A month after Activision brought NASCAR fans their first true console offering in years since EA’s bumbling activity with the license comes the Wii only version of NASCAR 2011: The Game. Let’s just say going in that you shouldn’t expect much from this edition.
Now here’s a little more you should know about this game: it’s different from the console versions. You use similar controls to what are utilized in the MarioKart series. The 2 button accelerates and you turn by rotating the Wii-mote gently like a lady.
The problem with these controls is that you’re tempted to race like it’s MarioKart as well. I had a tendency to never brake and would always crash into walls since the game constantly reminded me of Nintendo’s most prominent racing game.
Except these controls are also far worse than MarioKart’s. They aren’t tight at all and are horribly inconsistent. Sometimes with a nudge you’ll barley move and other times you’ll fly across the track. When you blow a tire, which will happen since the stock cars are impossible to control, the cars will seem attracted magnetically to the infield and you’ll crash over and over again. Fun times.
The graphics of the game are horrid at best. They look as though the game was made for the PlayStation One console or maybe even before that. The colors are as bland as I’ve ever seen in a Wii game. When there’s damage on a car, the bumper just squiggles instead of bending or breaking. The logos on the cars are extremely pixelated and hard to read due to this and unless you’re right up close to another car, you can’t read its number.
There’s a career mode where you earn experience points to become a “NASCAR legend.” Fun. Haven’t seen that before in a game like this. There are few role playing aspects really; it’s just to gain a rep essentially. You can just go in with an established driver though and live out a season. It would probably be more fun to race with actual legends like 3 and whoever else raced NASCAR but that would probably require extensive licensing that a rookie effort couldn’t afford.
There are also eliminator and smaller party-esque modes within the Invitational Events but nothing really fantastic to see there. Nothing groundbreaking and the game itself doesn’t really promote them either.
The heart of this game is the racing but unfortunately with the horrid controls and terrible graphics, this game isn’t really for anyone but a hardcore NASCAR fan looking for a game experience.
Being someone who isn’t a fan of NASCAR, the most fun part was trying to advance in the races by causing cautions after advancing a few positions. It’s the only way I wouldn’t fall to the back after advancing a few positions. This game isn’t for everyone if anyone.