Gameshark gives it a D...

#1 Edited by Barrock (3553 posts) -
http://www.gameshark.com/reviews/3697/Need-for-Speed-Hot-Pursuit-Review.htm  
 
I love the highlighted part: 
 
 
 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is not a driving game. It’s a speed game. Point the car, squeeze the trigger, and you’re off like a rocket, careening down long undulating inviolable ribbons unfurling along the usual biomes. Braking is mostly optional. It’s more like surfing. The twist in this particular speed game is that sometimes your car is a gaudy cop car that looks like it drove off the set of The Fifth Element. Cars get mild superpowers to chip away at enemy cars’ health. You can also, of course, bump enemy cars. Unimportant crashes may happen. The whole thing is over after about four minutes, at which point you’ve probably unlocked something.  
 
  There are some good speed games, and Hot Pursuit developer Criterion has even been party to making some of them. But you’d never guess that this isn’t a throw-away title tossed onto the shelves after a short development cycle to keep the brand alive. It’s all so rote, relying on flash instead of anything resembling gameplay. The biomes you race through look good enough. The sense of speed conveys a sense of speed. The package has that slickly Electronic Arts veneer, with a steady drumbeat of rewards, as if Pavlov’s bell was wired to a metronome. Hey, you just unlocked an award. It’s a hawt car. So hawt. So sexy and hawt. Hawt. Sexy. Bam. Bam! Sexy bam! You leveled up! What good is leveling up? Don’t ask! Have a new car! A hawt sexy new car. Now go drive it and we’ll give you another one that’s ever hawter and sexier. Bam! Wow!

But once you get past all the manufactured excitement of this automotive Monty Haul, the central fact about Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is its lack of anything approximating driving. It’s ultimately a higher resolution version of Pole Position, where you jerk a car graphic around some scenery. The scenery and the car graphic have come a long way since Pole Position. The basic concept hasn’t.

The eponymous hot pursuits seem intriguing until you realize that it’s all about jockeying to knock pieces of health off an enemy car, which gives the game a thinly veiled combat mechanic. There are tire strips (mines), cannons (EMP blasts), guided missiles (police helicopters), and obstacles (roadblocks). Oh, and turbo boosting. The criminal cars actually get two (2) flavors of turbo boosting.

Single player races are politely rubber-banded so that minimum exertion is applied to the gruel thin gameplay model. Multiplayer matches are all about judicious use of your four powers, particularly since it's really hard to stage a car combat game along a length of non-interactive road-shaped ribbon. Collisions are supposedly a big part of the game, but it’s really a crap shoot whether you’re going to spectacularly total a car or gently nudge its bumper. This also applies to things like guard rails, which will mostly guide you back onto the road. Sometimes a guard rail will have the temerity to wreck your car. Hot Pursuit doesn’t have physics. It has under-the-hood die rolls.

Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with a brain-dead speed game. But in a game built so completely around unlocking new cars, it’s hard to give the cars any personality when there’s no real driving. Some cars are faster. Some cars have better grip. And that’s about it. When you choose a car, there’s virtually no information about its performance. This is understandable, because these cars don’t have much actual performance. They have mainly their glossy shells and the insistent whine of their sometimes distinct engine noises. 
  You get marketing blurbs where you might expect to find stats about gameplay. Want to know the car's acceleration? “Always thrilling at full throttle.” How about its handling compared to another car? “A breathtaking combination of power and exquisite luxury.” Can this car take more or less damage than another car? “Completely new. Yet true to its core.” What’s BHP stand for? “Seductively powerful and exquisitely finished.” So is this 0-to-62mph rating a straight up substitute for the acceleration stat? “Get in. Get reborn.” Oh, look, an information button. Let’s see what that does. Hey, it’s a woman reading the copy from a dealership's sales brochure. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is antiseptic car porn. These are barely cars. They're ads. The game was not made for you. It was made for the people who want to sell you cars.

You can see this approach in Hot Pursuit's online support, which is patterned after Facebook so you can spread the car ads around to your friends. Electronic Arts has slapped the name “Autolog” onto a bloated high score feature built around a system of nags, wall posts, and challenges. There's even a feature to sniff out new people for your friends list so you can brag to each other about which car ads you've unlocked in the course of ascending a pointless leveling system. Competitive high scores are nothing new in games, and they can be an effective way to build a sense of community around a game, and to get players invested in playing. But I’ve never seen high scores used so shamelessly as a marketing feature, designed to get you to do Electronic Arts' job by bugging your friends about this game.

It’s enough to make a fellow pine for the innocent days of yore, when Activision’s Blur may have been a vehicle for Facebook nags, but at least it had the courtesy to include an actual game.      
#2 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5463 posts) -

I've honestly never heard of that site before.  
 
The device? Sure. 

#3 Posted by Suicidal_SNiper (949 posts) -
@Vito_Raliffe said:
" I've honestly never heard of that site before.   The device? Sure.  "
You never heard of gameshark? Not the site, I mean the cheat-device.
#4 Posted by Barrock (3553 posts) -
@Vito_Raliffe said:
" I've honestly never heard of that site before.   The device? Sure.  "
Oh they sell the devices on their site too. ;)
#5 Edited by jakob187 (21755 posts) -

Any site willing to give Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit a low score is fucking retarded.

#6 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5463 posts) -
@Suicidal_SNiper said:
" @Vito_Raliffe said:
" I've honestly never heard of that site before.   The device? Sure.  "
You never heard of gameshark? Not the site, I mean the cheat-device. "
I've heard of the device (and used it!), but I never knew they had a site where they reviewed games.
#7 Posted by Suicidal_SNiper (949 posts) -
@Vito_Raliffe: Yeah, their review site isn't something to brag about. Feels like they're just trying to keep themselves from falling apart.
#8 Edited by aurahack (2289 posts) -

I also like to complain about real-world cars and how they look too futuristic, then proceed to blame the developers for said appearance.

#9 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5463 posts) -
@Suicidal_SNiper: I'm just surprised to see any mention of "GameShark" in 2010! 
 
How times have changed . . . 
#10 Posted by Djratchet (669 posts) -

Gameshark is still a thing?

#11 Posted by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

Gameshark...lol

#12 Posted by august (3865 posts) -

 The sense of speed conveys a sense of speed.
 


Uhh...
#13 Posted by Pibo47 (3166 posts) -

Yeah ive never heard of..gameshark..either...i knew about the cheat stuff. But i thought all that crap died last gen. Sooooo yeah...gameshark stayin with the time..i guess. lol

#14 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -
@Barrock said:
" @Vito_Raliffe said:
" I've honestly never heard of that site before.   The device? Sure.  "
Oh they sell the devices on their site too. ;) "
It seems the only cheating device they currently sell is for the Game Boy Advance. They have a device for the DS that can back up your saves, but I have a device from Datel that does the same thing. And it's also a cheating device.
 
So what is GameShark offering that the competition doesn't? Shitty reviews? How do they survive if they're not offering the one thing that people know them for?
#15 Posted by DrPockets000 (2859 posts) -

That reviewer needs to stop fucking saying "biomes".  It doesn't make him sound smart or cool.   
 
Actually, he kinda sounds like a Roger Ebert copycat.

#16 Posted by august (3865 posts) -

Oh. Apparently you guys don't know who Tom Chick is.
 
Yeah.

#17 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

Gameshark... lol. I can't believe they're still around.

#18 Posted by SomeJerk (3389 posts) -

I don't like reviews when it's clear the reviewer expected something completely different, but did this guy even play it? :/

#19 Posted by ViciousReiven (821 posts) -

Sorry Gameshark, but you're getting old and senile, I'll stick to my Action Replays and Codebreakers thank you very much. 
 
It's like some bizzaro review, everything is just wrong.

#20 Posted by TheJuda (30 posts) -

I find it hilarious that you guys insult the site when your issue is with the review.  That's like me saying oh "giant bomb, you're a piece of crap site" because I disagree with a review that one of the editors wrote.

#21 Posted by Vinchenzo (6192 posts) -
@TheJuda said:
" I find it hilarious that you guys insult the site when your issue is with the review.  That's like me saying oh "giant bomb, you're a piece of crap site" because I disagree with a review that one of the editors wrote. "
You are... too stupid for words.
#22 Posted by DocPorpoise (116 posts) -
@TheJuda said:

" I find it hilarious that you guys insult the site when your issue is with the review.  That's like me saying oh "giant bomb, you're a piece of crap site" because I disagree with a review that one of the editors wrote. "

i'd insult the site for letting some one write a review with the sentence  "The sense of speed conveys a sense of speed.". good god why.
#23 Posted by ch3burashka (5242 posts) -

Gameshark is still a thing?

#24 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

While I'm not sure if I like how it's written, it's nice to see some actual video game criticism rather than a standard rundown of graphics, gameplay and controls.

#25 Posted by Skald (4370 posts) -
@august
Oh. Apparently you guys don't know who Tom Chick is.
 
Yeah.
Jesus. Gill from The Office?
And he actually says: "...careening down long undulating inviolable ribbons unfurling along the usual biomes..." (?)

Between these two facts, my mind is officially blown.
#26 Posted by Legxend (122 posts) -

I think someone should tell him it is an arcade racing game and not a sim, it is like  approaching GT 5 and complaining it does not play like Ridge Racer. It is a bad review though, how does a guy like this manage to write for any site at all? he mentions the leveling system is pointless yet in the same sentance mentions leveling up awards you cars, so in other words it is not pointless.

#27 Posted by HistoryInRust (6397 posts) -
@august said:
"

 The sense of speed conveys a sense of speed.
 

Uhh... "
I think this line is really key. Let me put it in other contexts: 
 
This orange tastes of orange.   
 
Fresh air sometimes makes me feel like I'm outside.  
 
Water is wet.
#28 Posted by neoepoch (1295 posts) -
@HandsomeDead: 
 
" The sense of speed conveys a sense of speed. "
 
Yeah, great criticism.
#29 Posted by TheJuda (30 posts) -
@Vinchenzo said:
" You are... too stupid for words. "
Wow.  You told me.
#30 Posted by mordukai (7185 posts) -

 Holy haberdashery, that site is still on?  

#31 Posted by Nexas (638 posts) -

Holy Shit! Gameshark still exists?

#32 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@neoepoch:  
 
" Takes one line out of context from an article and thinks that proves a point. " 
 
Yeah, great criticism.
#33 Posted by Sin4profit (3000 posts) -
@august said:
" Oh. Apparently you guys don't know who Tom Chick is.  Yeah. "
Maybe he was bitter for not being invited to any release parties. 
 
He sounds pretty cynical about everything in the game, like someone on a mission. He does have valid points about the lack of stat communication but even i can find more to complain about in Hot Pursuit and i think the game is great. 
 
@TheJuda: The reviewer looks to be a freelancer...i'm sure the review is commissioned. What's funny is, it took a "bottom of the barrel" site to actually buy it.
#34 Posted by AjayRaz (12475 posts) -

i didn't even know that gameshark still existed, let alone do reviews o.O

#35 Posted by Kierkegaard (603 posts) -

I actually really like the review. I don't own the game and I don't plan to. Looks like it could be fun. But Burnout Paradise is all i need.  
 
The review is cleverly written and well argued in terms of the reviewer's opinion about the game. That you like a game with these qualities and he finds it uninteresting and bland is fine, but it doesn't make the review bad; it makes your opinions incompatible.  
 
And "the sense of speed conveys a sense of speed" is a sardonic way of dismissing meaningless racing game jargon. It's like saying "That exists" or "That's a thing." Same tone.  
 
I like reviews with personality and verve, so I quite enjoy this. Way more interesting than a product evaluation. 

#36 Posted by NickLott (793 posts) -

I'm always entertained reading Tom Chick's take on things, even if I don't agree with his opinion. 

#37 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -
@AjayRaz said:
" i didn't even know that gameshark still existed, let alone do reviews o.O "
Well, it's pretty much all they do now. The most recent cheating device they sell is for the Game Boy Advance and...
 
Wait, they made a cheating device for the Game Boy Advance?! I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention it.
#38 Edited by ProfessorEss (7513 posts) -
@Kierkegaard said:

But Burnout Paradise is all i need.

Someday Burnout Paradise will be (if you will) burntout.
I think it's nice to know that there's another good Need for Speed out there for me to pick up for 20 bucks a year from now :)
#39 Posted by benjaebe (2784 posts) -

Did I wake up in 1998 again? Gameshark still exists, and they're writing about Need for Speed Hot Pursuit?

#40 Posted by HistoryInRust (6397 posts) -
@HandsomeDead said:
" While I'm not sure if I like how it's written, it's nice to see some actual video game criticism rather than a standard rundown of graphics, gameplay and controls. "
I actually agree quite a bit, and I'd totally say it's a well-written piece.  
  
I might not agree with what he's got to say about it, but it's a compelling perspective regardless.

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