Need For Speed 3
The best of its series and one of the finest racers on the PlayStation, Need for Speed III roars across the finish in a brilliant return to its roots. It's a game no racing fan should go without.
As always, Need III delivers the glory cars, giving you eight hot rides like the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 355 FI, and Mercedes CLK GTR to choose from. Eight well-designed tracks make for riveting action, but the real bummer here is that half are mere palette swaps of the others, though new paths open up to give you some fresh territory.
Need's awesome gameplay makes amends, however, delivering SF Rush-style action loaded with thrilling jumps, cool shortcuts, and fender-banging mayhem. A killer Hot Pursuit mode challenges you to evade marauding cops, and while the two-player split-screen mode suffers from a little slowdown, it's definitely playable.
If you're feeling that need, the speed's definitely waiting for you in Need for Speed III. It's a wild ride.
- You can't win races without a tight powerslide. Before a sharp turn, hit the handbrake (without releasing the gas) and begin steering through the turn. After your car skids so that it's lined up to exit the turn, immediately countersteer out of the turn to stop skidding and shoot forward.
- Learn the CPU cars' personalities to gain tactical advantages. For instance, if you honk at Swerve just as you approach him, he'll, well, swerve out of your way.
- Hop onto the boardwalks right away in Atlantica. They give you a huge boost by setting you up on a great line for the subsequent turns.
- In Hot Pursuit mode, the cops will set up roadblocks. Scope out all the shortcuts, like the path around the covered bridge in Hometown, so you can blow right by 'em.
- In Redrock Ridge, there's a shortcut through the hairpin that'll gain you lots of ground. Watch for a sudden break between the rock walls and make your hairpin turn earlier over this dirt road.
With sleekly modeled cars, amazing lighting effects, and gorgeous tracks, Need III is just plain beautiful to look at. The speed, while not as blazing as Ridge Racer Revolution, is fast enough to get the adrenaline flowing hard.
These babies handle like a dream. Each car has a distinct feel, but all of them respond with unparalleled control, especially when it comes to powersliding.
Excellent sound effects, like the bass growl of the engines, intensify the action and provide crucial feedback on your car's performance. However, the music's definitely lame, and configuring the two-player sound can be tricky without a stereo TV.
Need III is one of the best arcade racers on the PlayStation, and backs that up with a tight Sim mode and a wild, rowdy ride in the awesome Hot Pursuit mode. The lone flaw is the lack of variety in the tracks, but this one's absolutely worth its price tag.
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Need for Speed is a game searching for an identity. We can't make any definitive judgments yet (it's still early, ya know). So far, it looks like NFS III is borrowing several of NFS ll's elements, such as the general look of the cars as well as a similar frame rate. This edition, however, has wider tracks, better scenery and smarter opponents. Think of it as Porsche Challenge meeting the original Need for Speed--not a bad combination.
Eight new licensed cars include: Ferri 550 and 355 Fi, BMW Nazca C2, Lamborghini Diablo SV and Countach, Jaguar XJR-15 with others to be revealed later. Add in some really annoying cops and a bunch of Sunday drivers and you have the recipe for destruction.
Driving modes include: Pursuit (insane road battles with the cops), Single Race, Two-player and Practice (with ghost car). The 10 tracks can be raced backward, forward or mirrored. The game also has variable weather and night driving (with a wicked set of high-beams lighting the path). Shortcuts can be accessed later in the expert levels.
The wider tracks and improved gameplay make NFS ill very much arcade-action oriented, shedding much of the sim qualities of the original. But this third installment definitely improves on NFS ll's lackluster appearance and gameplay. It's not a sure bet that the game will conquer mediocrity, but at this point it looks like NFS III is a step in the right direction.
- MANUFACTURER - Electronic Arts
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2