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21Nov 11How is it that the developers and writers connected to the Need for Speed franchise do not see how poorly they are servicing their target demographic? The NfS label was founded on the humble car chase sure, but then defined itself over the next swell of released, creating both a reputation and a bag load of cash by aping the Fast and Furious films. The Need for Speed games made money, won fans and drew attention as an illegal/underground car racing game. Unless there is a developer out there working on an official title (which let's face it would no doubt be horrible, most official titles are), the NfS garage needs to get back to what made the fans by into the franchise in the first place. I really dug the Underground titles. Okay so the drag races were a little retarded, but the racing, the drifting (oh the drifting) the adding of neons and touching up the rides.. this was after dark glamour! While most wanted dropped the drifting (oh the drifting), it replaced it with a plot. So, not much of a plot but still. All of a sudden we had a nemesis to hunt down in our totally awesome, tricked up ride. This was not just a street racer anymore, but a street warrior! We had the car, we had the girl and even better, we had a two bit punk who thought he was better than we were... oh yeah tough guy!
But what followed this landmark piece of game'age? The broken physics of Carbon, where the drifing (oh the drifting) model changed between drift tracks to the titular canyon tracks where it was easier just to smash into mountain walls to win and the story reduced to a few punchlines. The pains of Undercover, where everything that made Most Wanted so personal in experience was reduced to gimicks and aggravation. And then Shift; the departure from the very reason people bought NfS in the first place.
NfS the Run really burned. It's short, it's boring, it's a montage of useless stabs at other genres (on foot sections? Avoiding falling debris and the Mafia... really?) and ultimately, could not be further away from what made Most Wanted everyones favourite.
If anyone should ever read this will some connection to the NfS juggernaut, pay heed. NfS was good when it was tripped out imports and muscle, racing for rep. NfS was great when it was adding coloured lights and spokes and decals and body kits to look harder, faster and more street. However, NfS was the best when it made the game engaging; when it made the business of racing personal and a challenge not just to the hand and eye, but to the racers honour! A hundred racing games make you go fast through oh so funky environments, but hardly any make you a street samuri, driving to find revenge from the guy who took your ride, your reputation and your god-damned woman!
That's what made Most Wanted the best, most fondly remembered game. So, get your collective heads out from thy cheeks, create a new Black List and get me out on the hardtop against some cheating low life who doesnt deserve MY place at the top. Oh and you might want to slip in some drifting... oh the drifting.
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