Okay I’ve written about my past NASCAR seasons at different points in time but I never stayed consistent on what I had to write, namely because I forgot and also because I’m sure most of the over 12,500 people who have visited my site (Thanks by the way!) don’t care to hear all about my current NASCAR season. But on the other hand some people do seem to care, since I do get views, and if you don’t like this post you can always wait on another one. So I figured I’d pick up my current new NASCAR career in the updated Victory Edition NASCAR game since I literally am just a few race weeks into the season. So first let’s talk about this particular version of the game. It’s not a bad game, in fact it seems to be a bit better than the other NASCAR games we’ve seen recently. Sometimes the racing can be annoyingly unrealistic, such as 3 wide all the way down into turn 1 of New Hampshire. If you’ve watched NASCAR for any length of time you’ll know that’s not how it goes, 3 wide all the way from firs to last. Daytona and Talladega barely offer that and they’re super huge tracks. Anyways. The game is fun and does a good enough job of offering NASCAR fun. I’ve not tried it online yet but offline it’s totally fine as far as I can see, other than the unrealistic racing at times. The AI doesn’t crash at stupid random times anymore, that I’ve seen, so that’s a nice improvement.
So on that note let’s look at my season so far. It’s not an extremely thorough review at this point, since I’ve done several races and don’t remember it all, but I may do a review right after doing a race in the future, that way it’s a more consistent post for the page. So to get it started I started off a a brand new rookie driver, named after myself, driving the 52 Chevy SS. I used to play NASCAR video game as my favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, all the time but for some reason I like to have my own identity in the games and pretend that’s my life going on if I were somehow a talented Sprint Cup driver. I suppose I could always play as Jeff or some other real driver and do a multiverse thing like DC does (Batman FTW) but either way my career mode is always all about me. I think that’s actually a default, I don’t think you can enter career mode as a real driver. I always choose 52 because in one NASCAR Days of Thunder game on the PS3 I always was in the 51 car and you can’t choose that number in the more realistic games so I just went with 52 and that’s always my number in NASCAR games. Generally I switch makes and models of the car, doing a full season as a Ford, going to Toyota, then to Chevy. This time I just chose Chevy at the outset. But how has my actual season gone?
Well there is one more thing I have to say about the game. I play it in the most standard mode, as in I didn’t change anything as far as driving assists go and things like that, so it’s essentially how it is when you load the game up. The game, after a test, suggests what you should do and I always just pick that, so I don’t mess around with the major settings. I also race each race at at least 70% difficulty, but normally 75%. I wan it to be really challenging as far as my racing and aggressive pitting and things like that go, just like in real life. There are some races I look like a total fool racing around the mid 30s, others I’m up front doing well. That happens in real life, so I like the balance. It’s no fun if you always win and it’s no fun if it’s impossibly difficult either. I may do something, now that I think of it, in a bit and make the difficulty as low as humanly possible and then for the final race nuke it to 100%. That would be funny to see. But whether I do that or not I’ll decide later. So to summarize: I stuck with what the game recommended, I stick in the 70-75% difficulty range, and I make the fuel and tires wear out 2X while racing roughly 10% of the race. I don’t always have the time to race a full race, most time I don’t actually, so I do it this way so it has at minimum a trip to pit road and things like that, since it makes it feel more like a real race. Okay now I promise I’m going to start off with my season now. All of what I said is fact unless I change it, and I’ll make that clear later on if that’s the case.
The Daytona 500 was a very hard race. It felt like how you watch it in real life. Each lane had great momentum and you had to go from top to bottom back to the top over and over in order to maintain good position up front. I wasn’t always the leader, in fact I’m pretty sure I qualified further back. But I was able to get my 52 Chevy to the front relatively early on. So I got plenty of practice at blocking the field. It went well all the way to pit time, which happened under green since there was no caution within the time period where it would make sense for me to pit before when I did. I always, ALWAYS, lose track position when getting onto pit road. The AI cars always do a much better job rushing towards the pits and getting down to pit road speed on time, and I can never seem to get that down, so green flag pit stops at every track throw me for a loop. It’s sad since I play these games a lot, but it really is a challenge. So I accept that I will lose spots, it’s not a big deal. That happened in the race but it cycled back to me being back in first since I was able to work my away around the guys I needed to pass.
The race was then standard fare for most of the rest of it: I was up front, either literally first or as far back as 5th, for the rest of the race, having to weave my way around traffic and all the issues caused by that. I ended up having the lead late when a green white checkered occurred. I wasn’t too nervous but I didn’t want to get passed that late in the run, knowing I’d likely never make it back. Sure enough within a lap I had lost the lead and had to make a frantic run to the lead on the last lap. I was, somehow, able to make it back to the lead and hold on for the win. It was easily my hardest earned Daytona win in any of the NASCAR games I’ve played. Likely since the difficulty was spiked higher than I normally do. I enjoyed it though. In real life you won’t simply just win the race, you’ll have to work hard to get it done, so to have that feel was great. I’ll describe a few more races in another post since this one ended up being much longer than I had expected. But it was a great way to start off my new season and I’m in the Chase as long as I’m in the top 30 in points! But my struggles got much worse as the season continued and I’ll tell you about some of those in post #2!
In case it’s important I play this game on the PS3.