Plot: What’s it about?
NASCAR Unleashed takes us back onto the race track, but promises a more arcade approach. The shift in design aims to make the race game more accessible, not to mention more high octane. Unleashed is designed to be the kind of game anyone can jump into and enjoy, but with rewards for those who invest some time and master the tracks. Championship Mode is where the action is, a series of races that tests your skills and allows you to unlock some cool swag. While the races can get tough, the curve is fair and you should improve enough as you progress to keep pace. You need to complete a primary goal in each race, but you can also finish side goals to enrich your rewards. The unlocks allow you to customize your car in various ways, until your ride fits your personal style like a glove.
You can also just fire up a quick race if you want a shorter session, or put your racing gloves on to conquer Time Trial mode. If you have friends who also play Unleashed, you’re able to embark on co-op Quick Race and Championship Mode matches. I was unable to try out the co-op modes, but most games are more fun with friends, so I assume that is the case here as well. So you know the various modes, but how does Unleashed handle? The arcade style lends the game a frantic pace that puts the focus on speed and fun over micromanagement of your car’s performance. The handling is rock solid, with more give than a traditional race game and that is most welcome in an arcade race title. You’re able to draft off your opponents, build up your boost meter, then blaze past them, leaving behind only a cloud of dust. I found NASCAR Unleashed to be quite fun and a great game to throw in and play in short sessions, so the 3DS is an ideal platform in this case. So if you like your races to be more wild than realistic, NASCAR Unleashed is well worth taking a few laps with.
Video: How does it look?
As far as 3DS games are concerned, NASCAR Unleashed looks great. The visuals are colorful, sharp, and very detailed, both in the cars and the tracks. The level of detail in the ads covering the cars is remarkable, but the tracks also have great designs and plenty of eye candy. The locations are varied and lend some freshness to each race, whether you’re in an urban locale or besides mountains in the desert. The visuals are bright, vivid, and have a wonderful arcade texture.
Audio: How does it sound?
he roar of the engines is important to a race game, especially a NASCAR one, so I was glad to hear some impressive sounds here. The 3DS isn’t exactly an audio powerhouse, but Unleashed puts plenty of kick into the cars. This also carries over to the other on track elements, such as crashes and slide-outs. So you’ll feel like you’re right out there with the other drivers, at least as much as the 3DS allows.
Supplements: What are the extras?