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By: Jason Giacchino


Product Review: Nail’d
Available for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC $49.95

Nail’d Screenshot

Nail’d Screenshot

Contrary to what you might suspect, Nail’d is a game less about carpentry and more about high-speed ATV race action. ATV and moto race games are nothing new, in fact there are so many on the market these days that they can actually be classified into various sub-genres.

On the simulation side, you have entries like THQ’s MX vs. ATV series that, though in no danger of replacing real riding by nature, do tend to include some realistic physics and a fairly deep career mode. On the other end of the spectrum are the arcade-style games like Disney’s Pure: Games that focus on mashing buttons and getting enough air to jump over the Eiffel Tower.

That said Nail’d leans more toward the arcade side of things with emphasis on speed, and big, big airtime. Gamers that are looking for such realistic nuances as licensed machines and accurate racetrack locations need not apply as Nail’d has you romping through real life locations such as Yosemite Park, Greece and down the side of a cliff in the Andes Mountains!

The main single-player mode of play here is known as Tournament, and in it the player is greeted with a successive series of races and stunt challenges to complete toward taking a championship.

However, so as not to confuse Tournament with a true career mode found in other titles, there is no worry of earning sponsorship or modifying your machine with true-to-life aftermarket hop ups, here you simply hold it wide open and do your best to win. The early races are in fact a bit too easy to offer any sort of challenge. For whatever reason, the AI controlled opponents fade to your backside and fail to reappear even if you crash continually. Perhaps the idea here is that the early races make for a good opportunity to learn the control and pace of things?

Eventually, the computer-controlled opponents begin to “smarten up” and issue more of a challenge at roughly the same pace in which you open up new race locales. The game is certainly in no hurry to have you zip right through each area and actually has the player complete several similar events in each environment before allowing you to advance. As such the four total environments tend to drag on a bit in Tournament mode.

Advancing does occasionally earn new parts for your ATV, and while the game does notify you whenever you unlock a new part, it strangely does not feel the need to tell you what it is you unlocked. Hence, when you visit your garage between events, good luck figuring out what that new piece of bling you earned actually was (unless you have your machine’s inventory committed to memory prior).

Nail’d Screenshot

Nail’d Screenshot

Additionally, and in true arcade-game nature, most hop-ups you can activate on your machine usually come at the expense of another aspect of your quad’s performance. Sure this goes a long way in trying to keep everything fair and square, one really does wonder if they would ever install an aftermarket exhaust on their ATV in real life if doing so increased horsepower but made it much harder to steer. However, I digress.

Should you lack the patience to give a championship run a try, you can access any of the 14 tracks right off the bat in Go Offroad mode that allows you to select the environment, track, and number of opponents you feel like doing battle with.

The actual game play itself isn’t too shabby, if a tad bit fast and loose compared to other off-road race games. Rather than focus on the subtleties of timing triples or blipping the throttle to master a rhythm section, Nail’d is all about holding down the button and sending the virtual world streaking by. And streak by it does!

Despite what feels like triple-digit speeds compared to other games, smashing into opponents earns speed boosts here. While you would expect turning into an opponent’s ATV on a sheer cliff-face while the both of you are pinned “top-of-fifth” style would result in a horrible, tangled end over end collision, here you are rewarded with the word “terminator” and a booster. Yes, landing on your opponents after a few-miles flight is encouraged here and activating these speed boosts sends the world into near black and white for effect. We suppose in all fairness that the laws of physics as we know them would become unstable as you near the speed of light.

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