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Need for Speed Shift

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Game Reviewed: Need for Speed Shift
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Reviewer: Luis
Platform: XBOX 360 (Also on PS3, PC, PSP & iPhone)
Category: Racing
ESRB Rating: E
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Game Description:

Until now, there have been twelve games from Electronic Arts in the Need for Speed franchise. They have all been based around an arcade style of racing rather than a simulation like the popular Playstation franchise Gran Turismo. The things that have set the Need for Speed apart have always been being able to completely customize your car and racing on city streets with different race options, such as drifting, time challenges, head to head, lap knockouts, drag racing, and police outruns. The 13th game, Shift, however, is the franchise’s first entry into the racing simulation world, which makes it totally unlike any other Need for Speed to date.

By simulation I mean that there are no police. All of the racing in this game takes place on tracks, a franchise first. The physics have greatly improved as well, making the driving much more realistic. Thankfully they did manage to keep alive the variety of racing modes that Need for Speed is known for which is something most simulation racing games are missing. In fact, they have actually added a couple. Manufacturer competitions feature the same car from the same manufacturer; only the driver’s skills will help you win these races. This Need for Speed does not include drag racing, like some of the more recent entries, but it does bring back drift racing. Other new racing options include car competitions; an example is racing the Subaru WRX Sti against the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

There are also three new features that really separate Shift from the other racing simulations and from previous Need for Speeds. The first, and probably the most important, is that the game does not give you too much to handle too soon. The game starts you off with a test run and automatically adjusts the difficulty to your abilities. Then, as the game progresses and your skills improve, the game gradually becomes more difficult. As you race you win money and build points that you can use to buy upgrades for your car and as well as purchase new vehicles. The points also allow you to unlock tracks and higher levels of competition. The second new feature worth mentioning is the new cockpit view. It is a first person view for racing, from the eyes of the driver. You see the entire inside of the car with great detail. Each dash is specific to the make and model. The third feature is a crash animation. When you crash in this game, depending how fast you are going, the screen shakes, blurs, cracks, the driver groans or yells, and your car takes a realistic amount of damage. This is a great, entertaining, realistic driving game that will last whoever is playing it for quite some time.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

The violence in this game is all based on two things, accidents and driving aggressively. The first part can get pretty serious; however, it is all just physical damage and does not affect how your car drives. The second, driving aggressively, is encouraged. From hitting your opponents off the course, drafting behind them, and drifting around corners it is encouraged in this game to do these aggressive driving techniques.

Language

There is no bad language in this game.

Sexual Content

There is none.

Spiritual Content

There is none.

Reviewer's Thoughts

Need for Speed Shift is a great racing game. Personally, I miss the arcade style racing of past Need for Speed games, but Shift is still lots of fun. The many different options for cars, racing, and dynamic difficulty level make this a game that can be played over and over. I would easily recommend Need for Speed Shift for anyone of any age who enjoys a good racing simulation.



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