Nascar Heat 2002
Review of Nascar Heat 2002
Here is a little NASCAR tidbit for you racing buffs - In 1948 NASCAR held its first race at Daytona Beach. Robert Red Byron won this 149.6 mile event with a stinking FORD believe it or not.
During the 80s and 90s Nascar racing continued to grow. By the year 1999, Nascar was known as the largest spectator sport in the US!
I Wonder where they fit all of those motor homes?
Beat the Heat is really a mode that teaches you how to race. There are 6 sets of challenges, though in the beginning only the first set is opened. You need to work for the rest and all need to be done in order. This forces the player to try and try again to progress. Some of these tasks can be quite challenging as well as wearisome. In any event is provides a good learning tool for the rest of the game.
There are many other racing modes as well. Race the Pro and Single Race are simply racing battles against your favorite drivers while racing on famous NASCAR tracks like Daytona Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway. The Championship mode is the heart of the game. Options like race length, wear factor, flags add lots of realism and the season can be set to full, medium or short.
The way the vehicle handles is very much dependent on the difficulty setting you choose. Normal mode is quite forgiving, but selecting Expert requires precise driving - just like in a real NASCAR race. If the player does not brake in time they can expect to kiss the wall; killing precious time at best, or causing damage at worst. Sure, its fun to crash into other cars and move them out of the way but unfortunately, it will greatly affect the performance of the vehicle and they can only withstand so much abuse. I tested this theory of course (quite a few times) and lost a tire and black smoke was oozing out of the cars destroyed engine. I had a hell of a time trying to limp back to the Pit Stop. Once there a fully animated Pit crew comes out and changes the tire, gases you up and does whatever else you need. The player can choose their options for repair but take note, the more you need done to the car, the longer the pit stop. Attention Grease monkeys - if you happen to be playing in expert mode there is also a Garage option where you can tinker with the cars chassis, gearing and other fine adjustments.
The graphics in Heat are pretty satisfying. It does not measure up to GT3 but it is still pleasing to the eye. The cars are quite gratifying with colorful and clearly defined logos of their sponsorships and accurately modeled vehicles. My favorite was the M & M car... Mmmmm. I also noticed the glaring glass as the sun hits the cars windows and the spidering that occurs when the glass takes a hit. There is also plenty of smoke and sparks to go along with the damage a vehicle takes. The tracks are very realistic with details like burning hot skid marks, barriers, granular surfaces, and ambitious fans on the sidelines. The framerate is a little rocky, but for the most part it is solid considering there could be many cars on the track at once but it can get a bit choppy at times when the cars get bunched up together.
The sound effects rock. This is a cool surround game. You can hear the cars humming around the corners and zooming behind you, the sounds of agonizing crashes, collisions with walls and fans cheering in the background.
I also wanted to mention that NASCAR Heat also delivers a nice presentation of 2-player mode in horizontal split screen.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Nascar Heat 2002' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Loretta Mattie © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 7 Nascar Heat 2002 in-game screenshot slideshow
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