nail’d Multiplayer Preview Event

Lately the focus for racing titles has been focused on simulation, accurately reproducing reality, and how vehicles would respond to the environment and wear and tear.

While I “enjoy” playing these simulation titles, I don’t find it fun to have to gain licenses to open new cars or tune cars down to their minute specifications. All I really need is gas, brake, and powerslide. And maybe punching opponents in the face.

What I do find fun is the return of the mindless, but strategic racer that is nail’d. The title is an ATV/motocross arcade racer that focuses on speed and big air along with screwing over opponents.

In single player or the vastly more entertaining multiplayer, the environment is just as much an opponent to racers, though the title will have players memorizing the fastest lines and biggest airs to become number one on the leaderboards.

Brace for Impact

A couple days ago I attended a preview event for the multiplayer portion of the title; trying racing on both the ATV and motocross bike on a various assortment of levels at the Mezzanine in San Francisco. The ATV and motorbike control differently, with the ATV carrying loose handling and the motocross bike being able to navigate with more precision. At the same time though, the ATV is able to withstand more abuse than the bike, as I learned as I ran into trees, signs, and other objects that I didn’t see while boosting through levels.

An interesting tidbit is that even though both race at the same time, neither has a strong advantage over one another, a simple overlooked design flaw in a lot of racers. I prefer the ATV, and the ability to run over a motocross bike gives a bigger sense of accomplishment.

The tracks that I played were a couple woodland areas, an island to island race, and flying full speed around a volcano. The mixture of both racers at the same time creates a two-fold experience.

On one side, each vehicle can take different routes that work better for the respective vehicle.

Second, big air can be both beneficial and detrimental depending, which leads to position changes happening mid-air or right after a bunch of people ate it on a wall or rock face.

The main point when considering nail’d is that it’s fun. Fun because it’s an arcade racer, and even more fun because it reminds me of the older racing titles on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation when it was more about having fun than torque and wind resistance. I race against others, but it’s more than correct shifting or tight cornering; all I worry about is not crashing and flying over huge canyons.

The arcade racer seems to have been pushed to the digital download landscape, but nail’d shows that the genre can still exist as a retail experience. Honestly, sometimes I want to have boost, big air, and watch in horror before I crash into an arm of a giant windmill, and now I’ll have it with nail’d.

Releasing on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The title is also releasing with DLC that comes free with new copies. It when it releases on 11/30/10 from Deep Silver.