Need for Speed: Nitro

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Need for Speed: Nitro
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NFS Hotwheels Edition.
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
Nintendo DS
Release Date: November 2, 2009
Developer: EA Montreal (Wii)
Firebrand Games (NDS)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Made in: Canada
United Kingdom
Franchise: Need for Speed
Previous Game: Need for Speed: Shift
Next Game: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)


Need for Speed: Nitro is a game released in 2009 specifically for the Nintendo consoles. It is one of the three NFS projects that EA announced in 2009.

Bad Qualities

  1. In 2009, after Black Box's massive failure of their previous game, EA announced that NFS will be divided into three directions: Shift (a sim-racing game developed by Slightly Mads Studios), Nitro (a more kid-friendly Nintendo exclusive racing game developed by EA Monteral and Firebrand Games) and World (an MMORPG racing game with traditional Black Box formula, also developed by them). Note that the exclusivity and experimental nature of this game is the main reason why it has become the "forgotten child" of the franchise.
  2. While the extremely cartoon-ish and exaggerated art style itself isn't really a bad quality, it doesn't fit well with the rest of the series, which is one of the main reasons why the majority of NFS fanbase don't like this game.
    • All cars in this game are shortened with massive rear wheels and logos, which makes them look like Hotwheels models. Also every single one of them are now rear wheel drive.
  3. Because it is a more casual game, the handling model is reduced to a very bare-bone state, with shaking the Wii remote hard to enter the drift mode (which feels like drifting on rails). This is very close to what we have now in most mobile games, which barely existed back in 2009.
  4. Nitrous (which helps burning fuel) in a Tesla (which is electric and has no fuel to burn). At least it looks cool because it shoots out lightnings instead of flames.
  5. Although there are characters in this game, they are all featured in some extremely racial-stereotypical cutscenes.
    • Even if racial stereotype wasn't considered as a bad quality in 2009, they are also huge wasted potentials. They even got voice actors for some (now unlisted) trailers for this game[1], while in the actual game they are reduced to only one cutscene for each of them and ordinary (or slightly faster) AI drivers. Not even one-on-one races.
    • At least you still get to unlock their cars after completely owning their respective areas.
  6. Severe rubberbanding with pretty high difficulty spikes, especially towards Dubai. This goes so far that AI can ram you very hard while rubberbanding. Not to mention the cops, which are actually designed to ram you off the road.
    • Thankfully, you can throw the heat to someone in front of you by picking up a police badge.
  7. Some stars are seriously hard to get. This happens a lot in solo events like drift, speedtrap, time trials, and loan car events.
  8. Repetitive career mode which basically requires you to do the same career mode three times with different car classes.
  9. Yes, there is a damage model in this casual game, but it's pretty annoying. Crashing your car too much will seal off one of your two nitro bars, which is devastating because nitro is a deciding factor in this game (also rubberband AI mentioned above can instantly kill both of your nitro bars). To fix this you have to pick up a wrench on the road like in Mario Cart, but again, because of rubberband AI, they get grabbed very easily.
    • Visual damage only include shattered glass, ruined paints, and the obviously shaking body.
  10. The DS version retained the art style as best as they can, but the handling model and sense of speed is much worse than the Wii version.

Good Qualities

  1. This game does very well to be in its own style, instead of a straight-up copycat and a bait-and-switch.
  2. Very intense sense of speed.
  3. Really engaging licensed soundtrack.
  4. The "Own It" feature (the whole environment is decorated in the lead car's style) is a very cool and well-executed concept.
  5. Visual customization, although very reduced, is still pretty good, especially the grafitti-style paint system. You can even create stickers of your own, which modern NFS games somehow can't.
  6. Locations of choice is really unique for a racing game. The police radio's (despite being brief) language even corresponds to the location. In DS version you even get to race on the moon!
  7. The reused Black Box engine sounds work well most of the time. Except they somehow threw a modern muscle car sound into the C3 Corvette.
  8. Excellent multiplayer experience. You can even do career events with other players. This is also the last game in NFS that features a split screen mode.

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