NASCAR Arcade Rush: A Arcade-Style Spin on Stock Car Racing
NASCAR games are often criticized by those who haven’t played them for being repetitive, with the majority of races consisting of left turns. While this is true to some extent, there is actually a lot of depth to simulation stock car racing, with strategic elements at play during lengthy races. However, NASCAR Arcade Rush takes a completely different approach, offering an arcade-style game that deviates from the traditional NASCAR experience with plenty of right turns and outlandish track designs.
Reimagined Tracks Add Excitement
One of the coolest features of Arcade Rush is that it showcases reimagined versions of 12 real race tracks, including iconic locations like Daytona and Michigan International Speedway. These tracks draw inspiration from the cities they are based on and don’t shy away from embracing the absurd. For example, Homestead-Miami Speedway features a giant ring of fire for players to jump through. It’s the tracks themselves that truly elevate the game, adding a much-needed element of excitement to an otherwise solid but unspectacular racing experience.
Gameplay Lacks Depth
The main drawback of Arcade Rush is its lack of complexity when it comes to gameplay. While the game does feature a turbo meter that can be used to gain speed, and boost strips on the track that provide rewards for driving over them, there is a noticeable absence of drifting or other additional gameplay mechanics that would have provided a greater depth to the experience. Considering the game aims to be an over-the-top version of NASCAR, it feels like a missed opportunity not to explore more inventive gameplay elements.
However, there is one unique gameplay system that stands out and adds a layer of strategy inspired by actual stock car racing – the inclusion of pitting. In each race, players have the option to pit, which involves temporarily slowing down through the pit lane. While races are only three or four laps long, pitting allows your nitro gauge to be completely refilled. This introduces an interesting gamble, as boost strips can also be found on the track, providing a small amount of nitro. It’s a strategic choice that brings much-needed depth to the game.
Limited Staying Power and Unlockables
Ultimately, with only 12 tracks in total, Arcade Rush lacks substantial staying power. While players can level up and unlock customization options (including a cool Tron-style vehicle), there aren’t enough compelling reasons to keep coming back for more. Unlocking real-life NASCAR legends or throwback vehicles could have been a great incentive, but instead, the game only offers generic drivers to compete against. Features like time trials and online play do add some replayability, but they fail to truly captivate.
NASCAR Arcade Rush Review: Final Verdict
NASCAR Arcade Rush lives up to its name, delivering a fun and non-simulation racing experience with reimagined versions of iconic race tracks in the USA. However, it falls short of completely winning over seasoned arcade racing game fans with its relatively simple gameplay mechanics. Likewise, it doesn’t fully embrace the spirit of NASCAR to the extent that it would be deemed a must-own game for stock car racing enthusiasts. It sits somewhere in the middle, appealing to players who enjoy both genres but lacking the longevity to keep players engaged in the long run.
- Fun driving experience
- Abundance of customization options
- Colorful tracks based on real race tracks
- Lack of licensed drivers
- Simplistic gameplay mechanics
- Relatively limited content
Disclaimer: This NASCAR Arcade Rush review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. The game was played on version 1.001.000.