One of the few companies that has been putting a lot of time and resources into make unique and new experiences for the Nintendo Wii outside of Nintendo has been EA. With games like Boom Blox, EA has done what they can to make Wii-specific games and has had a varying amount of success with it. So EA is continuing this push for Wii games with their latest NASCAR game, which is not your everyday NASCAR game, this time its a Kart Racer. So does NASCAR Kart Racing have what it takes to compete with the likes of Mario Kart Wii? Read our full review to find out!
When I heard that EA was coming out with their own Kart racing game when Nintendo is still selling a ton of copies of Mario Kart wii I have to say I was quite surprised. To me I just don’t see the Kart racing genre being all that open of a genre so it showed me that EA was pretty confident in NASCAR Kart Racing and saw it being a strong competitor to Mario Kart Wii.
Let’s just start with the racing in NASCAR Kart Racing as I have a feeling many have not seen this game in action all that often if ever. The game does take quite a few ideas from Mario Kart Wii there is just no denying it. While racing you will have your normal powerups that offer speed boosts and weapons. You will also have patches of courses that offer their own speed boosts to try and gain some steam on the competition. The racing competition in NASCAR Kart Racing is actually quite intense and a lot of this has to do with the ability to slingshot past your opponents which requires you to hug up against your opponent and then sling past them. This is one of the few unique aspects of NASCAR Kart Racing and actually does work quite well.
NASCAR Kart Racing has 12 courses to race on and only one of them would be considered an actual NASCAR course the rest being the typical over the top crazy Kart racing courses that we have seen before. This comment “seen before” is one that really did consistently come up while I played through NASCAR Kart Racing. This wasn’t a bad thing necessarily but when your going to an already established market I think this game needed to do more to separate itself from the pack.
With all of this being said NASCAR Kart Racing is a very capable racing game that does have a high level of polish. The racing has a good sense of speed without feeling like you are to out of control. In fact all of the mechanics in NASCAR Kart Racing have a really smooth feel to them and all work really well using the Wii mote. In the end there is nothing essentially wrong with NASCAR Kart Racing, its a very capable racer, its just that Mario Kart Wii has done it better.
Visually this is another mixed bag for NASCAR Kart Racing which has some really well detailed and nicely maintained tracks to ride on. The game also handles the speed of the action quite well while still maintaining a good idea of what’s going on. Where this game does struggle is separating itself from the rest of the pack. The Karts are rather bland and not all the inventive and although I liked the tracks I thought they could have been more inventive and maybe a little more true to the NASCAR label. The overall look just doesn’t “wow” in fact more then anything it just puts another check next to Mario Kart Wii.
There are very few Kart racing titles that I would just eliminate from being an enjoyable experience. Luckily NASCAR Kart Racing is a game that continues that very light hearted enjoyable arcade racing experience that offers quick and easy fun without much hassle. For me the game could have used more depth whether it was in the modes, the number of racers, and the number of tracks the game does lack. With that being said there is no denying that if you pick up this game looking for an enjoyable Kart racer this game does at least deliver that.
When you come to the Wii and develop a Kart racer there is no way of getting out of the comparisons to Mario Kart Wii and unfortunately this game just does not stack up. NASCAR Kart Racing is still a very well polished and nicely developed Kart Racer that may not be the best the Wii has seen but is enjoyable nonetheless.
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