Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed

John Marine | 9:53 PM | | | |
Porsche is on parade and in vogue in "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed." This title grants you the opportunity to race Porsche models from the past and present (at their time). You can even buy and modify Porsches to win races and championships. In my view, this was the last great NFS. Get ready for a blog post about a more mature Need for Speed title than any of the previous NFS titles.

This blog post primarily concerns the PC version of "NFS: Porsche Unleashed," but it is also available for the PlayStation 1 and even the Game Boy Advance. It is an edited version of a past post initially posted in my main blog- John's Blog Space.





--- "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" at a Glance ---

No one auto maker exudes performance, charm, and character quite like Porsche; and "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed," is the ultimate gift for any Porsche-loving fan. I personally argue this is one of the last great classic Need for Speed titles. You only race Porsches. You only tune Porsches. You only collect Porsches. No expense was spared in providing the ultimate experience with Porsche in the realm of the Need for Speed realm. While you may think NFS is usually about Hollywood-style action, this is a more mature Need for Speed.


Cars.

This Need for Speed is a huge diversion from the arcade-style thrills of past NFS games. This is a more mature (as in not being arcadish), quasi-simulation title featuring many Porsches. It does a great job of sorting out Porsches by having you race through three distinct eras of Porsche history- Classic Era, Golden Era, and Modern Era. Each era of Porsche will allow you to race the latest (in their day) Porsche models. The Classic Era features some of the very first Porsche models, starting out with the Porsche 356 models. The Golden Era showcases some of the finest road-going Porsches of their time. The Modern Era features some of the hottest (at their time) current Porsche models ranging from the 911 range up to the Boxster and the super-fast Porsche 911 GT1.


Tracks.

"NFS: Porsche Unleashed" is almost basically European-exclusive even in tracks. The courses are a mix of open circuits (some with multiple routes) and closed circuits. The variety is unique ranging from traditional European country drives to urban locales. All can be raced in the normal direction or in reverse.


Factory Driver.

If you prefer to test your driving skills, try the Factory Driver mode, where you are a Porsche factory driver taking on various tasks and orders. These orders range from testing out cars to delivering cars across a certain location without getting into trouble.


As mentioned before, there is no shortage of things you can do in this game. Read on for more on "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed."



--- Cars of "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" ---

Unlike other NFS titles, you exclusively race, tune, and even modify Porsches. This game allows you to set up some quick races with any number of available Porsche models. The real merit of this game lies in getting these cars in Evolution mode.

Any Porsche in this game can be glanced upon and opened. You can open the doors, let down any convertible tops, open the trunk/boot, open the front hood/bonnet, and even get inside the car. The game allows you a level of immersion never made possible in almost any game before it.

While you can purchase cars as new, you can find some damaged Porsches for lower prices. You will need to pay a good price to have them fully repaired. You can even sell your own Porsche in the game. All you have to do is set the price for someone to sell it. I recommend selling your Porsche for its current price rather than ask for something too high.

You can gain an edge in races by purchasing parts for your Porsche. Purchasing parts and upgrades for your Porsche allows you to improve its performance and do a better job in races. You can equip parts for your car for competition in races. Parts can even be sold if you're strapped for cash in the game.

With almost any car you own in the game, you can customize its appearance. You can give your car a new set of wheels, a certain livery, change the colors of it, and more. It's YOUR Porsche- do what you want with it with the options available!



--- Tracks of "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" ---

The game only has four courses when you start out, but more will be available as you progress through the game. These tracks consist of both open-road courses and closed-circuit tracks. The tracks can be raced normally or in the reverse direction, and you can choose toggle traffic on or off for each course. The game almost exclusively takes place in Europe on European tracks, and mostly either in France or Germany, including the city-state of Monaco. Here are four of the many courses offered:


Côte d'Azur.

Not to be confused with the Côte d'Azur of the Gran Turismo games, this is a country drive through a lovely French setting at sunset. It is an open-road course rated at Beginner difficulty. Enjoy this coastal drive that takes you through a village and even features undulating roads with large hill and mountain walls outlining most of the course.


Normandie.

Here is another lovely French setting at sunset at Beginner difficulty. Among its highlights are its lovely Fall/Autumn setting and the forest setting. It features a lovely country drive that includes a little drive through a village and some industrial land.


Pyrénées.

This Advanced level course is a tricky open circuit run in the daytime. This southern France course can be tricky to master. Some of its highlights include forests with some alternative roads (including dirt roads) to drive on. There is also some farm land that accentuates some of this venue. In fact, I am almost certain this is a venue that features some land suitable for making wine. After all, the French are known for making fine wine. It is yet another humble country drive with a beautiful mountain range in the distance.


Monte Carlo 3.

"NFS: Porsche Unleashed" does NOT feature the Monaco Grand Prix course Formula 1 races. However, you can still race in this lovely city at night. It is an Expert-rated course designed to test you in every way possible.


You can race more tracks by progressing through the game. One other track I will make a brief preview of is Zone Industrielle- a difficult urban open course run in an industrial sector of a city on a stormy evening.



--- "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" - Factory Driver ---

Try out these challenges for Porsche Unleashed. Factory Driver features you driving many different Porsches while taking on certain objectives. You will be asked to do everything from testing out certain Porsches to performing delivery tasks. Completing the tasks successfully will give you more challenging ones.



--- "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" Final Thoughts ---

While not an overly exciting NFS title, Porsche Unleashed is a title you can't help but appreciate for its focus on a certain marque. Maybe my only complaint is that I wished more Porsche race cars would be featured. I think it's pretty disappointing to just focus so much on road-going Porsches and not feature more racing Porsches. After all, Porsches are racing machines. They have been vastly established in motorsports as much as they have been in road-going cars. It is the ONLY thing I would change about this game if I were in charge of "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed." Otherwise, it may just be the greatest racing game devoted to one specific auto maker ever created. The fact this game was in 2000 doesn't take away from the fact it has gorgeous graphics and visuals that are still lovely to this day. Anyone who even remotely cares about sports cars should give "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" a try.


Video Preview.

This is the PC version of "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed." I hope you enjoy this video to gain some insight on this title:


^ "Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed (PC) Gameplay"


Thank you for reading my blog post on "NFS: Porsche Unleashed!"





--- Personal Commentary on Featuring Porsche (Bonus!) ---

Here is some bonus reading from me regarding Porsche.


Personal Commentary on Featuring Porsche.

If you ask me personally, this is Electronic Arts' best utilization of their Porsche for as long as EA games have featured Porsche. They haven't done much a damn thing since except produce mostly substandard racing games with Porsche. This is basically EA saying "we don't care if you think we make crappy racing games with the Porsche license. We're Electronic Arts, damn you!" The grubby exclusive contract of Porsche has led certain other developers to not be able to fully utilize featuring Porsche. That was the fate as Turn 10, the creators of the Forza Motorsport series, had to settle for Ruf in Forza Motorsport 4. This is even though Turn 10 had a good deal going for the previous three Forza titles using Porsche. This time, they just decide to not give Forza fans Porsche. Porsche would eventually find their way into Forza Motorsport 4 through downloadable content. But still, EA has done next to nothing being greedy as the exclusive contract holder of Porsche.

On the other hand, why have an exclusive contract to offer to a game developer? By saying you offer an exclusive contract, you are saying that only one company is best equipped and able to feature a certain company (let alone a car company) and its products. You would fear for some no-talent game developer would take a certain car company's products and make toilet bowl-worthy games with that license. All due respect to Electronic Arts, but what good has EA done with the Porsche license? Why not offer usage of Porsche automobiles to other developers, like... I don't know, Polyphony Digital? Maybe SimBin? At least these are worthy and talented developers who can use such car companies to enhance the scope of cars featured in the respective companies' racing franchises. But... I guess EA seemed to be the ones best able to somehow feature and continually feature Porsche products. At least, to Porsche (or whomever is behind EA getting an exclusive contract with Porsche).

If you really want to make good use of featuring Porsche in games, why not make something like a Porsche Cup game or something? How about some racing games highlighting Porsche's racing history as well as their road car history? Even "Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli" did a semi-decent job at highlighting the Ferrari Challenge and several different Ferraris in history. "NFS: Porsche Unleashed" did a great job highlighting on Porsches past and present.


What If: "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed 2?"

As much as I'd be inclined to see it happen, there are two reasons why this would never happen- (1) racing game culture has changed as a whole, and (2) a game like this probably wouldn't be as successful in this climate of racing games. Most games highlighting one specific auto maker just doesn't bear as much weight and as much significance as back then. Today's racing game culture is more along the lines of featuring as many cars from as many different auto makers as possible. Take my Porsche Cup example from the previous section. People can still make great Porsche Cup mods (like for rFactor), but could EA make a competent enough Porsche Cup game? I don't think even Slightly Mad Studios (the people behind the "NFS: Shift" series) could even come up with a decent model. The Need for Speed series is all about intense arcade-style racing, and I don't think you can really do Porsche justice by featuring their cars in a setting like what most NFS games deliver.

A more dedicated developer would probably do a better job showcasing Porsche in such a positive light as what "NFS: Porsche Unleashed" did in 2000. NFS is now just too far off-base from what the classic NFS titles have offered to its fans. More care for NFS is in Hollywood action and illegal street racing (including the recently-released "Need for Speed: The Run") than the simple joy of racing a car in anger to its limits. This is even more reason to care about "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" if you are a classic racing gamer and a purist of NFS' past.





Do you want to buy this game? Help support my work by getting this game on Amazon. Here are your choices:



"Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed" for PC, PlayStation 1, and Game Boy Advance.



^ Need for Speed Collection for PC (which includes "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.")


I would appreciate your business if you did some (voluntary) shopping.





--- NFS Collection: A Special Note ---

Before I conclude this post, I must bring something up.

Here is one thing I want to say regarding the NFS Collection. I've reviewed every title in the NFS collection package (NFS2: SE, NFS3: Hot Pursuit, NFS: High Stakes, and NFS: Porsche Unleashed) except "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2." I had bought this collection years ago. "NFS: Hot Pursuit 2" comes with a code for you to play that game. I had lost my code for that game long ago, so I will be unable to review that game for all of you. It wouldn't make sense to talk about a game I've played illegally. So therefore, I won't discuss "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2" unless I really get a proper version of the game and have played enough of it to properly review it.





Otherwise, thank you for reading this post!

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