A LOOK BACK AT NEED FOR SPEED: PROSTREET (2007)
***Warning : Pretty lengthy (I don't know what to include, so I just included all of them)***
I saw Risablesk3595's Carbon Review, and I decided I also want to review a classic NFS game. Because, hey, I just recently completed it. So, why not? And also, it's quite fitting considering this is made after Carbon.
Need For Speed: ProStreet is the 11th game in the Need For Speed franchise. It was released in 2007 for PS3, PS2, Wii, PC, Mobile phone, Xbox 360 and the DS. Published by EA and developed by EA BlackBox. And (I'm guessing) was one of the most disliked Need for Speed game back then, because it wasn't a NFS game with cops and the illegal street racing scene.
This is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated Need For Speed game ever. This is a game that somehow keeps coming back to my life, and every time I play it again, it will always be a blast. From 1st grade, to 4th grade, 6th grade, and then, to the present day. I decided to do a literal full completion of the game. And this is what I gathered on my journey to the 100% mark.
Keep in mind, this review is from my view of the game, I don't know what to say about the others that has played this game before.
There's not a lot of story, really. But I'll write the beginning scene.
You are Ryan Cooper, a former street racer going into the big times of legal racing. In the story intro scene, he enters the Battle Machine "racer search" race day in Chicago, a racing organization. It's hosting DJ is Battle Machine's Big J. This "racer search" race day is an event that happens once a year, giving a chance at potential street racers who could step up into the big leagues. If a racer wins the whole race day, he/she could step into the official/legitimate Battle Machine races. With his iconic '93 240SX, Ryan Cooper wins mostly all of the races on that race day. He wins a Grip race, a Drift race, and a Drag race, all while the DJ and the crowd is cheering him on. Before moving on to the final race, the intro scene introduces you to Ryo Watanabe, the Showdown King, who was also a street racer. With his Mitsubishi Evo X, he puts on a show for the crowd and steps up into the stage. While the racers line up for the final event, the DJ mentioned Ryan, and Ryo mocks Ryan. After that point, the intro ends, and you start doing the race. With Ryan dominating the race day, a frustrated and angry Ryo slowly drives up to the now celebrating Cooper, and taunts him by doing donuts and then leaving the event. With that out of the way, the journey begins.
To progress through the career, you need to complete a series of race days to progress from race organization to race organization. There are 3 main organizers, Battle Machine, React Team Sessions, and Super Promotion. There are also organizers that focus on specific type of class. Such as Nitrocide (Speed), Rogue Speed (Drag), Noise Bomb (Drift), and G-Effect (Grip).
Oh yeah, the classes... Or "mode" is what the game calls it... They're straight up made for what they do.
Grip : Well, it says it all. A class mainly made for grip racing on the circuits.
Drag : Made for the fastest at 1/4 and 1/2 mile straight line races. Oh, and a wheelie competition, where you go for the longest wheelie distance.
Drift : Going sideways and going sideways only.
Speed : Made to sit at over 170+ MPH comfortably. Some going as far to 200-230+ MPH. Can't say the same about the Speed tracks, though. Absolutely the opposite of comfortable.
Yes, I know most of them are identical in looks except for Drag.
Now, the race modes has different types of modes in of itself. Let's start with Grip Mode.
Grip Mode has 4 different race types. First one is "Grip", it's straight up, 8 cars, but there are no handicaps to what people can bring. Meaning, an AE86 that has 112 HP can be pitted against a '69 Dodge Charger or a '67 Shelby GT500 with over 450HP.
"Grip Class" is 8 cars as well, but this time, there are two groups, Group A & B. With 4 cars on each side. Group A is the weaker HP group, while the B one is the higher HP group. Most of the time, you'll be in Group B, but it's possible to be in Group A, as well.
"Sector Shootout" is... Well, this is actually kind of hard to explain. 4 drivers. There are 4 sectors to go through in a circuit. You have 3 laps. Whoever set the fastest in a sector, the time will be shown, and the others have to beat it. The timer is a score counting down. Set the score slower/lower than the posted score by an AI or even yourself, and you won't bank the score. And yes, you can bank scores on your own fastest sector scores, just make sure it's higher than the posted score.
"Time Attack" Simple. 3 laps, 4 drivers. All fighting for the best lap time posted. Just be careful, most of the time you are blocked by other drivers. Fail to avoid, and your car will get damage that will hamper your performance (although, somewhat), points, markers/cash, and looks. Although, we'll talk about the damage modelling later.
Now let's move on to Drag Mode. It has 3 type of races, 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and the aforementioned Wheelie Competition. 1/4 mile is straight up. So is 1/2 mile, but this time, you have to make sure your car can last in speed and not just acceleration. And Wheelie Competition is about having the longest Wheelie distance. But, you need a pretty powerful car for a Wheelie Competition. Thankfully, the Wheelie Competition only comes at later stages. So, you probably should already have an RWD drag monster.
The tip about drag races is that FWD cars are absolutely useless, AWD cars are mid-range, and RWD is king. Although you can make them faster by using the clutch.
-Small TRANSMISSION intermission
Yes, this game has a transmission option that let's you use the clutch. And another tip, powershifting is the way to do it. Don't know about Drag races for that matter, though. You can power shift in Grip, Speed, and Drift without much consequences. In fact, it literally is the fastest way to drive in this game.
For those who want to stay in Auto but wants a taste of Manual, no worries! If you shift up in Auto, the game goes to Manual mode. If you hit the redline, there is a 2 second delay before the game changes it back to Auto. So if you want to go back to Auto, the game does it for you.
It can be annoying in Speed races, though. It always changes it back to Auto on redlines, even if you didn't want to.
-back to RACE MODES
Now the Drift races. There's only one type and that is "Drift". Just get the highest score and you are good. Although, some tracks give you a much easier chance to earn up to over 4000-5000+ scores, while others give you just the bare minimum to reach 1st place.
Last but definitely not least. The Speed races. Ohohoho BOY, The Speed races. This is, for most, the most rage inducing thing in the game for most, especially the Nevada location. But for me, it's always the city part of the Fukushima track. Like I mentioned, They are the opposite of comfortable. They are high speed races on high speed courses. Usually, above 170 MPH or even 200-230 MPH like I mentioned briefly. Hell, you are meant to take bends at that speed too! Not to mention bumps and JUMPS. Yes, there are jumps that can make or break the race. Either you flip over and get "TOTALED!", or you make it with slight speed loss/went off-track/hit the wall, but survived. Or a rare case of going off-track and doing a barrel roll and come out alive. There are also annoying objects sometimes, like in the Fukushima track. But this is the mode where you are always on edge. Because even if you managed to fight through the AIs, you still have to fight the track itself and try to survive. This is what makes the Speed races fun for me.
Also, another odd tip again, but for this specific mode only. If your needle reaches the redline on the tach, it sort of drags the needle into the redline even more. Therefore, adds more speed. And it will mostly stay there until you get off the redline again. So if your lower gear is tuned to a pretty reachable high speed already, don't shift up, leave it at redline. There's no harm done to the transmission in this game.
To progress, you have to go do the race days in each racing organization, each icon in the map represents a race day. You can either "Win" (icon turns to black) or "Dominate" (icon turns to a bright yellow-ish green) the race day. So, if you don't feel like dominating a race day, You can just win it. Although, the Showdowns (The big stars separating the racing organizations in the map. You have to complete the Showdowns to qualify for the next racing organization) asks you to dominate a few race days as well, so don't think you can get through by just winning the race days. Oh, and the specific class race days by the organizations on the right, you really have to dominate those to progress to the boss. The race days in the racing organization's logos are sort of the main one in each stage, where you drive preset cars, with each of them plastered with their racing organization's logos. Also, you can win a car in those main race days (Except the specific class organization race days). There are also hidden race days where you can win a car too (Easily guessed by the green outline on the race details screen on the map), this is always a good thing because, hey, free car.
Every race day has a points system (some doesn't, mainly boss battles). You earn points by doing races, and the points adds up from your position, damage, and target time. Beat the record on that race (Grip, Drag, Drift, or Speed) and you will get a "TRACK RECORD BROKEN" message after you finish that race. This is because if you do that 10 times on a specific mode, you will get access to the boss' main racing organization (10 times on Drag = ticket to Rogue Speed, 10 times on Grip = access to G-Effect, you get the idea). You can also defeat the race day "Dominated" score record by AIs, but that's not important.
-Each racing organization has a specific theme.
Battle Machine is filled with military-themed stuff. Colour/color scheme is military too. Their billboards feature their name surrounded by barbed wire, skulls, stars, and biohazard symbols. Most distinctive one is a giant inflatable pig with military equipment. Their events are usually held only at the US of A.
React Team Sessions has an Asian theme going on to it. They are the first racing organization to do a lot of drift events, and the first racing organization to introduce Speed races. Most of their events are held in Europe and Asia. They have a red and blue color scheme. Their inflatables have a Japanese Anime style to it.
Now, Super Promotion has a theme of sexy women and a bright colour/color palette of red, orange, yellow. They are seen as the most established legal street racing organisation. This is also where Ryo's team usually races, the Apex Glide team. They host normal Super Promotion race days and the Showdown between race organizations on the map. Their inflatables are gorillas, dragons, and blimps, with the Super Promotion colour/color palette. They host all type of race modes, and their events are held in the USA, Europe, and Asia.
-Specific class racing organizations
Rogue Speed is a drag racing specialty organization. They mainly do drag and wheelie events. Their race events are usually held with their heavy metal style. With their colour/color scheme consisting of black, grey and white. Their inflatables are black and white wrestling masks. Their symbol is a skull with wings with "Rogue Speed" written on it. Their music style seems to be rock and heavy metal.
This organization is where the Drag King, Karol Monroe usually runs, alongside her crew, the Aftermix. She drives this 2005 Ford Mustang GT.
Now for Nitrocide, they are a Speed specialty organization. They do Speed Challenges and Top Speed Runs. Their theme is demonic style with a black, grey and red colour scheme. Their inflatables are demonic themed too, with some being demonic characters. Their billboards feature their name surrounded by chains, melted metal and flames. Their music style is a mix between fast paced techno and rock.
Members of Boxcut racers are usually seen in these organization events. Boxcut is a Speed team lead by the Speed King, Nate Denver. He owns a '65 GTO, which was claimed to have a top speed of 220 MPH.
Noise Bomb, it's a drift specialty organization. Their theme consists of 8-bit stuff and a black and bright green colour/color scheme, similar to those of early computer interfaces and retro games. Their inflatables feature Asian dolls that continue with the black and green colour scheme. Their billboards feature their name surrounded by 8-bit characters, cartoon bombs and Anime style characters. Music style is mostly electronica and dance.
This is where the Touge Union team mostly hangs around at. Touge Union is a drift team lead by the Drift King, Aki Kimura. He owns a pretty iconic Mazda RX-7.
And the last side racing organization, we have G-Effect. Their theme is a minimalistic tech style using a palette of mainly blue colour shades. Their inflatables are seen with simple geometric shapes mixed alongside their minimalistic style to create tones that pop out against the greens and greys at their race locations. Their music style is a mix between rock, techno and electronica.
This is where the Grip Runners run. Grip Runners is the team lead by the Grip King, Ray Krieger. Ray drives a BMW M3 E92.
The new damage system introduces more depth of damage. Which means objects can damage your performance or just the cosmetics. Hard hits can induce heavy damage or just total your car altogether. The damage modelling is well detailed, you can lose your bumper, mirrors, hoods, or even the spoiler if you have one, maybe even the trunk. You can repair the damages by paying money or by using the repair markers, there are total markers too. Light damage or heavy damage, it doesn't seem to hamper performance all that much. Another thing, if you flip over and land on your roof, that's an instant "Totaled!".
Yes, that is not 8 seconds into the practice, and I've already crashed. For once, blame the car, 1000HP of no control. Either that, or I really do suck at tuning. I really hope it's the second one.
With the gameplay part out of the way, let's move on to the spicy part. Cars.
Most cars are returning from Carbon. While some are new. And saying that, the car list is pretty good. It has something for everybody.
It has tiers like Carbon, such as, Tier 1, 2, 3, 4. With 4 being the lowest tier. There are 3 types of cars like in Carbon. Muscle, Exotic, Tuners. But it's not really shown like that.
There are classic muscle, and almost all of them are brought back from Carbon. The only new classic muscle cars are probably the '65 GTO and the C2 Corvette Stingray. But they are back from Carbon, so that means it has cars like the GT500, '69 Charger, and the Plymouth Hemi Cuda. Also, most of the classic muscle share the same engine sound.
And there are muscle exotics such as the C6 Corvette, Viper SRT-10, and the Ford GT.
Modern muscle such as the 2007 Shelby GT500, 2001 and 2005 Ford Mustang GT, 2004 Pontiac GTO, Camaro Concept, Cadillac CTS-V, etc.
The JDM tuners are back from Carbon too, with the new ones added like the Mitsubishi Evolution X, Honda Civic CX, and the FG2 Civic Si. And the more popular JDM cars are there too, the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R, R35 GT-R, Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi Evolution IX MR, Mazda RX-7, Subaru Impreza, Nissan 350Z, Acura NSX, etc.
And Euro cars are there too. With sleek exotics and tuners as well. Euro tuners such as the Audi S4, Audi S3, Volkswagen Golf, BMW M3, Ford Focus ST, etc. Exotics such as the Porsche 911, Lamborghini Murcielago, and the Pagani Zonda F.
The Customization brings back the Autosculpt feature from Carbon. The bodykits are a return from carbon too, but there's also an extra bodykit option that can extend the stock bumpers, and the side skirts. The Autosculpt can also extend roof scoops, spoilers, hood vents, and exhaust tips.
There's a blueprint feature that let's you use different setups for the same car. Same performance parts share across the 3 blueprint spaces, which means if you already bought something on the first blueprint car, you can get that something for free in the next blueprint. Now, you can see in the first picture that it's called "Pre-Tuned", it means that it has been tuned before by an organization (like I mentioned earlier, you can win cars from them). And there is a "Speed Blueprint 2", which I am currently using for races. And "Create New Blueprint" where you can make a setup for something else, for example, a more softer setup for bumpy roads. Designs doesn't share across, so you have to make your own, which can be pretty lengthy.
There's also a wind tunnel feature, because if you can change the shape of the Autosculpt bodykit/spoiler/hood, you change the aerodynamics of your car.
As you can see in the picture above. You can change the shape of it while also adding downforce or reducing drag and increasing top speed.
The performance parts has 3 different upgrades, Stage 1, 2, and 3. They are all available right at the start, but of course, some of the upgrades are expensive, so you can't really outright buy them at the start (unless you really want to). They all have different real world performance manufacturer names.
The visual modification. There are real world wheels, and fictional spoilers, roof scoops, hoods, exhaust tips, real world seats, and roll cages. And then there's a vinyl editor, like Carbon, or maybe it's a bit more refined than Carbon's. But the vinyl choices are probably less diverse than it, but they are all definitely different from each other. The decals section is where you can find numbers and real world performance manufacturer logos.
The paint section is where you can paint your ride (obviously). You can also paint the wheels and pick the window tint colour/color to your liking. There are gloss, metallic, matte, candy, iridescent, pearlescent, and chrome. You can paint each individual parts of the body to have different colors. Like this
I always love doing this, because mismatched body panels sort of hints that the car has had some sort of history. And the AI cars are all very unique like this too, like that Supra shown before. or this G35, that seems to have side swiped the door, so he got another one from very different G35.
And yeah, you can also mix and match wheels. For example, BBS wheels on the front and Volk wheels at the back, or vice versa. There are a lot of wheel options, so there should be plenty for everyone. There's even old classic muscle style wheels.
And there's actually a tuning menu just like in Underground 2
It's just a slider, no actual numbers. But, it's still more detailed than Carbon.
LOCATIONS AND ATMOSPHERE
The events hosted by the racing organizations are held in well known places in USA, Europe, and Japan.
In the USA, there is the disused Chicago Meigs Field Airport, Nevada and it's highway for speed races, Texas World Speedway, Willow Springs, Portland International Raceway, and Infineon Raceway (which is now renamed to Sonoma Raceway).
In Japan, there's the Tokyo Dockyard (A fictional race track based on the container terminals in Tokyo), Ebisu, and Autopolis.
In Europe, there is Mondello park and the famous Autobahn.
The atmosphere in the race days are amazing, the DJ commentates on the race, talks about the other drivers (not just Ryan Cooper) (Bradley Hunter, Joe Tackett, Yoshi Suzuka, etc. Each with their own unique story added by the DJ), on what car you recently acquired (only happens if you do bring the car to the race day, and it's a one-time thing), the DJ also comments on crashes on races (only if it shows "Light/Heavy Damage"), going off-track, and totals. The DJ will say repetitive stuff most of the time, but it's still a very nice touch to the game. The spectators in the race day menu when you are in the race day are taking pictures, talking, or maybe walking around. And the DJ always mentions about something that's happening about the spectators, telling people to calm down, go easy, a kid separated from his parents, answering a person from the crowd, etc. They also move away from the mic (but can be heard) to order food, telling the sound crew to adjust the volume, their phone going off, etc.
Now, in the game, tight section in circuit tracks such as Mondello Park, Willow Springs, and Ebisu are usually a burden. Here's why.
Now, we get to the elephant in the room. The physics are a weird thing in this game. If you are going slow in Grip races, your turning circle feels like it just wants to be a bus and the car feels more loose in traction and steering. But if you are going fast, like 150-170+ MPH, it suddenly wants to be an F1 car wannabe. With turning so tight, you feel like you're in a Speed race at that point.
And the Speed races itself with the bumps and jumps, sometimes it makes your car bounce uncontrollably, that no matter what you do, it WILL flip/ crash into something, totaling it. Again, this is what I love about the Speed races, always on edge. it's most of the time "Should I slow down for the jump?" and "Which lane do I take to avoid the bump?".
The Drift mode, it's sort of on rails. If you go off track, the game sort of bring you back on track by dragging you in a literal rubber band way.
The Drag races are fine, really. Straight line, get the right shifts, win. The Wheelie competition takes time getting used to, but all I can say is practice makes perfect (or somewhat decent), and that mashing the throttle on Wheelie Competition doesn't work most of the time.
The soundtrack... Oh, the soundtrack.. It has something for everybody. And the with the EA Trax feature, you can disable songs you don't want, which is great! If you found a song you don't like, you can just pop in to the EA Trax Jukebox and *click*, you won't hear it ever again. It mostly has rock songs and electronica. But there are some that are rap, indie rock, etc.
The OSTs are composed by Junkie XL, but you only hear the OSTs in select cutscenes. The soundtrack in the game is basically everywhere. Which means the menu music, race day music, and the racing music itself are all using the same songs. But do I care? No. Others? Can't say for sure.
It was a NFS game without cop chases and Illegal racing. But it still has a great car list, great soundtrack, great tracks, great race modes, and race types. And the atmosphere is spot on in this game. The only thing I'm bothered about this game is the physics, it's a bit unstable.
In my opinion, this game is a 9/10. I really do recommend trying out this game. But again, this is an odd opinion. So if track racing in NFS isn't your thing, it's fine. This is just a person's view.
That is all for this underrated game. Thank you so much for reading. Sorry if it's a bit long, I just didn't know what to include, so why not all of them?
Thoughts on this game? Let me know.
Again, thank you so much for reading this far. I'm out.
thank 4 read, bai.