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Nascar Heat 2002 Video Game
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Fans of the NASCAR Winston Cup will thrill at the dynamic racing modes of NASCAR Heat. Choose from one of 25 different drivers to race on 19 real Winston Cup tracks. Five modes let you compete in single races, season championships, beat-the-heat, head-to-head, and race-the-pro. Realistic car damage, dents, scratches, sparks, and collisions heighten the race drama, as do special effects such as lens flare, waving flags, and rotating signs.
Take on all-new racing scenarios that capture the split-second decisions and timing required of NASCAR drivers. Race at normal level for fun arcade-style racing, or take on the expert simulation mode and experience the physics of driving a 750-horsepower Winston Cup car. Realistic graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound capabilities heighten the pulse-pounding competition.
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-Level Designer/Game Designer/3D Artist on The Terminator: Dawn of Fate-
I must admit, this is the first NASCAR game I've ever played...so, I can't compare it to another NASCAR game. I thought is was pretty cool, it had really good graphics and the driving physics were pretty realistic. I found myself trying to create car wrecks as much as possible...it was just fun to watch a 10 car pile up. I played an entire season and took first place....and this is why I quit playing feeling dissapointed: There was nothing to award the player for taking first place! NOTHING! At least, AT LEAST a floating gold cup spinning around with "You Win!" at the bottom. Come on guys, that was just plain dumb.
It was a fun game, but I found that after playing one season (with no reward) there was no reason to play it again. If you love NASCAR, this game would be good....if you just want to see cool cars driving around, rent it first.
ON the bad side, if you have the Mad Catz steering wheel, you can't up shift using the gear selector. There are only three controller configurations, and you can't customize them. Drivers are limited to 20, and there are only 19 tracks.
So basically, Heat is more of a simulation, but you can't use a steering wheel with a manual transmission, a lot of drivers/cars are omitted, and a few tracks are missing. If future versions of Heat fix these things, then I'd prefer Heat. As it is, I prefer Thunder.
The EA Sports game, in comparison, is more suitable for those that care less about depth and desire a more arcadish (aka Daytona USA with a bit more panache) feel.
Although I preferred this game, there were some annoying things about both NASCAR racers. First, Infogrames, couldn't you have built a pace car that really looked like a pace car instead of a re-painted stock car? This game also suffered from some pop-up, something that EA Sports addressed very well with their racer. That said, NASCAR Heat has smoother car models and more realistic track design than the EA Sports NASCAR Thunder game.
I don't think you can go wrong with either game, but they definitely target two different audiences: Prefer simulations? Go with NASCAR Heat. Prefer Arcade? Thunder is for you.