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Need for Speed 4 - High Stakes (PC)

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Developed and published by Electronic Arts. Driving simulation which added features.

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    13 Reviews
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      05.10.2001 10:48

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      very nice way to waste your time - Advantages: oversteering, understeering, gravity - Disadvantages: loading time, cheating codes

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      26.09.2001 01:52
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      GAMEPLAY: Last year's Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit added the intuitive "Hot Pursuit" mode (hence the name, duh), which allowed you and a friend, or solo, to race against a computer controlled car while also (mainly) attempting to outrun/ram off the road/endure (depending on how good you are) the feisty law-applying cops in criminal mayhem. This year's Need For Speed title still has that, and adds the new "High Stakes" mode (hence the name once more) in which you and a friend battle it out, the "Stakes" part being the fact that you can completely lose your saved cars right off your memory cards. This mode however, isn't as appealing to me as "Hot Pursuit". I think that is the real meat of the game just as well as the "Tournament" mode. In its own way, Need For Speed: High Stakes is more fun than Gran Turismo, but for the most part, it's not. There's not much in Gran Turismo that beats the rush you get from out-witting the cops or seeing your best pal getting arrested, but this mode isn't the center of the game, so it isn't very in-depth. The tournament mode in Need For Speed: High Stakes could've used a lot more. It is the standard racing for the best position you've played to death in every other racing game out there, and can't come near the strategic/simulation aspect of Gran Turismo, it isn't even as stylish, so if this is what you're looking for, you're better off getting the king of all racers, and the much referred to Gran Turismo. Something that's pretty cool in NFS: HS is its replays. You can actually change the camera angles (there's 9 of 'em), change the speed of the action to 1/2, 1/4, 1x or 2x, but the best part of the replays is seeing the little driver inside the car! He even turns the steering wheel and sways back and forth as the car swerves and stuff!! How awesome is that?! During night-time driving you can use headl
      ights/high beams, a pretty awesome feature. Also you have turn signals, hazard lights, horns and other such useless features... Why you have these things is beyond me, but it's not bad that they're in (unless this is what the awesome steering wheel and dashboard view was sacrificed for). FUN AND REPLAY VALUE: If it wasn't for the incredibly fun "Hot Pursuit" mode, this game just wouldn't be the same. This mode allows for hours of fun on end, I actually stayed up 'til like 5 in the morning yesterday (4/8/99), why do you think I updated the site so late? The new Saturday Night Live? -I don't think so. This game is also fun for going head to head against a friend in two player mode, which you can compete in Hot Pursuit, normal race, and High Stakes. Tournament mode is pretty cool, I guess, but it's just as fun as the original 3DO game. WORTH BUYING: YES For the love of Hot Pursuit YES! What's more, for a limited time you'll find this game brand new at BRE Software for $39.98! It's as good and fun as any other racer, and it has more features and modes than the lot. Definitely a worthy racing addition, and you may like it even if you hate typical racing games.

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        27.08.2001 09:19
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        Need for speed High stakes about driving in races to get money and compete in different kind of races and different modes. once you have got enough money saved up you can buy new cars to help you get through the different races. Some of the races in this game involve you racing for a very high sum of money and if you lose then you could lose all of your money or possibly loose your car because you can't afford to pay for loosing so you would have to give up your car. With these races that have high wagers, if you win you can win a very big load of money and buy a new car or you can sometimes win new cars. Once you have your cars you can edit the colour of them bu going to the paint shop and buying new paint for your car. A different mode you can race in is police mode in which you are driving a police car and you have to target the racing cars and try and pull them over to win, like before you can enter big races and get lots of money, you can even upgrade your police cars! The game has excellent graphics, you see reflections of the sun, sky and clouds on the roof of the car when driving along, the scenery has been designed very well, all the trees have individual leaves which makes the game realistic, the cars have the proper dents, lines, logos in the right places, and you can have different views ranging from the drivers seet to chase view behind the car. Inside the drivers seat all of the panels, steereing wheel, gauges and gear stick are detailed extremely well. You can also donload new cars from the internet and import them into the game. This game is also available to play on a network or on the internet so you can race umongst your friends or people you don't even know! This will make the game much more fun than racing against the computer.

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          16.02.2001 15:08
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          This could be the best arcade style racer on the pc.... Loads smoothly, graphics are excellent, hours of addictive and varied gameplay. Not since GT on the playstation has there been such an addictive and FUN driving game. From the moment you start your first race, be it single, dual or multiplay you'l be hooked. It's real arcade action in your own living room. Make sure you add it to your collection. I'm glad I did (my wife isn't)

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            08.12.2000 03:22
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            Just another driving game I hear you cry. Hours of winding around roads speeding in the same car.. Not true for this game. This game is fantastic. As usual you have the normal choice of tracks and cars, but it doesnt stop there, you have complete control over customising your car from painting it to whether the top is down on a convertable car. The graphics in game are very pretty and extremely smooth even on a rather poor system (but make sure that you have a graphics card). There are the usual ways to play a driving game, you can practive tracks, race aainst others on the internet over LAN or even split screen (which can beomce rather cluttered but is still great fun if you ask me). There are a few problems with this game. The major one is the opponents cars. They all seem to plough around in a group which means that you either win a race or come last (usually). Also the choice of cars that you get when you start playing the game is limited (i.e. 1 ) but you can increase the lifetime of the game by downloading cars of the net (these are 5 meg files though) . CHeers ALex

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            17.11.2000 02:09

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            Ready, Set, Go. EASports had done it again. They've made an incredible racing sim that continues the NFS legacy. This version, High Stakes is a step above most racing sims. With incredible 3D graphics, and different realistic camera views, you feel as if your in a Mercedes CLK, or one of the other 18 cars you start with. With 19 realistic courses, most of which you have to earn by winning circuits and such, chances are you'll never get tired of the realistic scenery. Also, the new computer AI, makes racing a new experience. Remember easily passing other opponents just by going faster? Well that's not quite as easy in NFS: High Stakes. Opponents will try to swerve into you once you try to pass. Try side swiping them, and they'll get you before you know it. NFS: High Stakes had many other features that will keep you playing for a long time. Career play was probably my favorite. Starting at the amateur circuit with a "Class B" car you work your way up into the professional levels. Along the way you can upgrade that car of yours, or buy a new one. Don't forget about all the damage you dish out on it. You'll have to repair it too. The best part about career play you ask, the High Stakes Challenge, Lose the Race, Lose your Car. This is a great way to get an extra car, or lose one. The knockout feature seems pretty easy at first, but then progressively gets harder. I found that the last race in my first knockout experience was incredibly hard. Knockout is a series of 7 or 8 races, depending on how many cars enter. The racer who finishes last in the first race is eliminated. All others go on, and the last place racer in the next race is eliminated, and so on. Win a knockout series, win some tracks. Ah yes, the ever so famous Hot Pursuit that made the NFS series even more enticing. This time around their are 3 different type of HP, and you can be on both sides of the law. With a chopper tracking you down, if yo
            ur on the wrong side of the law, it is much harder to win in any HP mode. The ability to be on both sides of the law is pretty cool too, with spike strips, and road blocks, anything can happen in HP. I must say I am pretty impressed. A big step above NFS: Hot Pursuit, High Stakes takes advantage of today's 3D graphic technology. The graphics probably step out the most. The music is great too, and the ability to pop in your own music CD's while playing is a plus. NFS: Hot Pursuit is the way to go for a new racing sim. Cerberus

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            04.11.2000 17:24
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            It's tough at the top. Electronic Arts' long-running Need for Speed franchise has occupied the penthouse suite of the arcade driving pyramid for almost five years now, but with that lofty position comes an added degree of consumer expectation. You're only as good as your last game in this business, and every new release carries with it the risk of a non-stop elevator ride to the basement. Some of the more notable additions in this fourth Need for Speed installment include new cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo - bringing the total number of licensed vehicles to 18 - and ten attractive new circuits. Car damage has also been incorporated to add a degree of consequence to ragged driving techniques (albeit in a minimalist fashion). The profusion of play options that made Hot Pursuit such a pleasant ride has been further fleshed out with some brand new gameplay modes. Among these are a couple of fresh Hot Pursuit (cops versus speeders) scenarios and an impressive new economy-based Career mode. This latter mode adds greatly to the game's depth. Ten separate racing tiers are included, incorporating 30 different series, and players intent on working their way through all of them can probably expect to see the game hitched to their hard drives for quite some time (due in part to the absence of any on-the-fly save game options). Beginning with just enough cash to buy a "poor man's" Mercedes SLK 230 or BMW Z3, entrants must strive to win tournaments and Knockout competitions to advance through each tier and earn the necessary prize money to upgrade their machines. Once two or more cars are in your garage, you can also enter a High Stakes event that puts you in a race against the computer for pink slips. If you win, you get to keep the AI-driven car you beat across the finish line - but if you lose, it's back to being a one-car family. High Stakes' gameplay enhancements don't just end there. The limited multipla
            yer options offered in earlier Need for Speed titles have finally been supplemented with honest-to-goodness Internet competition. Linking with up to eight online opponents is as easy as making a couple of mouse clicks from within the game and then jumping onto www. earacing.com, a dedicated matchmaking service provided by Electronic Arts. The site was still in early beta when I tested it out, and I encountered some noticeable warping effects with my 56K connection. Judging from my chats, though, I seem to be in the minority there. Despite all of its impressive scenery and gameplay depth, High Stakes is still a driving game, and driving games inevitably live and die by their road manners. It doesn't matter how pretty the car looks; if it drives like a brick with square wheels then it isn't likely to challenge anyone for the top spot. This is one area in which High Stakes loses significant ground to comparable arcade racers like Viper Racing and Ultim@te Race Pro.

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            02.11.2000 03:12

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            The answer to my question is: who cares? If they continue to release top quality racing games in the series, then they will achieve high popularity. I was a bit undecided when purchasing the game, but I can now say that it was worth it. What appealed to me in this game was the variety. Plenty of cars, car adjustments, tracks and race types makes it bulging with features. My personal favourite is the persuit race, whether it is with one or two players racing. One in the getaway car and one is the police car, the fun of chasing the other by using speed, agression, road blocks and spikes is immense. The graphics are excellent, and the sound is tolerable but you can use the CD player feature for your own tunes.

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            05.10.2000 04:08

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            Recreated through close work with the world's most renowned car manufacturers, NFS: High Stakes brings you a dream collection waiting to be unleashed on the open road. Speed has its consequences so weigh the risks carefully. Carelessness results in costly damage and flagrant disregard for the law results in strict enforcement from the Highway patrol. You can also choose to uphold the law behind the wheel of high-speed Police cruisers. Prepare for the ultimate driving experience. This game is a very nice, realistic driving game, as a lover of driving games I am yet to try the new version NFS 5. But I am sure it will be just as good as the last four. I would recommend this game to anyone who loves driving games. You can’t go wrong with this one.

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            14.07.2000 20:40

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            Recreated through close work with the world's most renowned car manufacturers, NFS: High Stakes brings you a dream collection waiting to be unleashed on the open road. Speed has its consequences so weigh the risks carefully. Carelessness results in costly damage and flagrant disregard for the law results in strict enforcement from the Highway patrol. You can also choose to uphold the law behind the wheel of high-speed Police cruisers. Prepare for the ultimate driving experience. This game is a very nice, realistic driving game, as a lover of driving games I am yet to try the new version NFS 5. But I am sure it will be just as good as the last four. I would recommend this game to anyone who loves driving games. You can’t go wrong with this one.

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            09.07.2000 07:08

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            The NFS series has always oozed quality (except the second, which was a bit poorer than usual). It allows you to act out the fantasy of driving one of the world's supercars (without commiting theft), and then either racing against other supercars or even being chased by the police. There are several different modes of play; standard races with up to eight opponents and even traffic; hot pursuit where you are in a head to head road race with another opponent and the police are involved and career mode in which you build up money to buy better cars. It also supports split screen racing if your PC is up to the challenge. The most important part of any racing game is the driving model for the cars. Unfortunately when you first play NFS you will bounce off the walls constantly and might mistake it for a pinball game. This was probably caused by your initial choice of car (an F50 or the stupidly fast McLaren F1 are popular choices). Please, for your own sanity, start on a slower car (the BMW Z3 has great handling). You do have to work on the steering, but once you have mastered it by gradually progressing through the cars, you will be able to perform precision driving. The graphics on NFS4 are very good. The cars have been reproduced at a fanatical level of detail, and are instantly recognisable. The tracks have very varied scenery and also look great. The cars can actually be damaged and they bend and crumple in a very realistic manner. While it may not seem important, the inclusion of real cars actually enhances the whole experience. Being able to recognise the cars is really great. They have chosen some amazing cars from the nice (BMW Z3 and Mercedes SLK230), to the cool (Porsche 911 Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette), to the very cool (Ferrari F50 and F550 Maranello), to the completely outrageous (McLaren F1 and Mercedes CLK GTR). The cars do handle very differently (try a standing start race with a SLK230 and a McLaren F1 and you'll see
            what I mean). There are a lot of cars, more than I have mentioned here and you can also win more as you progess, as well being to download cars from the NFS website and other fan sites. With each car, you also get a complete profile, including photos, a presentation and even the ability to sit in a virtual "cockpit" and move around. The career mode is very addictive, with each race inching you towards being able to buy your dream car. Your career consists of different tiers which must be completed, which in turn consists of individual competitions against various classes of car. Damage must be paid for (unless you want to race in a wreck), and can prove very costly with the more expensive cars. The game is called High Stakes because of a particular type of competiton in which you bet your car in a head to head race. Very tense. For example, I spent hours racing and finally gained enough money to buy a Ferrari 550 Maranello, fully upgraded (you can upgrade cars). Immediately I entered a High Stakes competition. I had no money in the bank, and this race meant all or nothing. I'm very pleased to say I won, but it was the scariest race of my life. The tracks are both varied and nicely designed. The tracks can be changed slightly by either mirroring them or playing them backwards, quadrupling the number of potential tracks. They can also be played in the dark (try not to smash your headlights too early, it can get VERY dark). The Hot Pursuit mode is when you are chased by the police. This is a great part of the game. The police seem to act a bit like kamikaze pilots by smashing into you at insanely high speeds, but they also act intelligently very often and can box you in or "fishtail" you off the road (push your tail out so you skid off the road). They have tools at their disposal including helicopters, road blocks and "stingers" (rows of spikes across the road which burst tires). You can even here the polic
            e talking over the radio in your car, which can help you guess what they are planning. Overall, this is a fantastic game. The graphics and gameplay are superb and it is very exciting. Once you are used to the handling, this is a very rewarding game that comes highly recommended. NB. This can now be bought a set of games (The Biggest Names, The Best Names 3) which includes 5 other games and costs £25, great value.

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            27.06.2000 00:58

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            The Need for Speed series has maintained a strong following over the years due to its consistency in the sports car arcade racing market. High Stakes, the fourth game in the series is no different. It maintains the quality of the previous games while adding more tracks, cars, and race types - as well as something fans have been clamoring for since the beginning of the series. The graphics in this new version aren't as drastic an update as those seen in previous games. Instead, some finer detailing has been done. 3D dashes and animated drivers are some of the nice touches that have been added and refined for this version. The tracks look more realistic than ever, and lighting effects have been touched up. Road hazard lights look quite real, and lend a very nice effect to the tracks. Some 13 regular cars are available to play, including some new ones and old favorites. The Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird are perhaps the most notable additions. The McLaren F1 is back with a vengeance, as well as the Porsche 911 Turbo. Still no Viper though... Sound effects are what we have come to expect from the series; the car tires and engines sound great while driving. The music is also very fast and appropriate, although they still haven't outdone the excellent background music found in Need for Speed II. An option also exists for you to insert your own CDs and listen to your personal preferences. To keep the series fresh, each game tends to have some sort of "theme" to it. High Stakes brings us back to the days of "racing for pink slips". The dominant game mode here allows you to race and win your opponent's car - or lose your own. However, the fun components of the older series have not been forgotten. Hot Pursuit, the theme of the last game in the series is still available, and new modes have been added to that play style. This time around, you can play as police or pursued, but new elements have been added. You'
            ;ll find a getaway mode - to either avoid police as long as possible, or take over the police force to arrange the downfall of an rogue driver. A pursuit racing mode is also new to the game - where you must complete a certain number of laps in a given amount of time. Any tickets you receive will take valuable time off of your race. Played from the police vantage, your duty is to stop opponents from completing the race in the allotted time. Of course, career modes are still available, and you may still earn money to purchase new cars and repairs. Speaking of repairs, there is one feature that stands out above all others in High Stakes - damage modeling. Something missing from the previous games (mostly due to car makers' interference) was visible damage to the cars. While you were able to crash and damage the cars, you were not able to actually SEE the damage to the vehicle. That's all changed here - cars get dinged, dented, and severely beaten. Roll a car and see the side and roof of the car caved-in. Do enough damage to the drive train and watch the wheels wobble as you limp down the street. This one feature alone is nearly worth the price of admission by itself. It's been a long time coming, and has been requested by fans for a very long time. Other details of the game tend to stay close to the standard set by the previous versions. Control is still of the arcade variety, this is by no means attempting to be a realistic simulation. Sensitivity is a bit high in control, with little option to adjust it other than tweaking the dead zone in the controller configuration. It's something you need to get used to in order to master the game. The controls themselves are configurable, and the game may be played with virtually any input device. Keys and controls may be remapped to your personal preferences easily. On a down note, you still have the annoying need to "unlock" certain vehicles - all cars are not available to you from
            the beginning of the game.

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            26.06.2000 21:17
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            At first this appears to be just another driving game, but when you get used to the handling and have played several of the tracks it is quite addictive. Unlike most driving games the tracks are very varied making for a new experience on every drive. The sense of your speed is almost realistic and you actually feel like you are driving fast, unlike most games, where your only experience of your speed is looking at a speedometer which reads some astromonical number. The variation in car types is also very interesting, and at first you may think your car seems a bit slow but just wait until you try the faster cars. There is a real difference between the fast and slow cars as you progress through the game. The single-player game involves racing to get faster cars and new tracks. There is also a 2-player option with just as much addication. When you think you are good you can start to race against MacLaren F1's and you can even get the policed involved if you should be so reckless as to go over the speed limit!

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