Title: NASCAR Heat 2 - Hot Pass
Release Date: 12 Sep, 2017
nascar heat 2 season pass ps4. nascar heat 2 season pass
I'm very conflicted on this. On the one hand, I absolutely love the base game but feel this relatively massive expense compared to it isn't at all worth the asking price. On the other, I fear that giving the additional content a negative review because the base game is complete enough to make it feel unnecessary might lead to that "problem" being "fixed" in an unsatisfactory way next time around.
For $49.99 for the base game, you get 29 tracks, three series full of real participating drivers, 29 creative challenges, the Daytona 500 \/ Eldora Dirt Derby schemes for all applicable drivers, and a few bonus schemes if they used something else for the rest of the year (i.e. Kyle Larson having both his Target and CreditOne cars, as Target left partway through the year), a custom car creator (without a full paint booth but a decent set of templates), and Brett Griffin as spotter by default (who does an excellent job, even if "hold the steady wheel" gets tiresome to hear very fast).
For free on top of that via DLC and patches, you get most Toyota paint schemes from the 2017 season, throwback schemes for Harvick and Keselowski (for players over 21), Dale Jr.'s Homestead-Miami car, 3 okay challenges, and some extra company logos to paste on your custom cars.
For $29.99 here (or if you hit a sale like I did, $22.49), you get a decent amount of the Darlington throwback cars across several series, massive piles of extra paint schemes for specific drivers and absolutely none for others, a ludicrous amount of repeated Playoff paint schemes that are exactly the same except for the tiny "Round Of _" decal you can't even see at speed, more repeated paint schemes with actual race damage (kinda neat, honestly), nine uninspired challenges with typo-riddled and stat-bloated introductions, state flags you can paste on your custom cars, and two extra spotters.
Alex Hayden does a pretty wonderful job as an extra spotter. Whereas Brett Griffin is pretty obviously an actual experienced spotter and keeps a level tone, Hayden is a bit more like classic video-game spotters, clearly playing the role of one. He's very energetic, enthusiastic, and encouraging; while his responses aren't the most useful, they feel natural and earnest. I did not expect to use the word "adorable" in a NASCAR game review, but it fits; he isn't quite as professional as the others, but he's trying his best!
Joey Meier doesn't really do anything wrong, but his radio crackle is... different. It's tinny. He doesn't sound like he's had a voice filter added or like he's talking to you in the car, it sounds like you have him on a really laggy Skype call. It's enough to make him hard to recommend as an option here.
The Playoff paint schemes bloating the roster doesn't sound like a problem - if they already made that same paint scheme, what's the harm in tacking the other decals on? - but it's a menu design flaw that makes those a problem. You can only press one button to cycle forward in one loop; you can't just click the one you want from a list, meaning you hav to keep mashing to get to the one you want. This wasn't a problem when there were about three slight variations, or a dozen completely distinct patterns, but when there's very minute differences and like seven near-identical liveries in the same loop, it just makes it a pain to get to anything, especially when they're inexplicably not in order<\/i> and you can't tell if you've looped around or not.
The problem with having the race-accurate cars for AI is that the bulk of the roster isn't actually accurate to the tumultous 2017 season, at least not on a per-race basis. I mean, it's the closest we've been in years - they all actually drove in that series, that year, except for the NASCAR Next class which is getting there - but what was a non-issue becomes an issue when it comes to things like Darlington. The Darlington Throwback races\/paints are always a highlight, and while I looked forward to it here, even on the Cup level, it's woefully instantly incomplete, about 3\/4 of the drivers at maximum carrying a throwback scheme. There isn't much they could've done there when you consider that drivers like DJ Kennington and Elliott Sadler weren't even at that race, but having set a high speed rating and languishing in the back on my run to test it out, it was absolutely jarring to expect the Darlington cars and only ever be able to see one<\/i> car that was any different for eleven entire laps, after paying $22.
The challenges almost entirely consist of "this driver won this race. Play as them and win this race." They look and feel lazy and slapdash; even moments as iconic as Clements' spin at Road America are kinda tacky and easy. That was one of my highlights of 2017 (I was watching that on my phone's data plan from the games room at Otakon when it happened), and it was really underwhelming to play it and just watch the cars get clumsily forced aside by an unseen hand, before easily powering away to a simple win.
Some top-level drivers are utterly lavished in new paint schemes, while much of the rest of the roster doesn't get much. If your favorite driver in any of the three series is in a Toyota, you aren't really missing anything at all but the throwbacks.
In short, if you're on the fence about the base game, don't be. It's more than worth your money, I'd say. But it's complete and full enough that you really don't benefit much from the extra content here; it definitely feels kinda tacked on, like there HAD to be a season pass in the contract somewhere. It's a weird problem to have, but a good one. If there's something specific you want, like Hayden as a spotter or Dylan Lupton's rainbow warrior #24, you're best off just getting the pack with the thing you want. Only reason I can think of to pick this up is if you, like me, hopelessly obsessively collect all the content for all the NASCAR games you can get your hands on and feel you MUST obtain this before it's inevitably pulled.
When you have just a few special extras and bonuses, it's neat to see all the extra touches they get right. When you pay extra and expect a ton of extras and bonuses, it becomes a search for what's wrong, and that's far less fun.
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