STAFF REVIEW of Nascar Heat 2002 (Xbox)

Saturday, December 1, 2001.
by Stephen Cameron

Nascar Heat 2002 Box art This is one amazing NASCAR game! This title is much better than NASCAR Thunder from EA in my opinion. And it supports multiplayer (Yes, even on the new Gamespy), this is where this game scores big with me! The other night I had a few friends over here; they were simply amazed at the graphics, sounds, and the overall feel of the game. ?It looks real?, they said. ?I?m getting one of these?, a friend of mine said. Need I say more? This game is an excellent choice for an avid NASCAR watcher, the speed freak, or simply a gift.

The game play it is excellent. Controls very nice, we even hooked up our Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Victory Wheel even with a steering wheel. WOW, this is a pile of fun. I don?t remember when a NASCAR game was this cool. If you are using a regular Xbox controller, it does a nice job. It?s your standard, right trigger gas, left trigger brake arrangement. You also get a super nice sensation of speed, which I find a lot of games don?t execute properly; these guys hit the nail on the head. If you are going buy a NASCAR game, get this one. If you don?t like the racing games that go round and round, this is not for your Xbox collection. But if you get it as a gift, you?ll still enjoy it. But, invite some friends. Overall the fact that it?s not a simulation is cool.

Graphics are very good. You see the actual car model dent. You also see smoke and fire coming from the other cars. When there?s an accident you hope to dear god you don?t smash in to another vehicle. I never got that feeling from a NASCAR game. Honest. The lighting is bang on the money! You pass under the fence with your car, the shadows cast onto your vehicle. WOW! This game leaves you breathless, no bull. One small graphical thing I thought would have been nice is a better choice of skins or paint jobs.

True Dolby Digital, what more do you want? You pass someone on the left hand side, you hear it. Someone is bumping you from the back; you hear it (Even the scraping). The clarity is amazing. There?s not much music, but when you are travelling at 150 miles per hour. You don?t have time to listen to music. But, none the less, the intro music is done well, which I find the only thing wrong with this game, but this is easily fixed in a sequel. Overall the sounds are sweet.

More skins/paint jobs. Better soundtrack or the option to use the Xbox?s soundtrack feature. You?re on the right track folks! Keep up the good work.

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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