Review

Need for Speed: ProStreet Review (Wii)

Need for Speed is one of the best selling videogame franchises available on multi-format platforms and has taken the crown of Christmas number one for many years. However the 2007 Christmas saw the first year in a while where Need for Speed failed to take this crown. But is ProStreet the nail in the coffin for the series?

ProStreet is as radical change for the NFS series. Weíve all become used to the tinkering of vehicles and open-plan cities to drive around, finding missions and challenges with some of the other illegal street racers. However it seems the illegal racing is a thing of the past as ProStreet sidles into the legal track racing with a distinct lack of police and instead a crowd of day-trippers and sexy trackside women.

However largely the games traditional feel is in-tact. Progression is on a linear style basis and the usual drift, time-trail and races modes are part of the package.† Where EA have splashed out in the game is on the graphics. We all know the Wii isnít designed for HD televisions, but with the correct component cable, the Wii version of ProStreet is possibly one of the best looking games on the consoles.


Drifting gives you mighty satisfaction.
Donít you hate BMW drivers.

The vehicles glimmer in the sun-shine and take damage as you battle through the stages, while the tracks themselves feel like the real-deal. However it seems that all the emphasis has been on creating the visuals and therefore the audio isnít the best in an EA game to date; some disappointing riffs and rock songs make up the collection.

Being the Wii version of NFS: ProStreet you fully expect the game to take advantage of the Wii-mote as with the last outing and the system works perfectly again this time around. You hold the remote in a handlebar style and simply tilt the direction you wish for the car to move and it will do so.† Obviously braking is the key to taking some of the bends, but drifting can be accomplished quite flawlessly. The control style sounds awkward as initially you feel that sliding off the track could be all-too simple and will provide for some frustrating races, however once youíve settled in, it is the greatest control system and with a lack of alternative, you are forced to use this to achieve those all important wins.

Casual players will certainly benefit from this control system and it is designed to be family friendly to fit in with the Wiiís varied audience. The controls however arenít quite so friendly with the menus and the drift races which require you to hold the Wii remote in a pointer position and thrust your arm to burn-out and then speed off. It can be confusing and the menus and how you control them is probably one of the biggest annoyances.

The game itself is still all about winning races, collecting money and striving to be the best racer on the grid. Each day there is a different race on offer at a location and then some of these are themed, such as races focussing on Golf GTiís. The issue with the races is that the faster and more desirable vehicles are left until later in the game and it can take a while to progress through to these stages. There is a possibility youíll get bored in the early part of the game and leave the disc to collect dust in the corner.


The visuals arenít quite this impressive, but they are good nevertheless!
Speeding off into the sunset. Pure bliss.


That said, the game is a distinct change to the series and has allowed itself to be enjoyed by the more casual gamer of which the Wii attracts. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game may suffer from a lack of interest but this type of racing game is suited perfect for the Wii. Nintendo may have suffered down the years with a complete lack of decent racers, but NFS: ProStreet changes all this.

EA have promised to return to the street-race style that fans were used to in the next instalment but will re-visit the track racing every other year. Whether weíll get bored of this style and the un-consistency remains to be seen, but for now EA have created a fairly substantial Wii racer. It isnít perfect however which is reflected by our score, but it is a positive step in the right direction for the future of racers on the Wii and one we look forward too!

Top Game Moment: Drifting the final corner and overtaking the leader to win the race in style!


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Comments

By senecaz (SI Newbie) on Feb 28, 2009
senecaz
i guess there's nothing more interesting in nfs anymore coz the gameplay is just the same in almost all of its versions. i wonder if this is the nfs version i played where there are plenty of persistent cops following you the entire race which is really annoying..
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Mar 01, 2009
Wowerine
I just started playing Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box on my PC. This is the first ever Burnout title I played, and I must say that I'm quite impressed. The gameplay reminds me of Crashday, and something reminds me on Flatout... GG.