posted 12/14/2010 by Ben Berry
other articles by Ben Berry
One Page Platforms: 360
Skill is only one way your racing will improve. Another is through customizing your vehicle. You start with two sets of parts that you can use to customize the performance of your ATV. You earn more available parts for good performances in races or by completing achievements. Each part affects the performance of the vehicle in a different way; a half-dozen or so different parameters allows you to build a fairly customized ride.

Once you’ve given yourself enough time to increase your skill and build out your ATV, it’s time to head to the area where nail’d enjoys it’s best hope at some real longevity; multiplayer. The highlight is “Detonator” mode, part of the included DLC, a hot-potato like race where the rider with the bomb at the end eventually goes boom. Simple and Free Races are all about being fastest, while Stunt Challenge is about who can do the most tricks in the time allowed. Tricks are more limited than I first thought they’d be, but pulling them off consistently is enough of a challenge that it doesn’t feel overly lacking in the area of stunts.

One of the last things that I personally enjoyed is that customizing your racer doesn’t let you see his face in a very Stig-like manner, which I think fans of Top Gear will enjoy. While you can customize the racers outfit, and the paint job of the ATV, there isn’t much to the visual component changes for the bike and driver. I personally didn’t mind this as it sort of keeps the focus on the racing.

That’s not to say nail’d is without faults. In a racing game with a lot of crazy obstacles, crashes are common. And from the initial results of a crash, it looks like nail’d could utilize it’s physics engine pretty well to display some fun and over the top crashes. Unfortunately the developers chose to get you up and racing again instead. I’m not a fan of being dropped significantly when you crash, but at the same time, there’s an over the top vibe going, and then you can’t see your crashes to completion? Especially when the crashes could be a truly spectacular addition to the game, it seems like a real miss.

The graphics overall aren’t bad, but I do notice that sometimes while racing even without boost it can be very difficult to pick up the trail. Coloring seems to be the biggest culprit here, as there are some areas where it’s very easy to see the trail. There are a great many signs marking major turns, and the fact that there is more than one way to make your way through each course is a boon. But when you’ve really got to make a turn and it’s difficult to see the course, it can be frustrating.

Finally, the soundtrack is exactly what you’d expect for this type of game: loud and guitar heavy. I was hoping for a bit more variety as frankly a lot of the songs seemed to roll right into the next with so little difference in tempo or style that it made it difficult to understand why effort was put into adding more than one song to the game. There were a couple I liked, but the rest seemed nothing more than background noise and didn’t add much to the game.

What it comes down to in the end, is that the game accomplishes what it set out to be: fun. There are a bunch of things I’d tweak, and for the game to have enough replay ability, I hope there are several more multiplayer tracks in the offing. I enjoyed playing nail’d, and I’m definitely going back to finish the single player campaign. I would  recommend the game to fans of ATV racing or those who don’t want to take their racing too seriously.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

Over-the-top fun off road racer. Even with crazy courses and obstacles, still could use some spicing up. A lot of fun for a short time, and with some enhancements to multi-player could have a decent shelf life. Recommended if you liked Excite Truck.

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