Need for Speed Pro Street (Wii)


Need for Speed ProStreet is EAs latest game in the widely-known Need For Speed franchise, with ProStreet being the second NFS Title released on Wii. Need For Speed: Carbon featured an expansive city, where if you were speeding outside of a Race, youd be likely placed into an Exhilarating Police Pursuit. In ProStreet, you have none of that. Instead, EA have gone to the sponsor-infested world of Professional Street Racing on race circuits. Now, on a personal note, Im just wondering how you can get Professional Street Racing, where for one, youre racing on separate tracks which are closed circuits, and two, the fact that there are sponsors for what generally isnt a sanctioned sport, let alone acknowledged. Wouldnt this just make it Professional Racing?

Anyway, back to the game. You get thrown into the role of Ryan Cooper, a relative nobody trying to go up the ranks of Professional Street Racing in his rather patchwork-looking car. As Ryan Cooper, you have to progress through the storyline by Dominating race events in several race styles- Grip Racing, Drag Racing, Drift, Time Trials, Sector Shootout and Speed Trials (More on these later). For each major Style, there is a King of each major Race style.

Aside from Drag Racing, the game is controlled exactly like most other racing games, a good example being Excite Truck- You simply turn the controller sideways, with 2 being Accelerate and 1 Being brake. However, the cars handling doesnt seem to be different to other cars, they all handle like as if they had decided to remove 75% of the friction a car tyre should make. Its far too floaty for a game like this. A minor niggle with ProStreets controls is the fact that Nitrous Oxide (Speed Boost) is mapped to the B Trigger. It doesnt seem right when you could re-map one of the controls to the Minus Key, such as looking behind you, so the D-Pad is freed up.

Anyway, the highly anticipated more in-depth look into the race types. Grip Races are your general race, Sector Shootout is effectively the same, except the course is split into Quarters, and points are awarded based on how quick you are in each quarter.

Drag Racing involves pointing the Wii Remote straight ahead, and treating it like a Gear stick, with the idea to drive in a straight line the fastest. Unfortunately, the controls feel incredibly touchy, with the constant jerking of the Wii Remote not always registering, causing your car to overheat constantly to your infuriation. Also, before each race, there is a Burnout Mini-game, where you have to heat your wheels to increase grip at the right RPM. With the Wiis B-Trigger not being analogue, it descends into constant tapping of the Trigger to make a vague attempt to do good at the mini-game.
Speed Races are essentially a Sprint Race from previous series of NFS Games, going from point A to point B the fastest. Generally they are on closed highway stretches.
Drifting generally is seen as a technical sport, requiring timing of the clutch and brake pedals to engage the car into a controlled slide around the corners. In ProStreet, all ideas of timing is removed, and they simply place the car which handles like it is on ice automatically. You simply do a hard turn and the car slides automatically around, with you counter-steering sometimes. For the duration and speed of the drift, you are awarded points, and naturally you need to get the highest amount of points to win a round.

Online play is slowly coming along in the Wiis software library, with more and more games joining the WiFi connection. Unfortunately, ProStreet doesnt have Online Play included, which in some peoples eyes could be a make or break decision, particularly when there isnt even a basic form of Online Leaderboards for Race Times or Top scores.

The visual side of the game isnt as good as expected- the Wii by all means isnt struggling, but nor does the developers looked to have tried to at least polish up the game a fair bit more smoother, with some textures here and there looking very iffy. When you start hitting a rather fast speed, a blurring effect starts to emanate around you, however it is pretty much lost as you can see the textures blurring effect load around an object in some cases, with some items not blurring at all.

During a race, it is sometimes overwhelming at the amount of objects on screen at once, and Im not necessarily talking about the cars on the circuit. A predominant amount of the Closed-Track Racing is filled with hordes and hordes of advertising that is incredibly obtrusive on your first time playing. Personally, I had trouble picking out the Start/Finish line, represented by two Yellow/Black Checker posts on each side of the track. It just gets lost in the sheer volume of advertising EA has pumped into the game. Yes, its perfectly fine to have some form of car manufacturers and parts makers to have advertising in the game, but it isnt fine when they are pretty much ten metre tall billboards advertising so close to the track, which is incredibly distracting. However, the worst of the advertising in my opinion, is that one of these Sponsors is completely irrelevant to the world of Car Racing in general. Aside from a motor oil company taking up about 25% of the ads, 25% is dedicated to a Battery Manufacturer. Like as in the AA, AAA Battery kind, not the car batteries. It is just not on EA. We understand that theres revenue to be made, but its seriously rubbing hard against the line that you shouldnt cross. On the plus side for Wii owners, however, is that the Advertising isnt constantly updated online like the Xbox 360 version.


The sounds of the cars sound pretty decent, although it is strange to be in the Drivers view on top of the bonnet to not have any sounds of the engine whatsoever. You can only hear the sounds of screeching of the tyres, and the god-awful announcer. The announcer is quite possibly the most annoying aspect of the game outside of the Advertising. To be frank, he is seemingly obsessed with Ryan Cooper. During the Track Meet Menu, all you hear is pretty much the guy talking about Cooper, saying how great he is and such. Dont think youve escaped from him during the race itself, you can hear him over the PA system talking incredibly inaccurate things. A major example of this is being approximately 45 seconds ahead of 2nd place, with the announcer trying to add suspense by questioning whether I could hold the lead… with 50m until the finish line. Some sort of context commentary could have worked a lot better. The soundtrack appears to be standard EA Trax thoroughfare, although it isnt to this reviewers taste, it does appear to be the standard popular Rock Bands and Techno music that youd come to expect.

While ProStreet does do a couple of things rather decently for a yearly franchise, it seems to be a step-down in terms of quality. Theres no fun and exhilarating police chases to be had, and the closed circuit street racing is generally unmemorable because of the busy surroundings. Coupled with Oil-Slick and similar handling between the cars, it grows rather tiring quickly. If youre a crazed Need for Speed or Racing game fanboy, by all means, go buy it. Otherwise, give it a Rent first.

Graphics 7.0

Gameplay 7.0

Sound 8.0

Tilt 6.0

Value 6.0

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Sam K

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