My General Thoughts on Need for Speed

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There might be something to learn here… oh, and it’s pretty long.

As an avid (console) racing game fan for over 15 years now, I am most definitely a fan of NFS 2015.

At this point in time, I’ve just about finished the game twice, and I haven’t felt bored at all so far, still going strong. I mean, the game is just really fun to play. But from what it seems, with the amount of complaints around here, I may be a rare case.

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Initial D Arcade Stage’s Infamous “Bunta Challenge”

I’ve grown up alongside racing games and car culture for most of my life now. I grew up playing Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport and for a while, arcade racers such as Initial D, WMMT3 and Battle Gear. I like, most of you, also played through the various releases of “Street Racing” games, such as Midnight Club, Juiced, of course NFS UG and the few games after that. Even the more unknown titles like Option Tuning Car Battle and Auto Modellista.

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Gran Turismo’s “Eiger Norwand”

I’d say most of my time with racing games we’re spent chasing times on the Gran Turismo leaderboards (Top 100 Eiger Nordwand on GT5 Prologue in multiple cars, before I switched to playing fighting games competitively), ID3 Time Attack and a bit of WMMT3/4 (for those that know some ID3, Irohazaka and Akagi were my top 2).

So I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’ve played them all, but I’ve played a fair amount of racing games over the last decade and a half.

 

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From Australia. Look familiar?

I’ve followed the tuning car culture for a while now, live in Sydney, Australia, and I’d say the car scene down here is pretty big. From HOT4’s magazines and Autosalon to WTAC and the various car meets that happen all year. Not directly involved, but as I said, I’ve followed the scene for a while now. Avid fan of Formula D and D1, and I used to watch the Hot Version and Best Motoring videos back in the day. Nowadays it’s all through social media and websites like Speedhunters and Farmofminds. So I guess I know a little.

Back to NFS 2015.

I get what people are saying, all the complaints and such. Do I agree? For the most part, nope.

Sure, I’d like a few changes here and there, fixes to bugs and such. But nothing for be to really complain about. Might be because I didn’t set my expectations that high, but even then, I already knew, that thanks to the iconic status of the Underground series, the bar was already set, and possibly too high at that.

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Circa 2003

It’s easy to compare the two, (okay okay, night time street racing, customization and all that, I get it.) but it’s not like they were advertising the game as Underground 3; although I guess it comes with the name right? But please don’t start with the Underground 1/2 was this, and 2015 doesn’t have that. There’s no need. It has all already been said. Chill.

Okay, so. I’ll start with the handling. I honestly don’t have any major complaints, I’m fine with how the game handles right now. Sure, there MIGHT be a bit of an issue with understeer, but that’s nothing a bit of braking or throttle control can’t adjust. I really don’t understand when people say that cars “steer on their own,” I’ve never had an issue even to close to it. I’d be happy with a slight adjustment to the handling, as I feel the game favours drift over grip. Oh, and up the steering response please – but even if the handling remains unchanged, I’m cool.

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As for drifting? It’s hella fun. Well… once you get used to it, and that really didn’t take that long for me. Sure it’s not exactly the most realistic simulation of drifting, but the “feeling” of drift is there, and this is coming from someone that has spent hours upon hours drifting in Gran Turismo/Forza and other sims. Bit of throttle control, bit of counter steering, drifting feels pretty good. It’s probably one of the best I’ve come across in terms an inbuilt drift mechanic/feature, for a “arcade” racer that is. Again, relatively easy and very fun.

The part I appreciate the most about this game, is the connection and small references made to street/tuning car culture. It’s probably what gives this game relevance, and also, from I what I think, the main aspect of the game most don’t understand. To put it simply, the meaning behind most of the decals, parts and names mentioned in the game.

 

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2015 Formula D Championship duo – Aasbo and Papdakis

Yes, we already have the “Icons”. But some of the other guys that appear in the cutscenes, I would consider most of them (somewhat) icons as well. 2015 Formula D Champion, Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo, and his Team Owner/Manager, the legendary Stephan Papadakis (imo he might be more suited to the title of Build icon, but Nakai-san’s still cool) and even 2010 Formula D Champion and the man behind Mustang RTR, Vaughn Gittin Jr. Even some of the AI you race as well. Which includes, Mark Arcenal, founder of Fatlace/Illest and his Hakosuka and Larry Chen from Speedhunters and his 240Z… and that’s just to name a few.

This ties into what may be the most controversial part for most, the car customization.

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Again, I’m probably one of the rare few that prefer the customization in this game versus the older NFS games. I know, I know – nowhere near UG2 in the level of customization, nowhere near the same amount of parts available to you. No nitrous purge, no roof scoops, no hydraulics, no neons, well not yet anyway. For me, this is the closest to what I’ve always wanted. It may be just me, but I wasn’t a fan of all the crazy parts in the older games, and for one main reason. The majority of the parts we’re not actual aftermarket parts. I already know, aftermarket parts were available in other games, but in the case of NFS, this is from what I understand, a first. Almost every part available to you in this game, you can get in real life, so of course that means you really can take in a game creation and replicate that in real life (or the other way around). BN Sports kitted 180 on CR Kai’s? Maybe replicate Ryan Tuerck’s Street FR-S? Liberty Walk Aventador anyone? You can pretty much replicate the 2F2F R34 thanks to the C-West/Sunline Racing kit available in-game. It’s just so cool to me. And like I said, for the most part it’s all relevant. Rocket Bunny, Rauh-Welt, Voltex and Rotiform, all relevant to car culture right now. So when people are ask for other brands like Veilside and BoMex, sure I’d like to see their parts added to the game, but just understand that those brands are a little more relevant last decade. A bit of extra knowledge will help, so I would suggest to do a bit of research on some of the names or brands you see in the game. Speedhunters.com being the best example, and it’s actually run by the people over at Electronic Arts / Need for Speed.

Lastly, just a few of the not-so-important things like… the story. Not too bad, little short, but I enjoyed it. Audio? Same thing, not too bad. Same for the Music as well. I’d say it’s suitable with current popularity of EDM with a selection of subgenres in the mix, so I understand the soundtrack, but even then I find myself turning the Music down and playing Spotify through the PS4. Map’s cool, just make it a bit easier to challenge people and I’m awaiting a fix on the whole Crew/Party feature. But for now I can manage.

Overall, it’s not like the game can get any worse right?

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It’s not my favourite game, but I’m pretty satisfied with what the game is right now, and I can definitely see potential. Ease up on the complaints. Sometime I don’t understand why people are just complaining all the time. I’m not saying I disagree with all that’s been said, but I feel like some people are just throwing out redundant statements. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but maybe spend a little more time actually playing the game instead of complaining please, you might actually enjoy it. It hasn’t even been a month now.

Sure, it may not be the game most of you have been waiting for, but for me? I’ll take it. And it’s only going to get better from here. (I can already feel the heat this post will get)

I’m more than happy to give a tip or two to anyone that needs some help within the game or if anyone would be down to have a few tsuiso / tandem drift runs, feel free to ask. Other than that, I’ve thought about producing video content, so if there is any interest for it, I’ll probably do so.

There’s probably a lot that I’ve missed, but for anyone that actually read all of this, that’s about it for now. I think it’s time for me to hop on NFS again. Thanks.

Shoutout to /u/Ghost_Ben – With all the negative comments you read or receive and all that’s asked from you, it seems pretty rough for you around here. Almost like people around here take you for granted. Cool to have a Ghost rep. around Reddit – thanks man.

– David

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