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PlayStation 3 Review: Nail’d

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Nail’d touts itself as “the fastest off-road racer of them all,” and the insane ATV/Motocross racer from Deep Silver is certainly a fast game. It is also full of crazy off-road tracks which will make you wonder where you’re going and which way is up!

The game starts off with a tutorial to get you familiar with the controls and how to get your vehicle through the courses which are based upon natural wonders all over the world. Once finished with the tutorial (which is like an actual race without opponents), you have the choice to start competing in a tournament or multiplayer match, to “go off road” (see below), or check out your garage.

The tournament will probably be where you do most of your racing — there are eight initial “cups” in which you have to compete against 11 opponents before you reach the eliminations and final cup races with the ultimate goal of obtaining the “Bomb Cup.” The tracks are crazy and there are points you aren’t going to be sure that you’re going in the right direction until you hit the ground and don’t explode.

The visual effects on the track are, at times, dizzying.  The game makes use of a “fish eye” lens at different moments,  giving the image a rounded effect around the corners, which only increases the style and dizziness factor.

These are some tough tracks and opponents too. I found myself having to replay many tracks to finish even in the top five! Fortunately, you can gain some speed boosts during the races by doing tricks or causing your opponents to wreck.

Real world physics don’t apply in the game, as you make turns in mid-air to avoid the helicopters or hot air balloons that are found when you’re hurtling through open space. Of course, there are many obstacles on the ground too: trees, fan blades, and huge circular spinning blades in a saw mill, amongst others.

One of the issues I had with Nail’d is in attempting to play multiplayer. I was never able to find a match, nor did anyone join a game that I created. While the multiplayer modes seem to be similar to the AI-based single player competitions, it is disappointing that it isn’t in greater use.

If you need more practice on a map and do not want to have to worry about the 11 AI opponents, you can race in the “go off road” mode, then choose “time attack,” and a finally a course. You can choose any course here, regardless of if you have completed the tournament match or not. This is a good feature as it can help prepare for upcoming races before competing with the pesky AI opponents!

You can also create your own events and tournaments. The custom tournament may be the best way to get a feel for the game, as you can set up the options; track order; and “mutators,” which alter the rules of the race. You can add mutators to provide a full speed boost during the entire track, or make it so you cannot collide into your opponents. Turning off the collisions helps when racing, but you can still crash into the environment, which you will find yourself doing quite frequently!

Nail’d also has racing modes other than the regular variety as well.  The one which might be the most fun to play during multiplayer is “Detonator,” which is like a version of hot potato, where you have a bomb on your vehicle and to toss it to your opponent you have to perform one of the 16 stunt/boost feats. Another mode is “Stunt Challenge.”  There, you have to perform stunt/boost feats for points and the player with the most points wins.

Nail’d is a good and challenging racing game, one which might take you a while to master. One nice thing is that you don’t have to deal with a multitude of vehicles. You can race ATV or Motorcross, and you can upgrade parts in the garage once you complete tournaments. But even if you don’t upgrade your vehicle, you can still have a great time racing the tracks and experiencing the uber-insane air you’ll achieve on the tracks! The soundtrack is decent, but I found myself skipping some of the songs after hearing them after every match. An option to add your own music, or change the menu music might be helpful. It’s discouraging that the multiplayer isn’t more popular, but maybe once this game becomes widespread, more players will be out there to play against. All things said, I’d recommend this game to anyone who loves off road racers!!

Nail’d is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Lyrics, Mild Violence. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox 360.

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