Videogame review: NASCAR Thunder 2004
Within the Game Modes of NASCAR Thunder 2004, we have The Single or Race Mode, The Season or Championship Mode, SpeedZone, Lightning Challenge, Online Mode and Tutorial Mode. This is like the Single mode of other games of the same genre, where players can choose their team, driver and even the circuit they want to race, configuring the normal options of the track temperature, the rules, the difficulty of the Artificial Intelligence, among other things. Also new in this mode is that the player takes control of his own team, where we can get our own sponsors and garages for the team. The season or championship mode, is where we must go through each of the events, with a driver and team of our preference of the 2004 NASCAR season, in which we have to fight for the championship of drivers and teams against the artificial intelligence. Also, the different options are configured, such as difficulty, weather conditions, rules, type of restart, among other things. The mode that always excites us the most is the Online mode, in which a total of 43 real-life players can race, as long as they have an Internet connection available. One of the best things about this mode is that a support is available, which allows the use of a microphone for interaction between players. It is also important to note that the use of microphone is not available for Xbox and PS1 platforms. Also, we have available the Tutorial mode with NASCAR legend Richard Petty, in which we must follow a series of races in Petty's voice.
One of the modes that one does not consider important, but it is the Test, which has the same function as the Race mode, in terms of the configuration of the options, but there is no presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The AI of NASCAR Thunder 2004 is one of the best things of the game, it is because of it that it is considered a simulator, since the AI run cleanly in the race, without crashing the competitors deliberately, so it makes the game more entertaining and fun by the touch of realism, due to the great competitiveness that occur in the races.
As for the graphics I can tell you that they are correct, with some details that do not let them stand out like other games like NR2003. The textures of the cars if they are correct and very similar to those of 2003, each of the cars and brands with their different lines. The textures of the tracks and drivers are not well done, they could have improved considerably with respect to the game of the year that I spoke in one of my previous post, but this does not mean that they look bad because it is not so. One of the things that do stand out are the visual effects, like the smoke coming out of the tires when skidding or braking hard, the sparks in the crashes, the reflection of the sun on the windshield, among many other things that are really good. The reflections of the cars are also quite outstanding, and the car races look very good when the reflections of the sun hit them. The fluidity of the game and the texture loads work great, nothing to complain about. In short, graphically this game is not bad at all, but compared to its previous presentation it is a step backwards.
The sound aspect if good, with an excellent sound of the roar of the engines, both the internal camera (cabin of the car), as the external (outside the car). One of the things that are still good, in the sound aspect is the Spotter, who gives us different important indications, such as lap times, cars in our environment when we are turning on the track, the conditions of the car, when we should or should not enter the pit, among others. The bad thing is that the track engineer and the Spotter are only available in English, because NASCAR is a series purely from the United States, however there is currently a series in Mexico, but at that time there was not.
The events and tracks available in NASCAR Thunder 2004:
1. Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway
2. Subway 400: North Carolina Speedway
3. UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4. Golden Corral 500: Atlanta Motor Speedway
5. Carolina Dodge Dealers 400: Darlington Raceway
6. Food City 500: Bristol Motor Speedway
7. Samsung / Radio Shack 500: Texas Motor Speedway
8. Advance Auto Parts 500: Martinsville Speedway
9. Aaron's 499: Talladega Superspeedway
10. Auto Club 500: California Speedway
11. Chevy American Revolution 400: Richmond International Raceway
12. Coca-Cola 600: Lowe's Motor Speedway
13. MBNA America 400 "A Salute to Heroes": Dover International Speedway
14. Pocono 500: Pocono Raceway
15. DHL 400: Michigan International Speedway
16 Dodge / Save Mart 350: Infineon Raceway
17. Pepsi 400: Daytona International Speedway
18 Tropicana 400 Presented by Meijer: Chicagoland Speedway
19 Siemens 300: New Hampshire International Speedway
20. Pennsylvania 500: Pocono Raceway
21. Brickyard 400: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
22 Sirius at The Glen: Watkins Glen International
23. GFS Marketplace 400: Michigan International Speedway
24 Sharpie 500: Bristol Motor Speedway
25. Pop Secret 500: Darlington Raceway
26. Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Richmond International Raceway
27. Sylvania 300: New Hampshire International Speedway
28. MBNA America 400: Dover International Speedway
29.EA Sports 500: Talladega Superspeedway
30. Banquet 400 Presented by ConAgra Foods: Kansas Speedway
31. UAW-GM Quality 500: Lowe's Motor Speedway
32. Subway 500: Martinsville Speedway
33. Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500: Atlanta Motor Speedway
34. Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Havoline: Phoenix International Raceway
35 Mountain Dew Southern 500: North Carolina Speedway
36 Ford 400: Homestead-Miami Speedway
In conclusion NASCAR Thunder 2004, is a great game but with great improvements with reference to the games of the same genre of previous years such as NASCAR Racing 2003 Season which is considered the best of this genre and category, at least from my point of view. The developers did a great creation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that make the game very realistic, with great effects in terms of sound. However, its shortcoming is in the graphical aspect, since being the retro game of 2003, it does not have the graphics of the current NASCAR games. The innovation of the availability of the use of a microphone to be able to communicate in the Online mode. In short, NASCAR Thunder 2004, is a good game that will allow us to entertain us. I recommend it to you, I hope you get to try it. For all the above mentioned is that I give it a 9 for the gameplay, an 7 for the graphics and a 9.5 for the sound.
For the outstanding and not so outstanding aspects of this publication, I give an 8.5 out of 10 overall score to NASCAR Thunder 2004.
Name: NASCAR Thunder 2004
Launch date: September 16, 2003
Platform: PC and Mac OS X
Gender: Driving, Nascar
Number of players: 1-43 (Competitive: Online)
Developer: EA Sports
- Manual: English
- Texts: English
- Voices: English
- Additional notes: Broadband Internet connection
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