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A fast paced experience is hampered by repetitive races
on March 28, 2012
The Good: Insane sense of speed, well designed tracks, looks great, vehicles handle beautifully
The Bad: Multiplayer is lame, no trick system, almost zero content, upgrade system is pointless, bad tournament layout
High octane is what makes arcade racers fun and Nail'd nails it with some of the sickest sense of speed I've ever seen in a game. The track just whips by and the jumps are insane with 300 foot drops, train tunnels, windmills, construction sites and more. If you thought games like Freekstyle, Splashdown, and Pure were crazy think again. The vehicles (ATV or MX) control great with really no under/oversteer, and you can whip around 90 degree turns without slowing down. You just hold down the gas and enjoy the crazy ride.
Of course this is all the game is and there's no depth unlike the three games mentioned above. You just go from start to finish and try to get as much boost as you can. There's no trick system, and the upgrade system unlocks so slow I only unlocked 3 items halfway through the game. You can probably beat almost 75% of the game without upgrading your vehicle and this is sad. The opponents don't really put up much of a fight and even if you fall behind pretty far you can catch up if you just keep earning boost.
You can earn boost by landing straight, landing on top of opponents, or jumping through boost hoops. These are scattered all over the place and on the many branching pathways. Some hoops are on hot air balloons that move, some are even on jets! The tracks are laid out in a way that you can just go without thinking, so there's just one gear: GO! I actually don't even remember using the brake button even when holding down the boost. It's very exhilarating, but adds zero challenge and after you play every track a couple of time you will probably get bored (like I did) and may not even finish the game.
Finishing the game can be a huge pain because there's no way to tell if you beat a race or not. Yeah, I know that sounds crazy, but when you play a race it just turns gold. There's no info on what you placed, your time or anything like that. Each cup has five stars and you must get all five to move onto the league cup. If you accidentally skip a race or didn't place first you have no idea which one and you have to play them all over again to find out. That's a huge design flaw and it really bumps the game down a lot, sadly. All the problems mentioned above could have been solved with more time, but even changing your rider's outfits won't fix these issues.
Multiplayer is almost non-existent since no one is really playing online, and when you do it's whoever crashes first loses because unless they are bad drivers they will constantly use boost and you will never catch up. The game also has weird login and password system, but it's not connected to any site or anything like Dragon Age or Crysis or any games like that. Besides this the game looks pretty damn good and the motion blur effects help enhance that sense of speed and there are some nice water effects as well.
Nail'd is a great bargain bin game for people who love fast paced racers, but don't expect the depth or content you have grown to love from the better arcade racers out there. Mulitplayer is something you shouldn't bother with, so just sit back and enjoy the insane tracks and pretty visuals.