Need for Speed NITRO Review
The Wii is a unique console to be sure. Besides the one-of-a-kind controller it is also, to be blunt, underpowered compared to the other current generation consoles in the PS3 and Xbox 360. This can be a serious issue when developers are creating a game for all three platforms. PS3 and 360 games are fairly close in terms of graphical standards and both also have enough horses under the hood to run some intense processing for game play. So it has not been surprising that the Wii has had some clunkers in cross platform games. Now some developers are finally figuring that out and creating special Wii specific versions for their games. Our case in point here is EA's Need for Speed: Nitro which was the first custom built Need for Speed for the Wii (hey, that kind of rhymes!). Will this custom job get your motor running or does it still need to be pimped out some more...
The Need for Speed series has been a roller coaster of good and bad. What EA is aiming for with Nitro is to bring an arcade style racer to the Wii, so those looking for a Grand Turismo or Forza experience on the Wii will need to keep on trucking. The attitude and style of Nitro is geared (hee, hee, “geared”) toward fun and accessibility. It has a cartoonish vibe to it with lots of colorful cars and locations. The cars are semi-realistic looking but with enough exaggerated features that keep with the casual atmosphere. The voice acting is well done, albeit light-hearted.
One area where Nitro certainly went all out on was the support for different control schemes, and I don't just mean you can configure which button is the gas and which is the brake. No, Nitro gives you just about every supported controller as an option. You can use the Wii remote single handed, which allows you to have a beverage in the other or have it slung around your significant other, or you can use the steering wheel. Maybe you want to use the Wii remote and nunchuk together, not a problem. Still attached to that GameCube controller or have something special going on with the Classic controller, again Nitro has you covered. Obviously some work better than others but you'll bound to find one that fits your style.
Nitro is an arcade style racer and that means you are set on a pretty specific path with a few short cuts here and there along the lines of an OutRun. There are several cities that you get to cruise through with stops in Singapore, Cairo, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid. Each of the locations has at least a couple of tracks and while this sounds impressive it is actually limited and the tracks become repetitive too quickly.