphics on the market, it puts NASCAR 09 off the map for most regular gamers.

There are several different game modes in NASCAR 09. Race Now allows you to jump in to any of the three series’ (different types of cars in each). Pick a driver and you’re off. Great for practicing, but not for game progression.  Below Race Now are the real game modes:  Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Season, Sprint Driver Challenge, and Test and Tune.  Test and Tune is exactly what you think it is – a place where you can test and tune all the different cars and tracks to perfect your skills.  As you’ll find out (due to being told over and over again), if you want to earn reputation you have to use your own car. Race Driver GRID uses this exact same system, and it works well so that’s two thumbs up to NASCAR 09. All three of the main gameplay modes use the reputation system, so you’ll find yourself progressing through them all equally as you work your way up the reputation ranks.

Sprint Driver Challenge is the most interesting game mode in the game. You are presented with a map of different paths that you can take, and as you beat each challenge you can slowly work your ...

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