NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup
| Electronic Arts
| Electronic Arts
| WI-FI ENHANCED
| WII EXCLUSIVE
| EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
| August 31, 2004
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The Chase for the Nextel Cup begins on August 31 – not September 19.
For GameCube (as well as PlayStation 2 and Xbox) owners, that is, because August 31 is the day on which Electronic Arts ships to retailers NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup.
Ignore the fact that the launch of the video game Chase occurs nearly three weeks before the launch of the actual Chase. Just be grateful that EA opted to produce a GameCube version of Chase for the Cup. Remember, EA’s last NASCAR effort, NASCAR Thunder 2004, was made for the PlayStation (the frickin’ PlayStation!), the PlayStation 2, the Xbox, and the PC – but not the GameCube. That’s the past, though, and EA has not forgotten about the GameCube this time around.
Unfortunately, at E3 2004, EA did not make the GameCube version of Chase for the Cup available to the masses. Considerate, real considerate. So, I sidled up to the display containing the Xbox build, wrapped my hands around the mammoth controller, and had at it.
The racing is reminiscent of that in NASCAR Thunder 2003. By no means is this a bad thing, though, because Thunder 2003 was – and is – an enjoyable game (notwithstanding the outdated driver roster). The following line, borrowed from Nintendojo’s preview of Madden NFL 2005 for the GameCube, best summarizes the setup:
Yes, EA introduced some new wrinkles, but, fortunately, the company did not sculpt a whole new identity for the gameplay.
(To learn about the “wrinkles,” see what The Horse’s Mouth has to say.)
This means that, in all likelihood, the Basic Controls will mirror those in Thunder 2003:
- The Control Stick will steer the car.
- The “A” button will make the car accelerate.
- The “B” button will make the car brake.
word on the street
During the 2002 “retail season,” Thunder 2003 was not the only NASCAR-themed racer available for the GameCube. Since EA didn’t have (as it does now) an agreement with NASCAR to be the sole producer of NASCAR-themed video games, Infogrames was able to put out NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona – a title considered in some quarters to be the superior of the two. Part of the reason: the controls.
In Dirt to Daytona, the Control Stick steers, but the “A” and “B” buttons don’t influence speed; the “R” and “L” shoulder buttons do.
At E3, Nintendojo wondered aloud whether Chase for the Cup would permit players to adjust the controls to match Dirt to Daytona’s.
“We’ll see,” answered an EA representative.
press release notes
The action spills off the track in NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup as players fight to the top to become a NASCAR star. Progress through 4 different racing series in a groundbreaking story mode. Strive for stardom by facing competition and adversity from city streets to open wheel modifieds, trucks, and the NASCAR Series before getting the chance to pursue the million dollar purses in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Rattle rivals with the all-new Intimidator Button. Push them too far and you might find yourself in post-race confrontation – which can be settled on the track or by racing America's top production cars on city streets. Fans react to the drama, idolizing their heroes and villains after every move. Owners and sponsors recognize talent and reward success. It's up to you to prove yourself on and off the track.
- Fight to the Top Mode: Become a superstar owner or driver deciding where, how, and what to drive. Develop essential racing skills, increase fan support, and compete in 4 racing series as you become the driver that top NASCAR teams are looking for.
- New Chase for the Cup Mode: Ten-race shootout mirrors NASCAR Nextel Cup's new championship system.
- Next Generation Grudges and Alliances: Drive as hero or villain as you force mistakes with the new Intimidator Button. On-track rivalries boil over into post-race confrontations. Even settle grudges racing production cars through city streets.
- New Racing Series: In addition to the NASCAR Nextel Cup cars, race the Craftsman Truck Series, Featherlite Modified Series, and NASCAR National Series. Develop as a driver and you are only a few races away from racing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
- American Muscle Production Cars: Settle bitter rivalries with other drivers in production cars including Dodge Vipers.
- New Skill Point Rewards System: Earn points with your moves. Passing, drafting, and blocking rack up points in all race modes. Points are redeemable for unlockable in-game rewards.
- Build A Fan Base: Compete for fan support by earning respect on the track and playing the autograph mini-game after the races.
- SpeedZone: Refine your driving skills while passing skill tests including passing, split time challenges, drafting, and holding position.
- New Lightning Challenges: 37 different challenges featuring your favorite NASCAR drivers and complete challenges that reflect real NASCAR racing scenarios.
- Create-A-Driver: Build your driver's facial features, body appearance, and uniform, and then design your car's paint schemes.
- Over 60 Drivers: Select your favorite driver and race with a full pack of 43. Smaller fields are featured in modified and Truck Series racing.
- 39 Tracks: Including 13 road courses and 8 fantasy tracks.
- Audio: NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup was recorded and mixed in surround sound.
Earlier, I borrowed a line from Nintendojo’s preview of the GameCube version of Madden NFL 2005. Now, I would like to borrow another – but, this time, tweak the line ever so slightly:
For as many words as this preview contains, only a precious few are truly necessary, and they are the following:
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup is the racing game of ’04-’05.