Remember the days when a good driver was one who didn't smash into every opponent, lamp post, passing motorist and pedestrian? The kind of race when careful cornering, accurate control and strategic driving won out against clumsy brute force every time.
Actually, now I think about it, smashing your opponents off the road is a lot more fun than being sportsmanlike. Mounting the pavement to get first place reaches deeper into the realms of driving fantasy than a good clean race, which is ultimately just as well for Gameloft’s new and brutal driving game, NitroStreet Racing 2.
You see, the actual driving mechanics are pretty lame. Admittedly it's difficult to add an ‘analogue’ sensation to a handset’s digital keypad, but NitroStreet Racing 2 really does boil down to pressing the 'drift' button at just the right moment to turn any corner with ease.
But that's not all there is to this street racing game. There's a rather macho, Mafia-based storyline running in the background, and, trite as it may be, it does give the game opportunity to experiment with different types of racing. Whether you're going up against a rival gang or in a one on one duel to help you gain the big boss’s trust, scarcely are two tracks or objectives the same.
While the animation is as clunky as the controls, there is a bright, detailed vividness to the graphics, and no shortage of traffic on these virtual roads. The music is rather monotonous and shrill, but it's thankfully lost beneath the revving engines and screeching tyres.
We've seen most of what NitroStreet Racing 2 has to offer plenty of times before, but if you're in the mood for a hot, forgettable power drift through an impressive-looking city centre, you could do a lot worse.
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