Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed SE is a quality game with speed and power at a very high level. Electronic Arts obviously put a lot into this game and it shows.
Everything from the level of graphic detail to the racecars is really nice. To get an idea of how good the graphics really are be sure to change the detail level to high, otherwise, they look blocky and grainy. On high, though, they are clear and smooth and the cars move fluidly through turns and perform strongly. The backgrounds, though at times a bit too sparsely detailed, are, for the most part, nice representations of cities, highways or other locations you may be driving through.
Driving on long tracks (some are four miles long), you notice the amount of work that Electronic Arts put into the game. There are plenty of computer-controlled cars trying to impede your progress through the levels, as well as cops who actually do interfere with your progress by stopping you for speeding. Why they don't actually stop any of the other speeding cars on the track is beyond me. If the cops do catch you, a speeding ticket is awarded before you resume the race.
One problem I had with Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed SE is that even though the controls strike a nice balance between loose and tight, there are times you really don't feel in control of your $100,000+ vehicle. There are too many crashes that should not occur. Furthermore, one humorous bug I found (or is it a designed flaw?) is when you get too near a wall, the computer automatically shifts you back to a lane. You do lose speed, however, so it's as if you brushed against it but with no real harm done. If this is intentional (and I'm guessing it was), it seems like a fairly stupid idea.
Another major complaint about the controls regards the lack of support for game pads. Only two buttons are active on a controller, leading to the necessity of using multiple input sources. In other words, while using your game pad to turn, you have to press the up and down arrow keys to shift and the h-key to honk your horn. It really ties up your hands and makes you lose some of your abilities.
The best part of Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed SE is the cars -- cool, expensive and a great variety. From the Lamborghini to the Ferrari, you don't find a single dud and a really nice touch is the information provided about them. You can listen to an audio commentary about each one, see pictures of both its interior and exterior and read about its performance attributes.
Although not without its flaws, Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed SE is a very entertaining and exhilarating experience worthy of any car or racing enthusiast. Give this one a try.
Graphics: With the graphic detail set on high, the game shines. The backgrounds are quality and the cars move smoothly.
Sound: Fairly basic background music, adequate for a car racing game although rock music from real bands would have been more fun.
Enjoyment: The game is fun. Evading cops while trying to win a race is tough but entertaining. My only complaint is the controls.
Replay Value: There are a lot of tracks and with the ability to play over a modem, play is endless.
Need for Speed Special Edition adds new cars, new tracks, changeable time of day settings, 8-player network/modem support, in-game music, and finally Windows support to the highly successful Need For Speed
The game lets you drive 8 speed devils including Lamborghini Diablo VT, Ferrari 512TR, and Porsche 911 Carrera. The race tracks are highly detailed with the help of texture mapped vector graphics The soundtrack is digitally recorded, and of professional quality.
Need for Speed SE has indepth coverage of the cars and race tracks. Video clips of the cars are also included.
People who downloaded Need for Speed, The: Special Edition have also downloaded:
Need For Speed 2 Special Edition, Need for Speed, The, Need for Speed: High Stakes, Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed 5: Porsche Unleashed, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Need for Speed: Underground, Need for Speed Underground 2
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