copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
The Need for Speed (96)
Impact: A memorable trance trip
The idea is quite simple: pick one of the several cars and race one or several opponents on one of the game's several maps; Win by reaching the finish line first without getting caught by police. It's not too complicated of a concept but it is the right details that make this experience special.
What NFS does successfully is it gives just enough variety to keep you interested, but nothing extra that could perhaps spoil the experience. Each car looks, feels and sounds different, in and out. There is also a road map present for every taste, each made for high speed. NFS also gives you a taste of havoc. The presence of police on the roads is an interesting challenge and a keeper as we have seen in the later games. There is also something extremely satisfactory about crashing head on into an oncoming vehicle.
Despite the game being an arcade game, it has a surprisingly realistic and free feel to it. Several factors contribute to that such as the vast scenery, the traffic, the trance/techno tunes, the cockpit view and the vehicle behavior. The first NFS awards a sense of freedom that is hard to replicate even today.
NFS uses videos instead of cut scenes and it does so with great success as these videos are very professionally put together. The videos are used, among other things, to introduce the game vehicles. This brings you closer to the pixels you are actually going to be driving, and is again, one of the ways the developers make the game feel alive. The graphics in general are very acceptable for the time and there is something about this type of graphics that does not age. Each car has a well drawn cockpit. And what a view can be seen from that spot! NFS provides maps set in cities, mountains and flatlands and each brings a little bit of "out there" to out here.
Although nothing special, the game's audio is a great component of the whole. The game uses a lot of good music during the gameplay, menus and cut scenes, relying a lot on techno. Of course it is a matter of taste, but those who listen to this type of music know that it detaches, and a feeling of flight and detachment is one of the major feelings that the NSF leaves in you.
The NFS is a classic, but not like a weird black and white movie classic from the 30s, but rather like a Harley motorbike classic. It detaches you from your daily burden and puts you into a simple, pretty and fast world. NFS leaves a good memory.
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