Smooth game play in this 2007 version by Electronic Arts is fairly well put together and gives the NASCAR community of fans a place to race on their gaming systems.
Several modes are present in "NASCAR 07," including a career mode that allows you to race through different series' ultimately getting to the Nextel series. For the most part, all of your favorite NASCAR drivers are present, but some are absent such as the always-animated Kenny Wallace.
But if you're like most gamers you'll pick your car based on ratings or the sponsor. I almost always pick Joe Nemechek in the U.S. Army car. Each driver is assigned a letter grade rating for different aspects of their racing.
Graphics for "NASCAR 07" are done well. Every detail of the driver's sponsors is visible. Whenever you sustain damage to your car the scrapes, dents and damage are all accurately portrayed. Special effects during the race are also available. A blurring effect occurs during high speeds to simulate high velocity.
To me, the blurring seems distracting. To some gamers it will be a cool feature, but to me it pulls away from the game play. I've never driven in an official NASCAR stock car before, so I would assume that's how objects around you look like going 200 mph. As for race sound effects, although you might not pay attention to them, racing noise from your engine is nice and prominent.
You also hear your crew chief give you race guidance and a heads up when yellow flags come out. Of course what NASCAR game would be complete without the signature Southern rock songs? During the menu options you get to hear some smooth rock tunes to pump you up for the race. You also get the wide assortment of available race tracks from Infineon Speedway to Watkins Glen to the infamous Daytona.
Dodge challenges are a nice touch to the game. Essentially, you select a scenario that occurred in an actual NASCAR race, then recreate that moment. For example, you're put on the last three laps of a race in third place and are challenged to try to win the race. These challenges are quite enjoyable and expand the fun factor of the game.
Getting used to the controls doesn't take much to learn. Besides, on most NASCAR tracks you only make left hand turns. During a race you can also swap to your teammate in the race. Likewise, you can also call on your teammate to assist you in a block of other racers, which helps you out.
One of the most infamous NASCAR techniques is available for use on the track. There is a drafting meter that gages how close you are to executing the draft maneuver. "NASCAR 07" offers online capabilities but only four players can race at the same time, the other racers are computer controlled. It would be awesome if the entire circuit was filled with online players. Maybe next time.
Racing fans would certainly enjoy this one. "NASCAR 07" delivers all the thrills of stockcar racing. Smooth game play makes this a winner in my book. "NASCAR 07" features a fairly high replay value, so you'll be busy for some time.
NASCAR 07 is rated "E" for Everyone (content suitable for ages 6 and older) and is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PSP game consoles.