Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nitro Nation Online Apple iOS - App Review

Nitro Nation Online for Apple iOS is a super cool, need for speed sorta drag racing game with killer graphics, addictive play and some kick ass cars to unlock and try. This one offers some high octane fun for racing fans of all ages and improves upon the Android version to deliver play that's on par with CSR and Fast & Furious racing apps. Go hard, go fast, or go home with your tail between your legs. If virtual racing is your bag, then this is the app for you. (continued)
 Official App Store Link: Apple iOS

Nitro Nation takes place on what looks to be the mean streets of Los Angeles at night, with a beautiful city skyline in the background. The stage is set for a good old fashioned street race between two rival racers. A large crowd is out to watch the event and it’s you against computer and live online opponents. The cool thing about this one, is everyone is on a level playing field, unlike other games, that often match-up lesser cars against tricked out beasts that you can never beat. Yup, there’s plenty of cool upgrades to be had, but the fair play option is cool because you could be racing against a 12 year old or a blue-rinse granny, and everyone has a fair shot of winning. It all comes down to precision and skill; hit those perfect shifts at the precise moment, blast your nitro strategically, and you can come out victorious.

The play starts you off with a sporty Alpha Romeo to get you going, which is cool since other apps start you off with crap economy cars that nobody in their right mind would trick out, let alone race; it kinda kills your street cred if you’re racing a car with a baby seat in the back and PTA stickers on the bumper. Nope, most all of these rides are ‘roided out muscle cars, from chic Euro sportsters to good old fashioned, gas guzzling American beasts. Yup, you’ll have to dip into your lunch money or parent’s pockets if you’re the impatient type and want to buy a shiny new car, pronto. But you can also exercise patience and prudence and earn your ride like in the real world. Either way, there’s loads of cool cars here and, mommy-mommy, I want them all! (continued)

The heart of the app here is naturally the racing, and the mechanics of play will be familiar to any fan of racing apps. Basically, the races feature head to head match-ups in both story mode, and direct challenges. There’s a gas pedal on the right, with a gearbox graphic just below that; rev the engine and hit that sweet spot for a perfect launch. Once you burn rubber off the starting line, the gas pedal disappears, leaving just the gearbox for shifting while racing. The pared down controls lend themselves well to players of all skill levels. The lower center portion of your screen is where your RPM and speedometer readouts display, featuring high impact fonts and feedback. There’s a circular graphic around the tachometer with colored sections for yellow, green and red, denoting the best places to shift. Naturally, you want to grind them gears when the RPM needle is in the green, so as to hit a perfect shift and maximize your acceleration; this is where virtually all competitive races are won and lost. The color coded shift zone gets smaller as you climb into higher gears, thus making it more challenging to hit those perfect shifts. Over revs will cost you more lag time than early shifts, but both are a buzz kill, to be sure; so look sharp and shift with precision.

The controls feel responsive, allowing for expert play, and naturally, there’s loads of menus and upgrades to click through; all functionality was copacetic. The graphics feature eye candy visuals with glistening paint jobs that reflect chic evening lighting quite nicely. This is one of those games that’s as fun to look at as it is to play. The animation is clean and renders well, with outstanding illusions of speed, throttle and acceleration that’s sure to quench any adrenaline junkie’s penchant to go hard and go fast. The plumes of smoke and burning rubber were a nice touch. The soundscape goes for realism, with screeching tires, testosterone driven engine wails and realistic ambiance.

The plot for these apps is usually pretty lame, but this one builds upon the Android version to deliver a decent story that’s worth following. It’s also worth noting that the quality of the story graphics has been bumped up a notch, trading the cheesy drawings that played on stereotypes for more photo realistic characters that are pleasing to the eye. If the story is too much of a buzz kill for ya, just stick to the guts and glory of head to head racing and ignore the set dressing; either way, there’s a lot of game to be played here, so this one will keep you busy a good while.

My advice with games like this, is find one you love and stick with it, because there’s no sense spreading yourself thin over several apps. Focus on one and sink your money and time into mastering it, unlocking all the cool upgrades and as many cars as your pocketbook can handle. Just don’t be an idiot and spend more on your virtual ride than your real one. The definition of irony, would be playing this while you ride the bus, with nary the ability to scrounge up the coin and afford a real car of your own.

I was particularly fond of the cool car trivia graphics that display between rounds, delivering some interesting factoids and tidbits about all your favorite cars, I just wish they stayed onscreen long enough to actually read them, and offered a click through feature for those who simply don’t care and want to get straight to the action.

Nitro Nation Online for Apple iOS is the drag racing app you've been waiting for. It combines the best elements of CSR Racing and Fast & Furious to deliver a quality game unto its own. This one is not to be missed and sure to be a hit with racing fans of all ages. Why are you still sitting here reading this? Hurry up and download it already! See you at the finish line, suckers.
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