Sadly, every single title I could think of would be seen as a quote from Top Gun.

I haven’t even seen Top Gun. Nor do I want to. But they put this one line in the ads every time when the film is on TV.

After the disaster that was Dead Space in German (I elaborated back in that review so I won’t rattle it down again), I swore to never ever ever buy anything per Games on Demand ever again. As you can probably tell simply by me explicitly pointing this out, I did it anyway. This time it was Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which would be my oldest Xbox 360 – game now were there not also Monkey Island 2, which probably even predates quite a few of those who read this text. Just like DS, Most Wanted only came in German – which I loathe – and French – which I do not speak. But fortunately it automatically selects German for me rather than displaying a menu with French pre-selected, that can only be influenced by the D-Pad and defaults to French after just a few seconds. Damn you, Visceral! Where was I? Oh, yeah.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Since the fourth game, Need for Speed failed to put proper numbers in. If I’m not mistaken, this is Need For Speed 9. The “Most Wanted” part actually only happens at the very end of the game (not much of a spoiler, since getting there is the entire “story” this game has to offer), but it nonetheless has a heavy emphasis on three things: Fast cars (not these rice bowls seen in the Underground games, luckily), high speed pursuits and the worst rubber band AI yet to be seen in a game. The first two of those three are beautifully executed, but the third one is aggravating at best. At worst? Well, I expect to break this controller before I finish it, that should say enough.

Story

Story? Are you kidding me? You are a racer in some city and want to become the racer in some city, partially because some jackass named Clarence stole your shitty BMW* but also because screw it we want to drive fast.

*Indeed, by the time you get there you will have at least two cars that exceed the BMW in every field.

Graphics

The game is old enough to have grandchildren. And oh, look: It does. The rate at which NFS games are spat out is remarkable. Anyway, despite being old, which comes with some perks such as pixelated textures, the game is actually quite pretty, though it does suffer from two common diseases: A brownish colour filter and overuse of bad-looking bloom. The latter, however, looks better than on the PC version for some reason. Hurm.

Gameplay

The one reason why anyone would buy this game. Quite plenty of NFS games tried the cops and racer thing before: Parts 1, 3, 6,9, 10, 12 and 13. Or something like that, you can’t honestly expect me to keep track of this, I didn’t even play any after Carbon, aside from the new Hot Pursuit. Anyway, of all these, the one that did it the best was in my opinion definitely Most Wanted, which gives the police plenty of weapons to fight you and quite a few tactics which to program must have been some piece of work. Hot Pursuit 2010 does it similarly, but since it has a different focus, saying “better” or “worse” isn’t actually possible I guess.

The races on the other hand come in two flavours: Those that suffer from aforementioned rubber band AI and those that do not. The latter are a piece of cake to win, the former… not so much. Especially the Black List races, which are boss fights in a manner of speaking, are greatly affected by this, so much in fact that they can close in alarmingly fast, getting 500m closer within eight seconds while you are at 300kph.

Sound

Obviously with me being poor and without a license, I haven’t actually heard any of these engines live, so they may or may not be authentic. They do however sound pretty good and have distinct sound effects for different cars.

The music… well, let’s say I put on my own after a while because listening to the same four tracks (the only four I could stand) gets old after a while, let alone six effing years.

Achievements

Disappointingly, only one of three game modes was granted achievements (XBox LIVE and the Challenge Mode got not a single one) and even they are scarce, only one is awarded for every boss fight, making fifteen achievements in total which are entirely unmissable if one finishes the game. An achievement for, I dunno, an hour of pursuit in one sitting would have been nice.

So, is this recommended? You bet your buttocks it is, even if it’s just for the incredibly fun police chases.

Rating: Recommended!
Wee!

Unfun Fact: Just like Dead Space and now Most Wanted, the German Xbox version of Burnout 3: Takedown comes without the English texts and audio. When the console is set to English, it goes by one language by default which can not be changed in the menus. This language is… French. Le fuck? Merde!

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    • Gundam_mk2
    • September 26th, 2011

    i guess gears of war 3 is next 😛

      • Althir
      • September 26th, 2011

      Nope. Likely Gears of War 2. My only new purchase scheduled for the rest of the year is Skyrim.

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