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Luke
29 Dec, 2006

Need for Speed: Carbon Review

Wii Review | A quick port for the Wii or a stand out title?
When we reviewed Need for Speed: Carbon last month on the Xbox 360 we were a little disappointed by the fact that the game wasn't all that different from Need for Speed: Most Wanted. However, as an arcade racer Need for Speed: Carbon on the XBox 360 was still a great arcade title with some brilliant online features. Carbon on the Wii is one of the only EA titles available for the launch of Nintendo's machine but keen racing fans may be better off picking the game up on a different platform or waiting for Excite-Truck to make an appearance early next year.

Carbon on the Wii is essentially a port of the Xbox version of the game, the only real difference being with the control scheme. The default way of driving is by holding the Wii remote sideways and moving the controller left or right to turn the vehicle. It's a control scheme that takes a bit of getting used to, you can press A to oversteer the vehicle but it just ends up feeling clumsy. There are four other ways of controlling the vehicles, such as using the nunchuck to to steer, but none of them controller options are preferable over a controller. We're pleased that EA didn't just force the one control system onto the game though.

A bit of self promotion doesn't hurt.

A bit of self promotion doesn't hurt.
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Carbon on the Wii picks up the story where Most Wanted left off. Your player (who was leaving Rockport at the end of Need for Speed: Most Wanted) has arrived at Palmont City. As he arrives, a bounty hunter named Cross chases after you and tries to ram you off the road. Before Cross is able to take you in, Darius drives up and saves you. Once again, you begin in a big city as a nobody and you'll need to work your way up to eventually "own" Palmont City.

How exactly do you own Palmont City? Well Carbon's career mode is divided up into four regions which are each dominated by different crews. You'll start from the beginning with no turf and with a mountain of challenges. Winning challenges will acquire a certain part of the territory. If you win enough races then eventually you'll be challenged to a boss race to acquire the territory.

Boss races have two parts. First you’ll need to beat the boss in a basic event, all you’ll need to do is come first and in doing so you’ll be able to face off in one of the canyon courses. The canyon races have two parts, first you’ll need to chase the boss down the canyon and stay as close as possible, the second time around the boss will be chasing you down the canyon and you’ll need to try and stay as far away from the boss as possible. The game awards points for how close the cars get to each other. If you get ahead of the boss for more than ten seconds then you automatically win, however if the boss gets ahead of you for more than ten seconds then they’ll win. The canyon races are also quite dangerous, so if you fall off the cliff then the race ends automatically. This makes for races that are rather intense.

Side by side here..

Side by side here..
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In terms of race types, a lot of the same race options have been recycled from Most Wanted, so Carbon should be instantly familiar to previous fans of the Need for Speed series. Need for Speed Carbon also lets you hire wingmen to help you out in a race. As you progress through the career mode you'll unlock wingmen which carry out different tasks for you, blockers will block the cars in front of you, scouts will hunt out the best shortcuts and drafters will let you slide behind them gaining slipstream. However, the crew members aren't particularly helpful, more often than not they'll get in your way during a race or they'll sit back for far too long. So when you want them to block they're nowhere to be seen.

The car selection in the Need for Speed titles has always been rather impressive and Carbon is no different. There are more than thirty licensed cars and they're divided up into three groups; tuners, muscles and exotics. All three groups feel different to each other. If you're after a new car then you may win the pink slip to a bosses car or you can go to the car dealer and purchase one with the money you've earnt from winning races in the career mode. Just purchasing a car is only the tip of the iceberg though, as Carbon features a large range of upgrades, some performance, some visual. Visual upgrades like decals, spoilers and body kits are all available for purchase and and performance upgrades gradually become unlocked as you progress through the career mode. The game also includes an autosculpt system. Using autosculpt allows you to modify your parts a lot more accurately, unless you're really dedicated you're more likely to just purchase a part and install it.

The career mode for Carbon can be quite lengthy, but unlike the Xbox 360 version of Carbon there is no online play at all to keep you coming back to the game, once you've finished the career mode there is no reason at all to want to play again. The online play was very addictive in the Xbox 360 version and it's omission is sorely noted here.

Slide away, come slide and slide away.

Slide away, come slide and slide away.
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Graphically Carbon looks pretty impressive. Palmont City is quite impressive and there is a lot going on during a race. The audio appears to have been recycled from Most Wanted, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The voice acting is okay, but the wingmen do become a little bit repetitive.

Need for Speed: Carbon on the Wii feels like a quick port (which it actually was so there you go). Using the Wii remote to steer your vehicle doesn't feel intuitive and the game doesn't include online support. Carbon is a fun arcade racing title but ultimately the game is more fun when you're using a controller to control your turns.
The Score
There are better consoles to play Need for Speed: Carbon on, the game just isn't all that enjoyable with the Wii's control system.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Need for Speed: Carbon Content

Need for Speed: Carbon Review
12 Apr, 2007 Carbon arrives on the PS3.
More Need for Speed content released
08 Dec, 2006 This time with content exclusive to the Marketplace.
Need for Speed: Carbon Review
26 Nov, 2006 Do you feel the need?
24 Comments
7 years ago
For those of you with a wii how do you feel about playing your gamecube with a different controller?
7 years ago
the doag wrote
For those of you with a wii how do you feel about playing your gamecube with a different controller?
are the graphics that bad??
7 years ago
Short answer: No. Long Answer: Not exactly. The Wii is definitely capable, graphics-wise, of more than the Gamecube. However, it is nowhere near as powerful graphically as the XBox 360 or the PS3. It is capable of the original Xbox graphics and then some. The perception of the Wii's graphical abilities is also somewhat hampered by the fact that the majority of Wii games at launch were simply ports of current generation games, or possibly shifted current generation titles that were in development at the time. This caused the graphics of the Wii to be considered to be much like current generation, or only slightly better.

In other words, it's more powerful than a Gamecube, but not to the extent that a PS3 is more powerful than a PS2. Some naysayers of the system use this as a damning point in arguments, such as this guy.
7 years ago
It was a rhetorical question. icon_lol.gif

You make some good points, you work for Nintendo PR?
7 years ago
the doag wrote
For those of you with a wii how do you feel about playing your gamecube with a different controller?
You're an idiot.
7 years ago
I love my Wii..Only good game though at the moment is Zelda..and maybe Rayman which I havent played yet..But the graphics are really nice on Zelda on HDTV with Component cables.
7 years ago
I absolutely love this game on 360, shame to see it didnt port so well on the Wii icon_sad.gif
7 years ago
We're so not going into the Wii graphics debate with this topic, consider this a warning.
7 years ago
theory wrote
You're an idiot.
Nup, your mum.
7 years ago
Luke wrote
We're so not going into the Wii graphics debate with this topic, consider this a warning.
Agreed
7 years ago
Dont worry Luke I think ive vented enough already icon_wink.gif

Actually I think Carbon is my fave racing game of all time. Project Gotham 3 is awesome but is lacking customisation and a story and then theres Gran Turismo 4 which has a great ammount of cars but controls that im not so keen on.

Ive finished Carbons Career 100% and loved every moment of it. It was absolutely awesome to see such a good casting in motion. Battlestar, Smallville.. So many experienced actors. And I was actually excited to unviel more of the story which is funny considering the NFS games have neve had the strongest stories.

And the car list is wonderfull, still got so many cars to unlock from the reward cards..
7 years ago
Hmm I agree, i thoroughly enjoyed Carbon on the 360, which was why this was such a disappointment.
7 years ago
I doubt that Carbon is 'that' long, I played it for a couple of hours yesterday at ye ol' Xbox lounge and I got through 15% of it.
7 years ago
I own a Wii and I will happily call it a Gamecube with a different controller at the moment. However, I bought it as an investment, and I'm still confident it will deliver the goods over the next 2 years, even if it is slightly disappointing for now.
7 years ago
An investment is a good way of thinking about it. At least it softens the blow somewhat...

Spot on review too.
7 years ago
Carbon as your favourite racing game of all time Groovy?

Well okay then. icon_confused.gif

icon_razz.gif

Carbon was good man don't get me wrong (we still need to race by the way biatch) but it wasn't that good. Most Wanted was better. icon_razz.gif

Oh and I can't believe I didn't even realise that Helo (spelling?) was Darius... Completely overlooked that one.
7 years ago
Luke wrote
Hmm I agree, i thoroughly enjoyed Carbon on the 360, which was why this was such a disappointment.
You also directly compare the two games, which is like Apples and Oranges.

Put it up against the PS2 or Xbox titles that also dont have online, fancy "next gen" graphics and maybe thats a fairer comparision,

If you own a 360 get the 360 one der, but if you only got a Wii its the best racing game out there ATM (Till feb anyway icon_razz.gif )
7 years ago
NismoR34 wrote
Carbon as your favourite racing game of all time Groovy?

Well okay then. icon_confused.gif

icon_razz.gif

Carbon was good man don't get me wrong (we still need to race by the way biatch) but it wasn't that good. Most Wanted was better. icon_razz.gif

Oh and I can't believe I didn't even realise that Helo (spelling?) was Darius... Completely overlooked that one.
Yeah man I cant think of any racing game ive liked more. Most Wanted was pretty good but It didnt really have a story and the features are way better in Carbon and YES we need to do some online dude - got to get my online xp up icon_razz.gif

Yep Heelo or what ever was Darius, he played that part so well. Actually thats probably the best acting for a game ive ever seen heh. Probably just becasuse im a big fan of BSG I spose..
7 years ago
VOOK wrote
You also directly compare the two games, which is like Apples and Oranges.

Put it up against the PS2 or Xbox titles that also dont have online, fancy "next gen" graphics and maybe thats a fairer comparision, I own both the Xbox and Wii versions (dont ask) and the Wii Version looks like the Xbox one.

The Wii is NEVER going to have 360 graphics why bother comparing.
It's like Rayman which was better on PS2, Carbon is better on 360, i didn't compare the graphics so once again I don't know what you're talking about there.

You'll also note that i said the wii version was like the 360 version icon_wink.gif It's an average game on the Wii, and is a quick port job.
7 years ago
Luke wrote
VOOK wrote
You also directly compare the two games, which is like Apples and Oranges.

Put it up against the PS2 or Xbox titles that also dont have online, fancy "next gen" graphics and maybe thats a fairer comparision, I own both the Xbox and Wii versions (dont ask) and the Wii Version looks like the Xbox one.

The Wii is NEVER going to have 360 graphics why bother comparing.
It's like Rayman which was better on PS2, Carbon is better on 360, i didn't compare the graphics so once again I don't know what you're talking about there.

You'll also note that i said the wii version was like the 360 version icon_wink.gif It's an average game on the Wii, and is a quick port job.
The rest of the members where doing the graphics, the first and second sentances aimed at you icon_wink.gif

I think your'll find nearly every game EA does is a quick port job icon_razz.gif
7 years ago
I think the game is cool. Although the gfx are PS2 standards (no pixel sharder effects at all which even the GC is capable of), the controls make it fun to play.
7 years ago
I actually found the controls to be really good once I used to them, so I disagree with you there. Sure, it might be easier to control with a stick, but I'd rather use the Wii remote.
7 years ago
VOOK wrote
If you own a 360 get the 360 one der, but if you only got a Wii its the best racing game out there ATM (Till feb anyway icon_razz.gif )
Isnt excite trucks better than this? Unless it isnt out.
7 years ago
The Spongebob racing missions are way better than Carbon IMO.
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    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
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European Release Date:
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Publisher:
  EA Games
Developer:
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