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NASCAR 07 continues racing excitement with a wide variety of drivers, tracks and expanding game modes.

PS2 Review: NASCAR 07

Electronic Arts continues a strong NASCAR racing series with a great choice of drivers, tracks and variety of driving scenarios and game modes. Other new elements include a roleplaying hero/villain type personality you can adapt through game play and driver options (rookie, veteran, legend and bonus levels).

It’s easier to succeed with positive play as a hero, but a lot more entertaining as a villain who’s always bumping and nudging the competition.

This installment also adds a gambling element where you can double your winnings and race against real world drivers. Race others for prestige or rivalry to advance your career. Once you build a reputation you might have other famous drivers challenging you. Elements like fan support also factor into the roleplaying status of your driver.

Other new elements include some blurring to enhance the sense of speed, spark/smoke effects and camera shakes. The “adrenaline meter” increases when you survive dangerous situations and other close calls. The accelerator and brake controls changes are different, but the learning curve mostly involves car handling/controls. The sound has a little higher impact than the graphics so crank up those speakers to add some extra adrenaline.

If you’re new to the game, tutorials help explain the numerous features that include communicating with other drivers on your team. You can also choose a race length range from dash to full. You can also skip qualifying and take a chance at a good placement (not much of a risk since most races aren’t too difficult, though the AI of the other drivers is very good).

The season mode, online gameplay and “Fight to the Top” career mode provide plenty of challenges while the “Chase for Cup,” comprising the final ten races of the season, has a medium challenge level. If you want to concentrate on the points system to improve your drive, then select the “Dodge Challenge” to increase your scenario skill points.

Other nice options include replaying races and even picking your contenders. The radio talk from the crew gets annoying at times and the game could’ve used some more intense crowd noise, but this racer still crosses the finish line with flying colors. A great learning tool if you want to delve into the NASCAR world and a great addition for any diehard fan.

NASCAR 07 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: PS2, PSP, Xbox.

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