Need for Speed Carbon Review
Need for Speed Carbon (NFSC) brings the street racing series to the Wii for the first time. Now when you bring a game to the Wii it’s hard not to try and take advantage of the game’s motion-sensing controllers even when the game is a port from other systems. Sometimes this works well, sometimes it doesn’t. With NFSC it doesn’t.
The default controls have you use the remote as a steering wheel by holding it sideways and horizontally. You then use the remote much as you do a steering wheel – to turn left you tilt the left side down and the right side up and do the opposite to turn right. The buttons on the remote are used to activate the gas, brakes, and other car controls and race commands. This scheme feels a little odd at first but you get used to it pretty quickly. It works well enough for casual driving or down the game’s few and far between straightaways, but it is wholly inadequate for high speed turns and cornering. It is simply too difficult to control your car with the necessary precision in these situations and it is downright impossible to recover from a skid. Luckily the game gives you four control options that include using the nunchuck to steer by either rotating it or using the thumbstick. These work out a little better than the first scheme, but they’re all hampered by the fact that you need to use the remote as your pedals, raising it to brake and pointing it down to accelerate. None of the available schemes is good and each has its own set of issues. Unfortunately this is a big issue that makes the game far more frustrating to play than it should be. I wish there were an option to use the nunchuck stick to steer and its buttons to accelerate and brake, but you’re forced by the game to go totally Wii. Well let’s say that I haven’t scared you off yet and have a look at the gameplay itself…
NFS Carbon takes place in the fictional town Palmont City, which kind of looks like the city of Miami transplanted into the California foothills and given a Las Vegas makeover. There’s a lot of city here for you to explore, from canyon backroads and sleepy residential streets to downtown grids and super highways. Illegal street racing is big in Palmont City with everyone except the cops and minivan crowd, and the racers have aligned themselves into gangs and divided up the city in an ongoing turf war. To beat the game, become the top racer in town, learn the secrets of your past, vindicate yourself to your friends, earn the respect of your rivals, etc., you’ll need to takeover the entire city for your gang. Each territory features a few race events that you can enter. Win the majority of race events in a territory and it becomes yours. While you’re out racing for territory so will your rivals and it is quite probable that you’ll have to re-run some complete events to defend your territory. At times it can be annoying to be forced to re-run races that you’ve already beat, but at least the game doesn’t bog you down with constant territory defense.
Take all of the territory from a gang and you’ll face the gang’s leader in a
final duel for victory. These are three part races that force you to win a
regular race in the city and then travel to one of the canyons outside of town.
There you’ll compete in two checkpoint races in which you must try to stay as
close as possible to your rival followed by a race with the two of you switching
roles. I found the leader races to be a little much and wish there weren’t so
many hoops to jump through to win.