|System: PC, PS3, X360, PS2, Wii, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Black Box||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Online Multiplayer||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The last type of event is the obligatory drift event. Luckily, there aren't too many drift events throughout the game because the whole obsession with drift racing has made for some pretty stale gameplay lately. Unfortunately, the drift mechanic still feels pretty old in Need for Speed: ProStreet. This is really a shame because all of the other modes felt so fresh, but I suppose you can't win them all can you?
Each race day in the game can be made up of any amount of these events. After winning a certain number of events and accumulating enough points, you'll win the day. But if that's not good enough for you, you can also play a little harder and dominate the day. The advantages to dominating the day are pretty sweet; you'll get access to new prizes, get more unlockable content, and of course, more money. Win and dominate enough events, and you'll be able to unlock special showdown race days. These are special race days that may feature special competitors or sponsors, and you'll have to do your absolute best to move on from these! Once you pass through all of these, however, then it's on to the real challenge: the kings of street racing. There's a total of five "kings" of the pro-racing scene, one for each mode of racing, and then the overly great Ryo, who seems to be good at almost everything.
Once you've cleared the very lengthy career mode, you may want to try your hand at racing online. The online racing system in Need for Speed: ProStreet consists of both ranked and unranked user-created race days. You can either create your own or join someone else's race day and compete in a variety of events. However, one thing that's important to note is that you're not required to complete the race day, and you're free to leave at any time when you're not actually racing.
The best feature of Need for Speed: ProStreet, however, is not its awesome graphics, nor its fresh experience. It's the controls. Automotive game fans the world over know that each series has its own feel to it, and Need for Speed is no different. Control schemes for this series have generally been arcade based and lacked any real depth. However the effort put into the depth of control of this game is very apparent. Each of the four modes of racing controls in subtly different ways, and racing aficionados will definitely be able to tell the difference. The right trigger acceleration is also very responsive without being abrasive, which is quite an improvement considering some other automotive games where the overly-intense acceleration made high-speed turns more difficult then they had to be. And, as I said before, I have to admire the right joystick gearshift. It creates such a realistic experience, and it has enough sensitivity to judge you're reaction time effectively.
Overall, I really can't express how pleased I am with this game. The automotive genre has been suffering lately from a veritable plethora of games without much collective substance behind them. It's pretty easy to become disillusioned with a genre that seems to be stuck in a continuous loop of identical gameplay. But thankfully, Need for Speed: Prostreet has come to the rescue with a whole new look, a whole new control scheme, and a whole new way to race. Thank goodness!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer