North American cover art featuring Tony Stewart
|Series||EA Sports NASCAR|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Genre(s)||Racing, Sports, Simulation|
NASCAR 08 is the eleventh installment of the EA Sports NASCAR series. It was developed by EA Tiburon and released for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This was the earliest that EA has released a NASCAR game at the time, until NASCAR 09, which featured a June release. It also marks the first time the original Xbox has been excluded from the NASCAR lineup since NASCAR 2001.
Tony Stewart is on the cover marking his third appearance on the cover of an EA Sports NASCAR game. The cover in the PAL region features Juan Pablo Montoya (as Montoya returns to EA Sports cover athlete since F1 Career Challenge). NASCAR's new Car of Tomorrow as well as the current car are present in the game, although the Car of Tomorrow is generic (no separate manufacturers). ESPN's NASCAR coverage is also integrated into the game. Crew chief dialogue for the PS3 and 360 versions of the game was recorded by Chad Knaus. The Whelen Modified Tour is not included in the PS3 and 360 versions of the game, but is present in the PS2 version.
Critical reception of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version of the game has been mixed. Play magazine gave the game 38%. GameSpot gave the Xbox 360 version a 6.0 rating and a 6.0 for the PlayStation 3 version. The closing comments of the IGN Xbox 360 review:
NASCAR 08 is bare-bones, unpolished and uninspired. When you don't even have any sort of ending wrap-up screen for the Season mode, you know you're in trouble. Hardcore NASCAR fans will no-doubt rally behind the title and say that the reviews are wrong and that we just don't understand the sport, but there's very little to the package.
Overall NASCAR 08 is a solid game, but not one that has received a lot of love and attention since last year. The changes that have been made are an attempt to widen the appeal to a less hard-core audience. The problem with this is that the majority of the fans of the series are those very hard-core gamers that they are ignoring. The end result is a game that has little to offer you if you have the previous edition. This game best serves those of us who are either new to the series or are hardened fans of NASCAR proper. Maybe a game to pick up once the price falls in a month or two.
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