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SUBJECT [Game Life] Jays’ Game Selection of April: Need for Speed DATE 2013-04-16

My Game Selection on April is “Need For Speed” (NFS). Although few e-Sports tournament based on Racing Genre, NFS has been selected as one of the official titles in 2013 Asia Indoor & Martial Arts Games e-Sports discipline. Keeping up with this, I hope to investigate the history of NFS series and why NFS series are regarded as unchallenged racing game. Getting information of NFS series, I was quite surprised at its number of series. So, I will divide the column about NFS to 2 parts.

Need For Speed Series

NFS is an Arcade Racing Game, developed by EA and has been published with PC, Console and Mobile version. Since 1994 when the 1st content was released, there have been 21 series. As I could not play 21 series all and acquire the information of games, let me introduce some parts of series which were landmarks in NFS history with support of Korean NFS online community. What made me interested was that developers of each series were different. Because these difference, there were gaps in game engine, and it drove competition to them.

1. Road & Track Presents : The Need For Speed (1994) / Need For Speed II (1996)

In 1994, the 1st series of NFS, Road & Track Presents : The Need For Speed (TNFS) was released, developed by Pioneer Productions. TNFS was highly popular to game users, regardless of DOS base, with high quality of graphic and simulation factor. In fact, what made users excited was its video clips (considering the era) rather than game itself. NFS II released in 1996 was based on Windows, not DOS and expressed better effects on racing. However, most of users were complained to its excessive specifications to play compared with its contents.
2. Need For Speed III : hot Pursuit (1998)

Need For Speed III : Hot Pursuit (NFS 3), released in 1998 was regarded as a product which marked an era by adopting “car chase” (Hot pursuit) and applying Direct 3D. In Chase mode, there were “Being pursued” as well as “Pursuing” mode. NFS 3 guaranteed a fantastic graphic (considering the era) with the 3DFX emulator. However without the emulator, users can not play the game at all. Opening video clip, one of the enjoyments of NFS series, was combined between game scene and actual image, but it was evaluated less impact compared to previous series. The NFS 3 was a monumental product which led next NFS series.

3. Need For Speed : Porsche Unleashed (2000)
In 2000, departing from dream car racing, Need For Speed : Porsche Unleashed (NFS PU) was released. In this game, users could see only Porsche. It applied a full 3D point of sight which described driver’s hands. Unlike previous series, NFS PU had a physical engine highly closed to “Servey Racing Game” which was the 1st attempt in NFS series. This factor often made players who were used to simple physical engine of previous series feel difference, but this factor also made NFS PU evaluated as one of the masterpieces. NFS PU is often played until now.
4. Need For Speed : Hot Pursuit 2 (2002)
In order to boost up NFS series, EA Seattle released Need For Speed : Hot Pursuit 2 (NFS : HP2) with crowd of dream cars. EA Seattle produced games for PS2, XBOX, PC and Nintendo Game Cube platforms. PS2 version was only product which developed by Black Box, others were produced by EA Seattle. However, there was big gap between PS2 version and others in play mode and graphic, enough to consider they are different games. In PS2 version, players excited its brilliant light effect and this effect made users who played other version depressed. After Black Box produced this NFS : HP2, Black Box was taken over by EA and full responsible for producing next NFS series. From this series, famous music of big celebrities were used for BGM in NFS series
5. Need For Speed : Underground (2003) / Need For Speed : Underground 2 (2004)
In 2003, Need For Speed : Underground (UG) hit again treating the “Street Racing”, getting out of Super Car System which looked fixed model in NFS. It seemed to be effected by movie – “Fast & Furious”. UG showed various game methods such as drift and drag and it does not look old fashioned until now. The motion blur was first adapted in the game so that provoked better graphic.

In 2004, UN 2, sequel of UN was released. “Out-run” mode based on Free-Run system which had been a requirement of UN version as well as replay mode was applied.
6. Need For Speed : Most Wanted
Need For Speed : Most Wanted, released in 2005 received fervent response, applying Super Car System again. NFS Most Wanted was developed in various factors compared to previous versions.  Drift and “Out-run” mode were deleted, and “Speed Breaker” system which made game scene like slow motion was adapted. Also, “Challenge Series” mode was added so that users can enjoy the game after watching ending scene.
Pursuing Mode was also enhanced. In fact, lots of fans were confused if NFS Most Wanted is a game or movie while they were playing Pursuing Mode, giving police’s pursuer the slip with Speed Breaker in the game. As the storyline of the game was to be No.1 in illegal street racing, there were some funny modes such as breaking as many patrol cars as possible and being caught by speed camera as much as possible.
With these kinds of reasons above, Most Wanted is one of the favorite versions in whole series.

(To be Continued in next volume…)
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