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Nascer Rumble
Platform:  Playstation
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  EA Sports
Publisher:  EA Sports
Features:  Dual shock compatible
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  1 block
Info:  http://www.ea.com
Nascar racing is huge in this country, especially in the south. However, unless you are a true die-hard fan the games that feature all of the Nascar celebrities can be kinda dull. Just looping around and around in the big circle can be fun for some, but for others it just gets repetitive. That is why the good people at EA Sports have come up with Rumble. With no basis in reality Rumble comes off as a great arcade racing game complete with everything you would expect form a game of this type.

Letís be frank. This game is not realistic no matter how many real drivers and sponsors it has. I donít know any Nascar racer who would take his car through some of the forests and off road locales featured in this game. Also, there is no damage done to any of the cars even if they flip over three times in the air before landing (a tornado will do that to you). Really the only thing that Rumble has to do with actual Nascar racing is the drivers and car designs, which is great for Nascar fans who are tired of the same Ďole Nascar game.

What makes the game shine is that it goes beyond just an interesting concept and comes across as a solid game. The graphics are really much better than you would think. There is little to no pop-up. Each track features lush environments that are long and detailed with many bumps and obstacles to interact with and a bunch of secrets and shortcuts. Think the level designs of San Francisco Rush combined with the great graphics and textures of the Need for Speed series.

As if driving Nascars on original tracks was not enough there are also weapons and power-ups available for use. Some of them are really devastating. You can freeze your opponents, put a rain cloud over their heads, or ram them off a cliff. Use turbos, increased racing wheels, and other power-ups to take the lead. Use oil slicks to stay there. You can even set the amount of weapons available so that the game is not bombarded with power-ups.

The gameplay is very smooth. The cars handle very well and the control is tight. To keep the same feel of Nascar racing the cars tend to keep in a pack. No one car can get too far in the lead. So even though there are only six racers, it feels like there is an entire group since you car always is interacting with them. Like most racing games you have to compete in tournaments and win them to earn all of the secrets. There seems to be a bunch packed into this game so you will not tire easily.

Probably the best aspect of Rumble is that you do not have to be a Nascar fan to enjoy it. The game surpasses its Nascar roots and comes off as a really sweet arcade racer. If you are tired of all the cutesy cart racing games but sims just are not you thing, then definitely check out Rumble. Whoever thought that the concept of Blitz could be applied to Nascar racing? All I can say is it works.

Chris Shade


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