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If EA hadn't instituted the new team-based component and associated voice support, NASCAR 06 would not be a recommended follow-up to last year's effort. But it did, and it did so in a generally successful manner. Voice recognition problems aside, this new element appreciably alters the end product. If the team concept and voice command features appeal to you, you know what you must do. If not, stick to NASCAR 2005.
If you consider yourself a series NASCAR fan, you must own NASCAR 06. This is the game you have been waiting for and offers more game play options than you can handle. Casual racing fans may be confused by the concept and might want to consider this a rental at best. But hey, it is nice to see EA not cater to the masses and finally create a game strictly for the fans.
On the track, there is a time and a place for teamwork. Maybe you;ll never get the chance to hook up with a teammate and draft your way to the front. Or more often than not, you'll spend the race watching after your own butt. As such, teamwork on the track may or may not be a big factor in a race. This puts the focus of this year's NASCAR game in an awkward position of being only occasionally useful.
Overall NASCAR 06 is a very worthy addition to the series despite some of the mishaps that come into play when trying to learn the intricacies of the Total Team Control. The relationship dynamics could have felt a bit more natural, especially when opponents overreact to the slightest bump and teammates take the offensive when they claim to be working together. The usual offering of online play options make appearances although they don’t differ much from last year’s rendition, not that it’s a bad thing especially considering how much time can be spent on the single-player portion. Add some more production value to the career mode and this game could turn the heads of more than simply the NASCAR faithful.
EA Sports continues to try to be a genre-buster with its NASCAR games. Last year, it introduced a deep career mode to the series. This year, it took that single-player RPG-like experience and fleshed it out into a team-based RPG event. (Instead of a mage or priest watching your back, here it's Bobby Labonte.) As a bonus, it even added voice recognition capabilities. It may not be the prettiest game to look at, but in its third year of being the exclusive holder of the NASCAR license, EA Sports and Tiburon refuse to rest on past successes.
Other than that, I didn't give two rips about my teammates or the team challenges. The racing, like the previous editions, is solid, with some outstanding graphics and some great driving physics.
Da war mehr drin! NASCAR 06 sieht die karierte Flagge zwar nicht als Erster, rast aber im guten Verfolgerfeld über die Ziellinie. Total Team Control ist eine ausgewachsene Simulation, die hohen Ansprüchen gerecht wird und trotz kleiner Mängel wie dem zu einfachen Beherrschen von rutschenden Boliden und eingeschränkten Möglichkeiten beim Setup überzeugen kann. Schade, dass der Karrieremodus mit Extras gestreckt wird, die den Puristen kaum interessieren und dass das nervige Anschalten von Windschattenfahren und Intimidator den konzentrierten Ablauf stören. Dafür entschädigen ein mit wenigen Handgriffen einstellbarer Schwierigkeitsgrad sowie ganze vier Rennserien. Nahezu perfekt werden vor allem Anfänger und Freunde gepflegter Kurzweil unterhalten, die sich über Bremshilfe und langsamere Gegner sowie die unterschiedlichen Herausforderungen und ihren Status als „Hero“ oder „Villain“ freuen.
So what’s the verdict? Is NASCAR 06 worth your hard-earned green? If you enjoy racing games, I believe that you’ll enjoy NASCAR 06, but if you don’t enjoy them, there’s nothing here that’s going to particularly win you over. Fans of the genre will be happy to spend some time cruising the tracks in one of the most renowned racing series in the world. In addition to solid racing, there are just enough extras in this game, from the hilarious agent, to the off-track drama and persona building that make this worth investing some time in. If you don’t like Ace Moneymaker’s brash comments and cocky attitude for some reason, don’t come yelling at me. It’s your own sense of humor that is to blame.