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Published by:
Sierra Sports

Game Genre:
Racing Simulation

Game Cheats:
Not Available

Pentium 166, 32 Megs RAM, 2X CD-ROM
16-bit Sound Board, Mouse, & DirectX

Retail Price:
Our Ratings:


Sound FX



NASCAR Legends

Game Review - by James Allen
Ever since the success of their racing games, Papyrus has been considered the authority of racing simulation. After the release of NASCAR Racing 3, the follow-up to the popular NASCAR 2, Papyrus decided to go back in time to 1970, when all the racers were good ol' boys and the stock cars were really stock cars. This is NASCAR Legends.

For a full review of this game, please see NASCAR Racing 3. You may think I'm kidding, but the similarities are striking. It seems Papyrus has taken NASCAR 3, and put in old cars and old tracks from 1970. Still, that doesn't mean this game is a total waste.

NASCAR Legends takes you back to the 1970 NASCAR Grand National season, before big crowds and television deals. Imagine not having every track look like a Bruton Smith quad-oval! One of the racing venues is actually a high school track. Some of the tracks are familiar, but with different names (Atlanta International Raceway, Alabama International Motor Speedway) and no club boxes. Some older, defunct tracks include Riverside and Ontario. In all, NASCAR Legends includes 16 tracks from the early days in NASCAR.

In addition to the older tracks, the older drivers are also present, including Buddy Baker, Richard Petty, and Dave Marcis (man, he IS old). Of course, these old NASCAR stars drive old cars, which are included in all their winged glory. The models with the spoiler too far above the rear of the car are found, along with several other car makes. These cars came straight off the assembly line, and just bigger engines and outrageous spoilers were added, opposed to the custom built cars of today.

In addition to these antique attributes, many of the options found in NASCAR Racing 3 are also found here: customized races, series championships, and smashed up cars. Since this is 1970, the rules are slightly different, meaning no pit road speed limit and the lack of restrictor plates.

However, one option I was hoping for and is not present is a career mode, where you could compete in several NASCAR seasons. In addition, the only legendary season found in NASCAR Legends is 1970: you cannot compete in other seasons with different drivers and different tracks. I wanted to race Benny Parsons for the 1973 championship. Oh well.

This is the NASCAR Racing 3 engine: same graphics, same translucent smoke, same everything. Not that the graphics for NASCAR Legends are horrible, actually they are absolutely stunning, especially 3-D accelerated. Sadly, if it weren't for the cars, you would mistake this game for NASCAR Racing 3.

Sound: Again, the sound is the same as NASCAR Racing 3. The spotter is still present, barking out instructions and suggestions for you. The crashes hurt a little more with the sound of bent metal. Still, this is a carbon copy of NASCAR 3.

The gameplay is similar to that of NASCAR 3 (where have I heard that before?). It's really fun to race around the older tracks in strange looking cars, but the feeling seems strangely familiar. The cars do handle slightly different than those of today, but the change is not large. It feels real when you travel around Alabama at over 200 mph, especially when you slam into the wall at that speed.

The AI is a little more aggressive than in NASCAR 3, and this seems to be the only improvement of NASCAR 3. The cars still "park it" during a very large wreck, a problem found in all earlier versions of NASCAR Racing.

Multiplayer is again found, in the same way it was presented in NASCAR 3. You can challenge human drivers at the older tracks, which provides a better challenge than AI ever could.

NASCAR Legends had a good premise when it was thought out, but it's too darn similar to NASCAR Racing 3. Everything except the tracks and cars are the same, and sometimes they just removed some scenery from the NASCAR 3 versions.

This game should have been presented as an add-on to NASCAR 3, rather than a completely different game. This borders on a blatant attempt by Papyrus and Sierra to make more money without putting too much effort into changing the game. If older NASCAR seasons other than 1970 were present, this game would have been a lot better. Unless you really, really want to race in the 70s, buy NASCAR Racing 3 and pretend the cars are old.

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