NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona

Overview

NASCAR games have been present on the consoles for quite some time. There really hasn’t been one Nascar title that really has stood out over the rest. Now Infogrames is back to take another try at it, this time with NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona.

Gameplay

One of the two biggest aspects to a NASCAR games overall performance is usually judged on two main categories. The first is how realistic the game is and the second main factor in a good NASCAR game is the ability to customize your vehicle.

All is very present in Dirt to Daytona. First to start off I will discuss how Dirt to Daytona plays out. There isn’t a huge array of game modes but what is impressive is how extensive they can be. There are a single race, career, season, head to head, beat the heat and pro trainer. The pro trainer mode is just to help you race the best race possible by getting little insights to help you out.

The career mode is really where the majority of the game will be found. In this mode you will create a racer and try to take him to the top of the racing charts. You start out where all racers usually start, in the dirt. You will compete in races to earn money to improve your car.

This is really where the game starts to become a lot of fun. Customizing your car’s engine is really what Nascar games are all about. They give you tons of different parts to choose from to improve your cars overall performance.

Many Nascar games of the past did not come with more then 5-10 tracks to race on. Well that is no longer the case when it comes to Dirt to Daytona. The game offers 31 tracks to race on, so don’t worry you won’t be racing on the same oval track over and over again.

The game is not all fun and games. When you get down to the racing portion of the game, this is not an easy arcade style racing game. The game was really going for a realistic approach and that’s what the final result came out with. You will find that even one wrong flick of the analog stick and you will end up in the wall or the grass. The games controls are very sensitive so you are really going to be careful how you maneuver your vehicle. What is definitely a plus for the game is that you can actually see the difference in the car’s performance, after upgrades.

What is kind of disappointing is the absence of music throughout the game. You get to listen to the theme music while your navigating through the menu’s but during the game you will only be listening to the sound of the roaring engines. You will also get to listen to your cockpit either telling you how stupid you are or who is about to pass you.

Graphics

When it comes to the game’s graphics, I have a comment that really sums up how I feel about how Dirt to Daytona looks. The game looks good, but we have also seen better. To start with the 31 tracks really are the best aspect of the game’s graphics. Each track has its own unique look, and is very detailed. The crowds are also worth mentioning, because they are some of the better looking crowds in any sports game.

The vehicles are really where the game’s graphics score falls from very good to just decent. Each car does have very unique looks to them, but really don’t have anything to them that really do much. What really is disappointing is that the vehicles look blurry from the outer camera views, which really show the more disappointing side of Dirt to Daytona.

The instant replays are worth mentioning because the really capture the races with several different camera angles, and if your race a good race then they can be a lot of fun to watch.

Fun Factor

This is not going to a very fun game for just the casual Nascar/Racing game fan. The game is really aimed for the Nascar fanatics who really want to spend a lot of time modifying their cars. The game can be quite frustrating due to the fact it is a simulation game and there will be times where you will be winning a race and make one stupid mistake and you find yourself at the back of the pack the rest of the race.

Overall

This is just a really well made Nascar game. The career mode should last you quite a while, if not there is still the beat the heat mode and the multiplayer modes to deal with. There really are no major complaints to the game, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.