Review NFS '94 vs NFS '10

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Review NFS '94 vs NFS '10

Post by 3DOKid » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:43 pm

Since Criterion claim that the latest NFS Hot Pursuit is homage to the 3DO original, I thought it would be fun to compare the two, and see which one is best. I guess anyone that knows me will be saying something along the lines of – oh but 3DOKid you are bound to say the 3DO version is better for three very good reasons. Firstly, you are a 3DO die-hard and refuse to say anything bad about the console, secondly, you hated Burnout 3 which the new game is related too and finally you really are a miserable old git when it comes to new games. Well, you have a point but I will try.

Obviously, there is a chasm of difference between the 3DO and PS3 version visually. Yet the point of the review was to compare, so here is my opinion.

Let’s start with graphics, since that was big draw prior to 3DO NFS being released. Visually, in 1994, NFS was a poor cousin to Ridge Racer and Daytona but on the 3DO it had no graphical equal. Even amongst peers, there was no game on the CD32, the Atari Jaguar, FM Towns or 32X that could compete with delights of NFS: The real cars, the draw distance of the tracks, the balloons taking off on the coastal run and the astonishing crashes, outside of the ultra powerful arcade machines, 3DO NFS was a visual jaw dropper.

So is NFS on the PS3 a jaw dropper? In a word -- no. Yes, it’s stunning, the scenery is quite literally epic, the cars are licensed and detailed and the crashes and the bit’s of wreckage hanging off of the cars is spectacular but no it is not quite as astonishing as the 3DO version back in ‘94. The problem is we’ve seen it all before; mostly in Burnout 3. And yes, a jaw dropping beauty can be achieved even on a modern carbuncle like the PS3, anyone who has played Uncharted 2 on the PS3 is aware that the machine is capable of surprising gamers with its beauty. NFS 2010 is pretty, don’t get me wrong, but it looks like it’s been phoned in. The developers of NFS PS3/360 were proud but not excited. Unlike EA Canada who made the 3DO version who were clearly pushing back boundaries.

When they were selling me NFS 3DO, they talked about Ridge Racer. Ridge Racer has one track. NFS 3DO was better because it had eight stretches, split into three tracks. Therefore by the same measure, NFS 2010 must be a bazillion times better because it has hundreds of tracks. Which just goes to show what a load of crap this argument is – an argument that was, and is still trotted out today, by idiots.

The number of tracks is irrelevant. You could have a million tracks or one track, if the one track is exciting and challenging and grows with the game, or rather challenges each car or class of car differently, then the one track car game is best. Right? This pretty much sums up NFS 2010. The tracks are unimaginative and repetitive. Do the cars in NFS Hot pursuit have gears? I don’t know. What about brake lights? I think so.

Does the speed of the car or the handling of the car or layout of the car have any effect on the game? Honestly? No it doesn’t. Not true of the 3DO version where the rear wheel drive, rear engine Porsche was quite different to the front wheel drive front engine Supra and the power of Lamborghini was great in the city, but trouble in the Alps. It makes no odds in the new version.

To be honest, the car handling is my main gripe with NFS on the PS3. On the original, you could almost feel the weight of the car through the pad, you could almost feel the road. The physics engine and the implementation of the cars was nothing short of amazing. However, the handling in the modern version is closer in many ways to Sega Outrun 2. You are loosely guiding a four wheeled cruise missile around the track, dabbing on the breaks and the nitro boost to get round. You are only notionally in charge of the vehicle to be honest.

The cop chases lack the realism of the original, even today, that the 3DO version managed so brilliantly. In the original, there was a genuine sense of panic given to you by the game, as you clipped another car, going up a hill, then finding yourself in the wrong gear. All the while the cop sirens bearing down on you. In the latest release the cop chases seem to be irritations. You slam through a road block, sure, the comic book drama of the modern version is well implemented, as the game pauses to dramatically highlight the roadblock ahead, but the cops in the original 3DO version wouldn’t have let you get by without a ticket, the Criterion Cops do. The cops in NFS 3DO were real, with real speeds and real capabilities, the cops in NFS today are trained to beat Spiderman, and only Spiderman

Ultimately, NFS Hot pursuit for the PS3 / 360 is a dumber version of NFS than its 3DO ancestor. Where today’s version is slick and sliding and smooth, the 3DO version is gritty and real. The 3DO version builds tension, delivers realistic thrills, spills and escape while the PS3 version wishes it was an a cabinet surrounded by 30 of its closest friends trying to steal 50p’s from you.

Ultimately, I’m not sure which bit of Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is a homage to the 3DO version. The 3DO version, for 1994 was awesome in many ways, the latest version will be fun over Christmas.

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Post by lance » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:22 pm

Thanks for the great review 3dokid.

I was tempted of getting hot pursuit but I guess I am better off playing the original.

also, you might want to check a great retro review of NFS 3do just released by eurogamer

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010- ... ed-article

best
lance

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Post by swaaye » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:23 pm

I watched a Youtube vid of the new Hot Pursuit and immediately decided that I wasn't getting it. It looks like Burnout, which is not what NFS used to be about at all.

I've actually been playing NFS4 quite a bit lately... It makes me yearn for a new NFS like that, but the series has little in common with those games now.

I'm hoping that Test Drive Unlimited 2 takes the original to mind and evolves that and solves its problems (bumpy polygonal roads, for ex). There is potential with this one.

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Post by NikeX » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:49 pm

Never bought Burnout because it is an ego shooter, plays like Quake on speed. Same with the new NfS.
NfS IV on the Playstation was the best of all. Best motor sound, best arcade-simulation handling mixture, Junkie XL music, beautiful colours and textures.

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Post by 3DOKid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:19 pm

High Stakes is awesome ;)

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Austin
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Post by Austin » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:21 am

Did somebody say JunkieXL? :lol:

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Post by Tatsumaru » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Actually it's pretty hard to compare both games for a lot of aspects, the main one is that the first Need for Speed was basically a driving simulation game and the newest one it's a totally arcade driving game, it's like trying to compare Gran Turismo 5 to Midnigth Club Los Angeles, both of them aim diferent kinds of players, so it's kinda impossible to say wich one is better.

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