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OS Scores Explained NASCAR '15 Overview (Xbox 360)
Pros
Budget price; updated drivers and schedule; smooth online gameplay
Cons
Frustrating driving; no significant changes from 2014; AI
Bottom Line
No innovation or improvement to speak of, but budget pricetag will help ease pain of lack of innovation.
5
out of 10
NASCAR '15 REVIEW

NASCAR '15 Review (Xbox 360)

For a game representing one of the more popular sports in North America, the release of NASCAR 15 has been relatively quiet. NASCAR used to command the same attention as other annual racing games and sports titles. This year, the Gamestop where I purchased my copy had only received two copies for each platform.

Worse, the game comes with a large share of the usual warning signs: last-gen only, later than usual release date, exclusive retailer, budget price, etc. The biggest issue, however with NASCAR 15, is that it's really just a rescind NASCAR 14.

Gameplay

First, I'll direct you to read the review of NASCAR 14. Why? Because developer DMi has indicated through what little press there is that the 2015 version is the equivalent to a roster update. What you got in 2014 is what you are getting this year, with a few changes (paint schemes, new car model, updated schedule, etc). There aren't any new gameplay features or improvements to write about.

This lack of development is too bad, because I find this version of NASCAR to be a sub-par driving experience. The cars handle like boats, requiring you to really jam the joystick to get the movement you want. Maintaining a straight line is more difficult than it needs to be. Even with the assists turned on, I found the driving model to be more frustrating than fun.

Perhaps this is because I'm a bad driver, though I used to love and succeed at the EA NASCAR games. More than my skill, though, is the fact that NASCAR 15, in its static state, fails to include improvements that have become standard in racing games. However, there is at least a rewind feature to mitigate some of the frustration after making that one wrong move.

Of course, with no significant gameplay changes, all of the other issues reported last year persist; most notable is the poor and inconsistent AI.

Presentation

Now that we are into year two of the PS4 and Xbox One, it is a bit difficult to look at this game without criticizing graphics. Still, the car models and presentation elements are reasonable. As with other elements of NASCAR 15, don't expect big changes.

Commentary seem exactly the same. Lighting is hit or miss, with some shadows looking very bad. Similarly, the crowds are laughable bits of colored pixels.

Overall, though, NASCAR 15 decent looking and sounding game, especially considering the number of cars on the track at once.

Modes

Nothing new to report here, either.

In career, you start as an unknown, balance a small budget, increase some technology, and hopefully get a sponsor. It's presented in the most boring and dry way possible, with nothing to actual acknowledge your driver's story. Expect to navigate menus and drive, and nothing else.

Online play, according to the trailer, got some "enhancements," though as someone who didn't spend a lot of time online last year, I can't determine what they are. I will say that my online experience this year was smooth, except for a few times when connection was lost prior to a race starting. In-game, though, everything was fine.

Final Thoughts

NASCAR 15 isn't a great game, racing or otherwise. With no innovation or improvement to speak of, it's the same game from last year (which I held in slightly less regard than 2014's reviewer). Expect frustrating driving layered on top of a boring career.

However, if there is one saving grace for NASCAR 15, it would be its budget price. If you liked this game in 2014, paying $20 for a new schedule and roster update isn't outrageous.

Learning Curve: The nature of NASCAR and tight driving will challenge you; learning to handle the floaty nature of the cars will frustrate you.

Visuals: Cars and replays look good, though crowds and shadows don't.

Sounds: Really shallow and recycled commentary; the engines really drove my subwoofer and sounded nice.

Online: Same as last year; no major problems. Smooth gameplay.

Score: 5 (Average)

UPDATE: We have updated the developer to be DMi rather than Eutechnyx -- DMi became the new publisher and developer back in January after buying the license. We have also corrected the review to point out a rewind feature being present in the game.


NASCAR '15 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 BurghFan @ 05/26/15 11:17 AM
Quote:
Because developer Eutechnyx has indicated through what little press there is, that the 2015 version is the equivalent to a roster update.
Though the game is an updated version of the game Eutechnyx released last year, they are no longer involved with the game. '15 was updated and released by Dusenberry Martin Racing which basically split off from Eutechnyx and purchased the assets from them.

Quote:
If there's ever a game that cries out for a quick rewind it's NASCAR
And it has one. Press select on the PS3 to rewind about 10 seconds.

As for my thought, I got pretty much exactly what I expected based on what I had heard of the game. I was a bit disappointed that they apparently didn't fix any of the single player gameplay issues and other little bugs. In fact, there is actually a new minor bug with the pit stop animations that wasn't present last year where when it goes to the in car view when the crew drops the jack, only the tires appear first with the rest of the car appearing half a second later. The one thing that was fixed was the speech disappearing after roughly 10 minutes of gameplay, a bug that only appeared in 14 after the last patch. So at least in '15 I can hear my spotter/crew chief talking to me again.
 
# 2 radney @ 05/26/15 12:04 PM
Really the only thing you can ask for is to wait for next year's title on the new gen consoles. They have said this as much. They only put out Eutechnyx's leftovers. So we'll see come next year. The only saving grace is that it's only $20. Don't expect any updates or patch for this game. I think now that they released this, they moved on to their own platform of work. So we'll see. Cautiously optomistic
 
# 3 CPRoark @ 05/26/15 12:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurghFan
Though the game is an updated version of the game Eutechnyx released last year, they are no longer involved with the game. '15 was updated and released by Dusenberry Martin Racing which basically split off from Eutechnyx and purchased the assets from them.



And it has one. Press select on the PS3 to rewind about 10 seconds.

As for my thought, I got pretty much exactly what I expected based on what I had heard of the game. I was a bit disappointed that they apparently didn't fix any of the single player gameplay issues and other little bugs. In fact, there is actually a new minor bug with the pit stop animations that wasn't present last year where when it goes to the in car view when the crew drops the jack, only the tires appear first with the rest of the car appearing half a second later. The one thing that was fixed was the speech disappearing after roughly 10 minutes of gameplay, a bug that only appeared in 14 after the last patch. So at least in '15 I can hear my spotter/crew chief talking to me again.
Thanks for the info. I don't know how I missed the rewind feature; I'll try to get that error fixed.
 
# 4 ILuvMN81 @ 05/26/15 01:02 PM
Glad to see the game at least reviewed. I found one other "professional" review and it was pretty sarcastic.

Should be interesting to see the sales numbers on this game. It has the bargain price going for it but so many people are irritated it's last gen and a lot of people are waiting it out for the new game.

Myself? I could care less what gen the system is. I still have 360 and won't be selling it for a PS4 or XB1, I'm keeping it along side my inevitable new console purchase.
I'm very disappointed they didnt repair last year's bugs and I'm concerned that new bugs will appear and we know they won't be patching.

I'm waiting to see if this is available used in about a month or so and saving a few more $ via an e-retailer. I enjoyed Inside Line even with issues.
 
# 5 ChaseB @ 05/26/15 01:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurghFan
Though the game is an updated version of the game Eutechnyx released last year, they are no longer involved with the game. '15 was updated and released by Dusenberry Martin Racing which basically split off from Eutechnyx and purchased the assets from them.



And it has one. Press select on the PS3 to rewind about 10 seconds.

As for my thought, I got pretty much exactly what I expected based on what I had heard of the game. I was a bit disappointed that they apparently didn't fix any of the single player gameplay issues and other little bugs. In fact, there is actually a new minor bug with the pit stop animations that wasn't present last year where when it goes to the in car view when the crew drops the jack, only the tires appear first with the rest of the car appearing half a second later. The one thing that was fixed was the speech disappearing after roughly 10 minutes of gameplay, a bug that only appeared in 14 after the last patch. So at least in '15 I can hear my spotter/crew chief talking to me again.
My understanding is that Eutch still developed the game to a degree before giving it off to DMi -- DMi doesn't even really put their name on this game. It's sort of a weird situation but the correction has been made in the review.
 
# 6 CPRoark @ 05/26/15 01:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
My understanding is that Eutch still developed the game to a degree before giving it off to DMi -- DMi doesn't even really put their name on this game. It's sort of a weird situation but the correction has been made in the review.
Even the press materials I did find has Eutechnyx name on it and lists DMi as a publisher, though the trailers say DMi presents.
 
# 7 ChaseB @ 05/26/15 01:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPRoark
Even the press materials I did find has Eutechnyx name on it and lists DMi as a publisher, though the trailers say DMi presents.
Yeah, you're good Caley! It's something we should have caught during editing BUT it's also a really one-off case.
 
# 8 Turbojugend @ 05/26/15 02:33 PM
Thanks for the review, sounds like my concerns have been verified. I mainly play offline so it's really not worth $20 for a few visual updates, for me anyway.
 
# 9 BurghFan @ 05/26/15 04:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPRoark
Even the press materials I did find has Eutechnyx name on it and lists DMi as a publisher, though the trailers say DMi presents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
Yeah, you're good Caley! It's something we should have caught during editing BUT it's also a really one-off case.
Yeah, it is a bit confusing and a unique situation, but the pre-release info and stuff definitely came from DMi and not Eutech.
_____________

DMi just tweeted a link to a new open letter saying that there will be a patch at somepoint.

Quote:

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# 10 mkharsh33 @ 05/26/15 05:45 PM
I went ahead and purchased this as a download from xbox marketplace. I have some money that must be spent, so I figured for the cost - why not?! I'm not hard-core Nascar, so for me this game is just a "play for fun" kinda game. Though I will admit, as a hard-core sports game who puts a ton of time into roster and slider editing, I do feel for you guys who want the total immersion experience. Haven't had a chance to play it, but 14 was a bit fun for me... Thanks for the review and information here, guys!
 
# 11 skives @ 05/28/15 08:08 PM
Is there any point playing this game with out a racing wheel?
 

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