When one loads up a game designed specifically for the annual Electronic Sports World Cup, one isn't entirely sure what to expect. When I first stumbled upon TrackMania Nations I immediately tripped back in time to those hours spent in front of my TV playing Micro Machines on my cutting edge box of grey plastic called the PS1. That was a damn good game, and I'm glad to say TrackMania Nations is equally good if not better.
TrackMania Nations is a racing game, a fun game and more importantly, a refreshingly different game. It's a throwback to the old arcade racing games many of us remember from our childhood. Remember, when the important thing about games wasn't the fancy box, and cutting edge graphics but the fun filled gameplay we got from a small plastic disc. Truth be told, TrackMania Nations will search for that little sense of joy you once got from classics such as Micro Machines and wrench It out of your nostrils. All the while, burning rubber all across your face.
It's brilliantly fast, chaotic and crazy. Like most racing games, you're put inside a ridiculously expensive piece of kit. You know, that one car your real life self will probably never place a hand on. Let alone throttle through a wall in an attempt to collect a kick ass shiny gold medal. Whether that be by beating a personal best time, or by cracking open a can of whoop ass on the online leader boards. It's all here. Present and correct. Tightly refined, all your favorite racing game features are hiding away somewhere. The ghost cars, the fancy replays, the sexy graphics, the stupidly fast cars.. The thing that really sets TrackMania Nations apart is the track design.
Tracks, if you can call them that are in reality a labyrinth of high speed twists and turns, designed to give you an adrenaline rush. Plain and simple. Now, a couple hoola hoops here and there, that's a rush enough for me. TrackMania Nations doesn't like me though. No, instead I get a couple crazy turns one after the other, a sudden burst of speed from below my tires thanks to a turbo pad.. A stupidly far fetched jump that defies the laws of gravity and a satisfying crash back to the ground. That's just two seconds in the life of a Pro TrackMania Nations Racer. For those that seek it, this is the cheapest way to experience a your race driver dream. Probably safer than strapping a tank of nitro to your pizza bike. Admit it, you always wanted to drive like this. Now you can.
Graphics in TrackMania Nations, are damn impressive. Especially considering the price tag. Sure, they might push some machines to the limits but even those of us with mediocre machines will bleed something from this baby. If you have the rig required this is a beauty, if you don't it still looks bloody good. The speed is amazing and even if you're zipping around the arena, shaving seconds from your lap time. You'll still be tempted to take a break just to google at the graphics.
One of my favorite features of TrackMania Nations is the track editor. I dig the single player training, I like the multiplayer action. I love the editor. I'm one of those guys, that just has to have things my own way and what better way to express myself than send some random guy racing backwards around a lovingly crafted symbol of my name. Like the rest of TrackMania Nations, it's another thing thrown in for the fun factor it brings to the table.
That's what I like about TrackMania Nations, you get to have some quick and fast fun. If you want to get serious, you can. The leader boards are there, so you can prove to the world you really are that race car driver your mummy always said you were!
People who downloaded TrackMania Nations ESWC have also downloaded:
TrackMania Sunrise, TOCA Race Driver 2, TrackMania United, TrackMania, Whirlwind over Vietnam, Tough Trucks: Modified Monsters, Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004, Grand Prix 4
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