Need For Speed: ProStreet
Need For Speed: ProStreetNeed for Speed: ProStreet is the 11th installment of Electronic Arts popular racing game series Need for Speed. On May 21, 2007, Electronic Arts published a teaser trailer of ProStreet, and officially announced it ten days later. It was released worldwide in November 2007. Its action footage was used in American Le Mans Series. ProStreet was the first PlayStation 3 game with DualShock 3 rumble support.
The demo, featuring two races, one speed challenge and one grip race, appeared on Xbox Live on October 26, 2007, on PlayStation Store on November 1, 2007, and on PC on November 2, 2007. The PC version is the last in the series to use CD-ROMs, which are succeeded by the usage of DVDs for the rest of the series. ProStreet is preceded by Need for Speed: Carbon and is followed by Need for Speed: Undercover.
Need For Speed: ProStreet PlotThe game begins in the eastern United States, where a former street racer known as Ryan Cooper enters an initiation match referred to as a "challenge day", challenging the competitors in his green Nissan 240SX in hopes to proceed to the race event known as Battle Machine. In the midst of the challenge day, the internationally famous racer Ryo Watanabe, the Showdown King, arrives to spectate the competition in his brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Before the final race, Ryo is introduced by the hosting DJ Big J, whom of which praises Cooper for his excellent driving. Ryo, however, insults the driver and challenges him to prove himself. Ryan then proceeds to dominate the race and overall win the series, officially locking in his position at the next competition, much to Ryo's dismay. In a fit of anger, Ryo drives up to Ryan, taunts him with a burnout, and speeds out of the area. Regardless, Ryan is congratulated, and proceeds onward.
They then move on to Battle Machine, a famous race organization, where players discover the individual differences between events, along with rules, penalties, and other important information. After dominating the competition, Ryan is rewarded with a new drag vehicle—Either a sixth-generation Honda Civic or a Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Afterwards, he proceeds to finish other events in the Battle Machine series, and eventually is invited to Showdown Chicago. Before continuing, however, the player is introduced to the Race Kings: Ray Krieger who is the Grip King, Karol Monroe the Drag King (Drag Queen technically and respectively, since she is a girl), Nate Denver the Speed King, and Aki Kimura, the Drift King, all of whom drive heavily tuned vehicles and aspire also as racing champions.
Eventually, the player arrives at the next event. Showdown Chicago stands as the checkpoint for advancing further towards becoming the Showdown King, and thus is promoted by Super Promotion, which is acknowledged as the top organization in the world. After finishing several events, Ryo arrives once again, taking notice to Ryan's vehicle, and spectating. Once Ryan wins again, Ryo announces that he "should just stop and go home." He then moves forward into his career.
The next event is React Team Sessions, where Speed Challenges (essentially, the sprint events within the game) are introduced, and the competition starts introducing teams, such as Ryo's team Apex Glide, alongside others: Ray's team Grip Runners, Karol's team Aftermix, Nate's team Boxcut, and Aki's team TougeUnion. This affects gameplay elements and difficulty very drastically. At the end of the first event, Ryan wins a new drift car, which is either a fourth-generation Pontiac GTO or an Infiniti G35. After finishing the series, Ryan then moves onward to the next event Showdown: Autopolis, and soon starts accepting invites to the kings' race organizations, where he must challenge them before he can attempt to dethrone Ryo.
After Autopolis, Ryan is finally accepted to the premiere event of Super Promotion, which proves to be one of the single-hardest competitions in the world and in the ProStreet career. The end of the first event rewards him with a Nissan Skyline GT-R or a Dodge Viper SRT10, both tuned very highly for speed challenges. Throughout the remainder of Super Promotion, the teams try to eliminate him, even going as far as to purposely wreck him in races. Nonetheless, Ryan destroys the series, proceeding into the final showdown, Showdown: Autobahnring in Germany.
After the final showdown, Ryan begins his overtake on the current champions and their events. Ray stands in G Effect, the Grip Series, Karol in Rogue Speed, the Drag Series, Nate in Nitrocide, the Speed Challenge Series, and finally Aki in NoiseBomb, the Drift Series. At the end of every event, he personally challenges each one of them, and, once victorious, receives the pink slip for their cars.
After taking down all four of them, Ryo demands a final challenge against him in all race types. The wager is his Evolution X and the title of Showdown King, or Ryan leaves the organized racing series forever. He accepts, and the final event begins.
Once every race is finally won, Ryan claims his car and his title as both the Showdown King and the Street King, designating his status as the best racer in the organization and one of the very best in the world. Ryo is dropped off the pedestal and the Apex Glide team forces him to leave due to his shame to their name and the sheer loss of his street cred. Cooper is praised by the massive crowd, and leaves the raceway victorious.
Need For Speed: ProStreet GameplayNeed for Speed: ProStreet has taken the series in a different direction of gameplay. All racing in ProStreet takes place solely on closed tracks, making ProStreet the first game in the series since Need for Speed II that doesn't animate illegal racing. Rather, the type of racing appears to be Clubman Racing. The performance tuning feature is enhanced, compared to previous versions, especially Autosculpt. Unlike Carbon, where only certain body kits can be autosculpted, this can now be applied to all body kits, including stock bumpers and wide body kits. Furthermore, some adjustments through autosculpt impact the car's aerodynamics.
In ProStreet there are four different game modes: Drag (a race in a drag strip, point to point), Grip (similar to Circuit races but with four different types of Grip races available), Speed (similar to a Sprint race) and Drift.
Drag race is a simple straight away race that has three heats. There are three types of drag races, 1/4 and 1/2 mile drag races where the fastest time, out of three runs, wins. There is also a wheelie competition where the longest wheelie on the 1/4 mile track wins.
In Grip races, there are four different modes (Normal Grip, Grip Class (all versions except for the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions), Sector Shootout and Time Attack), the player has a choice to race rough, such as ramming, smashing, or blocking the opponent in order to win the race, or race cleanly and follow the given racing lines. Normal Grip races feature 2 to 4 laps around a circuit track with up to 7 other racers. First driver to cross the finish line wins. Grip Class races take 8 racers and divide them into two even groups. The racers are placed into the groups based on their vehicles performance potential. Group A starts about 10 seconds ahead of group B, both groups race on the same course but are only competing against the 3 drivers in their group. In Time Attack, the driver with the fastest overall single lap time wins the event. In Sector Shootout the track is divided into several segments, with drivers attempting to complete these sectors in the shortest possible time. Extra points are awarded to drivers who 'dominate' the course by holding the fastest time for every segment of the track.
In Speed Challenge races, players must cross the finish line first to win the race. Players have to be cautious in Speed Challenge at speeds exceeding 200 mph.
In Top Speed Run races, there are 3 to 9 checkpoints and at the instant a player crosses a checkpoint their speed is clocked and added to that player's score, the player with the highest cumulative speed wins. This is similar to the Speedtrap events in Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
In Drift, players drift to emerge as the driver with the most points scored in the event. Points are scored based on speed, angle, and how long the drift is held.
Other than game play itself, ProStreet features detailed damage modeling, unlike previous Need for Speed games (except for High Stakes and Porsche Unleashed) where damage is relatively little or non-existent altogether. The new damage system introduces more depth of damage (except on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Wii versions, where the damage modeling has been scaled down due to the limited processing power, so the damage is similar to the previous titles) where any object in the game world has the potential to inflict cosmetic damage breaking off pieces of the car such as the hood,bumpers,side view mirrors, light damage, or heavy damage which reduces performance of a car, and even has the potential to total a car immediately after impact.
ProStreet features customization of booger cars. The changes affect the aerodynamics of the cars, and players can test them in an enclosed chamber called the "Wind Tunnel" (only on the PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 versions).
The Speedbreaker does not return for ProStreet (as the game lacks a police presence; the Speedbreaker was mostly intended for police evasion, however it returns for the Nintendo DS version of the game).
ReceptionNeed for Speed: ProStreet was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Nintendo DS version 74.83% and 74/100, the PlayStation 3 version 72.87% and 73/100, the Xbox 360 version 72.17% and 72/100, the PC version 69.12% and 70/100, the Wii version 63.94% and 61/100, the PlayStation 2 version 60.64% and 62/100 and the PlayStation Portable version 60.38% and 57/100. GameSpot cited the lack of police in the game, the handling of cars being unrealistic, and the fact that the game strays away from its traditional roots of street racing as reasons for the ratings, as well "an overload of in-game advertising and a higher hardware requirement (causing poor sales on the Windows version)." IGN mentioned the common complaint that all of the cars had shoddy performance and terribly unrealistic handling. videoGaiden lambasted the game in its 2007 Christmas special, having harshly criticised its predecessors in the previous two years. The main criticism was that the game was as lacking in substance as the previous installments, but also lacked the high production values of those titles.
The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions were also criticized due to missing content, downgraded graphics and frame rate issues.
Prostreet was considered the start of a 3-year downfall of the Need For Speed era, and after the poor result of the game, and also much poorer sales of the game's successor, Undercover, and also the mediocre reviews of the games by both the critics and the fans, EA was considering of quitting the franchise, but it rebooted with the 2009 successor, Shift, which had positive reviews.
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