The Need for Speed


Electronic Arts

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About a year ago, Electronic Arts released The Need For Speed which quickly became one of the best games for the 3DO platform. It still remains one of our favorite games of all time, and so far we have never found a 3DO game better than NFS. We were excited to discover the PC version which is now available in the stores, but even with the extra-features included in this version, we didn't feel the same excitement we experienced with the 3DO version.

The problem with conversions stands in the fact that you always compare the new version to the original and it is even harder if the original game came from arcades or consoles. As the hardware is different and most of the time much more powerful regarding graphical possibilities, it is virtually impossible not to be disappointed by a conversion. However, among all the titles that have been converted to the PC platform, there are titles whose conversion has been particularly well done and The Need for Speed belongs in this category.

The Need for Speed is a game which is half way between an arcade racing and a car driving simulation. Although the game has a realistic physics model, there are numerous elements in the game that show arcade actions. For example, jumping over bumps, the invisible barrier along the side of the road in which you can bounce into without causing any physcial damage, bumping other cars, spectacular collisions, etc. The simulation side offers you total freedom on the road. You can do 360's and controlled skids, hard braking that leave tire tracks on the asphalt, and more if you are a highly skilled driver.

This game will let you drive eight of the fastest cars in the world with some of them priced at over $200,000! You will find the Lamborghini Diablo, Ferrari 512TR, Porsche 911 Carrera, DodgeViper RT/10 and also the Acura NSX, Mazda RX7 Turbo and the Toyota Supra. Each of the cars has video sequences showing them in action on the road or circuits, with details about mechanics, performances and even some history about the brand name.

The 3DO version had three open tracks called City, Coastal and Alpine, each divided into 3 segments. The PC version now adds three closed circuit race tracks and a hidden circuit which you will find only when you win an entire tournament. The Need for Speed has four different game modes: Head to Head, time trial, single race and tournament. The first mode allows you to race against another player through a modem or a serial link connection or against the computer on any track of your choice. In the time trial mode, you will race against time and your goal will be to achieve the best performance. If you want some quick competition, try out the single race mode where you will confront seven computer adversaries, or a modem player with six computer opponents. Finally, if you are looking for a real challenge, select the tournament mode to try and win the championship and if you finish first on all six tracks, you will discover the hidden track!

The graphics in the game are only good if you play with the SVGA mode with all the optional details turned on. The VGA version has nothing that can appeal for players except the speed, but I'm afraid it won't be enough to keep the player's interest for hours on end. Of course, to play with the SVGA mode, you will need some processing power such as a Pentium-90 equipped computer and a fast video graphic card. Once you have this configuration, you will start enjoying the game, otherwise you will have to reduce the window's size, lower the image quality and car details which definitively render the game less exciting. When driving your car, you have four different views available from in-car to chase views and the replay section features eight cameras to display the course replay under a variety of angles.

If the graphics didn't impress you very much, you will be dazzled by the soundtrack's quality. The game supports 8 and 16-bit sound cards and even offers 3D enhanced sounds which will litterally mesmerize you if you own any of Nu Reality's sound enhancement products ( Issue 1 & Issue 6 ).


If you have never played the 3DO version, the PC version of The Need for Speed is certainly a game that will interest you as long as you have a powerful machine to fully exploit the game's potential.

System Requirements:

486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory with 400Kb of conventional memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required with minimum 16Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card (PCI or VESA local bus),
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.

Adlib; Creative Labs Sound Blaster, Pro, 16 and AWE32; Roland SCB-10, RAP-10/SCC-1; Ensoniq Soundscape; Gravis UltraSound; MPU-401 General midi cards supported.


Pioneer Productions & Electronic Arts Canada.


In North America:

Electronic Arts
1450 Fashion Island Blvd.,
San Mateo, CA 94404.

In Europe:

In UK:

Electronic Arts UK Ltd.,
90 Heron Drive,
Langley, Berks SL3 8XP.

Technical Support: +44-(0)1753-546465

In France:

Electronic Arts France,
3 Rue Claude Chappe,
69771 Saint Didier au Mont D'or Cedex.

In Germany:

Electronic Arts GmbH.,
Verler Str. 1,
333332 Gutersloth.

In Sweden:

Electronic Arts,
Business Campus,
Johanneslundsvogen 2,
194 81 Upplandsvasby.

In Spain:

Electronic Arts Software S.A.,
Edificio Arcade,
Rufino Gonzalez 23 bis,
Planta 1a, Local 2,
28037 Madrid.


Graphics: 90%
Sound: 95%
Music: 92%
Gameplay: 85%
Interest: 85%

Overall: 89%

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