Excerpt: For the majority of us Brits NASCAR is that motor sport where you only turn left. That might be a completely ignorant view of the sport that seems to be hugely popular in the US, but that's what happens when most of our knowledge stems from the movies Days of Thunder and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. EA has a tricky job on its hands marketing NASCAR 09 over here, and we've had an even trickier time reviewing it.
Summary: NASCAR 09 offers an authentic stock car driving experience for racing fans of all ages. Legendary NASCAR driver #24 Jeff Gordon will work you through an all-new interactive 3D menu interface, the game's major features and advise you throughout your career.
Conclusion: I hate to break it to fans of the sport but NASCAR 09 is not the be-all and end-all video game experience. This year's edition is decent but it doesn't stand out in any way and it doesn't really raise the bar of expectations. The gameplay has been improved over the previous outing though it's still nothing that makes an impression.
Excerpt: There's no question that with all of the new features, NASCAR 09 is an improvement over previous installments in the series. The gameplay hasn't received much attention, but better presentation, the ability to completely customize your ride, and other minor enhancements make this a game that should please most fans of the sport. Jeff Gordon's involvement can be seen consistently throughout the game--he's not just the guy on the cover.
Pros: Addition of Jeff Gordon onscreen improves the presentation and overall experience, Paint booth allows you to customize every aspect of your ride's appearance, Paint schemes can be shared online, Excellent audio, Career mode features a number of new options
Cons: Racing gets repetitive quickly, Gameplay doesn't feel much different from 08, Crashes are lacking excitement, Online races take a long time to get started
Excerpt: NASCAR racing is kind of like car racing with Zoolander-complex...except Zoolander could only turn right. Regardless, the sport is extremely popular in the United States, and if you think there's something remotely easy about controlling a vehicle constantly moving at speeds between 160 to 200MPH, with 43 cars on a fairly narrow road, you may want to get your head examined.