Days of Thunder (NES Review)

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Nnnnnnnneeeeowwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

Nnnnnnnneeeeowwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

Days of Thunder (the film), for those of you who haven’t seen it, is essentially Top Gun in cars.  NES fans would be justified to fear the worst if the game followed suit.  And my oh my, does it come close!  There are very few good things about this title although I have to admit that dragging Cole Trickle’s laughable name through the mud was at times, hilarious.  Nascar is boring at the best of times (waiting the inevitable US fallout…) and Days of Thunder (DoT) does it no favours.

 

The tyres are better on the car, guys

The tyres are better on the car, guys

The initial presentation looks quite pretty allowing you to ignore the complete lack of any options in the game.  Cole pulls up in his motorbike and you’re straight into the “action”. Qualifying for the first race kicks off immediately and there is Cole’s disgusting looking yellow and green number on a bland oval track.  Even for 8-bit, the in-game graphics are bang average, with the cars poorly animated and the tracks bland and all exactly the same (including some very interesting palette choices).

 

The car feels like it’s going at 30mph despite the awful speedometer saying different.  It’s worse on the corners (curves?) where the large segments and your car sounding like it’s stalling, trick you into thinking everything’s going to come to a halt.  The sound is horrendous even though you are spared the terrible title tune during races.  The game is also extremely difficult.  At curves, unless you manually brake, A LOT, you go “flying” into the wall greeted with the appropriate naff sound effect.  

Outta the way! Trickle is in town.

Outta the way! Trickle is in town.

Cole’s car seems no better than anyone else’s (too accurate!) which means there’s no learning curve whatsoever and overtaking is difficult from the off. This is all a bit of a shame because the career gameplay is a nice idea with messages being conveyed at the bottom of the screen and having to complete time trials to stay in the team if your results are poor.

As with most film releases this feels rushed and with a bit more care it could have been really good.

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