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Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing

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Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing is a stock car racing game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is loosely based on the NASCAR fixture that draws in fans from February to November. There is a two player mode but it must be activated in the options menu of the game. This mode allows two players to compete against each other using a split screen. The two player mode allows equal opportunities towards teamwork and competition in the single race mode as well as in the season mode. Players can either race on season mode or exhibition mode.

When the players have mastered all the factory-made courses, it is possible to create an original race course with as many turns and straight sections that memory limitations will allow. Custom decals can also be placed on the course as a way to personalize a course; this can be done to an extent that no two courses will look exactly the same twice in a row.[4] After building the layout of the track, the player can choose to choose a song that will play when they race on their customized track (provided that the music is activated in the options menu). World Grand Prix was one of the first games to have this feature (without custom decals).

Rarely used in other racing games, it allows players to re-create their favorite race tracks to the best of their ability. The object in the game is to get as to close to first place as possible by the end of the race. Practice is also necessary if the player wants to start at the pole position. During the season mode, the player must score points in order to remain in the competition. If he or she fails to do this, then the game immediately ends with no other recourse other than to use passwords to restore a saved game. Even though the cars move slower than today's vehicles (Dodge Charger, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Impala) and use a smaller rear spoiler, defeating Kyle Petty and winning the NASCAR championship is still a challenge for fantasy race car drivers.

List of drivers

Car # Driver Car/sponsor Current driver
2 Rusty Wallace Miller Lite Kurt Busch
3 Dale Earnhardt GM Goodwrench none
6 Mark Martin (now #5) Valvoline David Ragan
10 Ricky Rudd Tide none
11 Bill Elliott (now #21) Coors Denny Hamlin
15 Lake Speed ENEOS Express Gas none
17 Darrell Waltrip TV Land Matt Kenseth
21 Morgan Shepherd UAW Bill Elliott
28 Ernie Irvan Texaco/Havoline none
42 Kyle Petty Coors Light Juan Pablo Montoya
43 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Texas Instruments A.J. Allmendinger
99 Ken Bouchard Waste Management, Inc Carl Edwards

Criticism

Cheating and AI bias

Some critics of this game state that the artificial intelligence is unfair, resulting in near mandatory use of the turbo booster in order to win races. Kyle Petty would often start out in the lead and would dominate the majority of the race. Bump drafting is not implemented in the game; it is not beneficial to gain speed from being close to AI-controlled vehicles. Nitro is considered to be the way to gain speed in lieu of drafting. Players who attempt to "bump draft" from behind end up banging with the rival car instead; slowing them down and wasting time and fuel. When the game was released, ConocoPhillips' 76 brand was the official fuel sponsor of NASCAR. Tires can also be wasted due to the cars pressing hard on each other as a result of the collision.

When the game was being developed, the designers were completely unfamiliar with NASCAR rules and regulations. They created the AI-controlled vehicles with the mentality of drivers who race in the open wheel leagues. However, this problem was never resolved through "special edition" versions that used more realistic AI and racing physics. Only die-hard NASCAR fans ever took notice of the lack of realism compared to the actual NASCAR of that era. Since it was meant to be an arcade game loosely based on NASCAR, people from North America (as well as Japan) could play this game without knowing a thing about NASCAR rules and regulations. Bump drafting doesn't work in the game and nitros can be used in lieu of the traditional drafting method used in the Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) Series.

In the real NASCAR, nitro was banned in the 1950s before ever being used in a single race. This ban extends to all NASCAR-sanctioned leagues worldwide.

Speech and graphics

The game's lone announcer was also spotty and spoke only when something important happened on the race track, as opposed to doing a sports commentary-type announcement. Using only the numbers and a very limited vocabulary of mostly nouns, there is only a remotely successful attempt at color commentary. This could be attributed to the limitations in the speech capabilities of games released in the mid 1990s. However, NFL Football '94 Starring Joe Montana for the Sega Genesis was released with complete play-by-play commentary even though it was released in an earlier year with a system that could handle fewer colors and inferior graphics.

Cars in the Japanese version didn't have numbers while the American version has all racing vehicles with the 00 number. Paint schemes are strangely similar to the ones used by the race car drivers during the 1994 season. For example, the #17 (Darrell Waltrip) vehicle used the then-current grey-blue pattern while the #43 (Wally Dallenbach, Jr.) vehicle used the traditional blue-red scheme. Avid racing fans would discover that the #3 (Dale Earnhardt) vehicle used the yellow-red scheme for Sterling Marlin's #4 vehicle instead of his traditional black-white scheme (which was reversed for Kevin Harvick's first ride in the #29 after his death in the 2001 Daytona 500).

Censorship

In both versions, licensing for the Winston Cup (now called the Sprint Cup) does not exist. This is because federal laws (in addition to Nintendo censorship) prevent tobacco and alcohol references from being placed in any computer or video game. However, the words Havoline, No Fear, Kyle Petty, and "racing" can by viewed in the main menu as the words scroll rapidly across the screen from the left to the right. This special effect is only seen in the North American version of the game, and these sponsors were permitted because they did not sell alcohol or tobacco-related products.

There is an unsponsored black car with Petty's number 42 on the game's cover. In reality, it's his Mello Yello car he drove from 19911994, minus the drink's decals on the car. There isn't any official reason as to why the Mello Yello car was not in the game. One could guess they did not receive permission from Mello Yello or the Coca-Cola Company. Another possible reason could be that because the game was released during the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup season. During that time, Kyle's car had changed over to blue and pink colors with Coors Light as a sponsor. The developers could have probably not wanted to even hint that the driver who is on their game was driving a car with alcohol as a sponsor.

Differences between game play and real life

During the race

  • In the game, most courses have right hand turns and more than four turns. In reality, most courses are oval and have only left hand turns. Exceptions to this rule include Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway. The fewer number of laps and the fewer number of corners a track has, the less demanding the course is on tires, nitro, and gasoline.
  • Unlike real life, pit road can be entered at any speed without consequences of a penalty. Gasoline is filled up for the player's car automatically. Turbo boosters and tires can be changed by pressing certain buttons on the control pad. In real life, going fast on pit road always results in a speeding violation. This speeding violation always results in a 10 second penalty. During this time, the driver must stay on pit road for 10 seconds after maintenance is complete on his or her automobile.
  • Also, turbo boosters are considered mandatory for fast times unlike in real NASCAR where their use is absolutely prohibited. The use of turbo boosters in an actual race, qualifying session, or practice session is considered to be tampering with the car, which is detrimental to stock car racing. Any crew chief caught installing turbo boosters will be suspended after a failed inspection. Any driver who is either caught using turbo boosters or simply possessing turbo boosters on his or her vehicle will be suspended and/or fined. Eventually, the team owner would be fined if turbo boosters are either used or attempted to be used on an actual NASCAR track for any race, qualifying session, or practice session. This equally applies to the Sprint Cup in addition to the Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, Whelen Modified Tour, Corona Series, T4 Series, the Canadian Tire Series, and all other local NASCAR sanctioned series.
  • At the beginning of qualifying and the race, the announcer says "Gentlemen, start your engines" and assumes that the player controls a male stock car driver. In real life, this command is only said during the beginning of a race and never in qualifying. There has been times where the command was "Lady and Gentlemen, start your engines" or even "Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines."
  • In reality, drivers enter into the first lap in the race using a rolling start. However, Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing uses standing starts to start every race. While a standing start is beneficial for Formula One vehicles, the standing start would slightly abuse the stock car engines used in NASCAR if it were used in an actual race instead of the traditional rolling start.
  • When the Start button is pressed multiple times in rapid succession, the player's race car will burst into flames. This has been known to occur in the North American version but it is doubtful that is will work on the Japanese version.

Between races

  • At the end of each race in the game, the drivers who finished first, second and third in the game appear at the winner's circle. In reality, only the driver who finished in 1st place would be allowed to attend winner's circle after the course of an actual NASCAR race. The podium used in the game is modelled after the podium used in Olympic events as well as in Formula One. NASCAR doesn't award second and third place winners in real life by sending them to winner's circle along with the race winner at any level.
  • The provisional system that is normally used in NASCAR is not implemented in the game. This means anyone with the slowest car receives the final qualifying position; not the most recent champion. There is no way to become a "previous champion" due to a lack of a proper dynasty mode and all cars qualify for the race in Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing regardless of whether the race is an exhibition race or part of the season mode.
  • In the game, qualification is done on the basis of laps times (qualifying on time). Back in the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, all qualification was done on the basis of the vehicle's top speed (qualifying on speed).
  • The crew chief can also be switched to a female without using video game money to make the switch. However, it costs $10,000 to upgrade the crew chief from a level 1 (one) crew chief into a level 2 (two) crew chief. This cost would cover the cost of the former employee's unemployment benefits. Additionally, the money would also go towards the hiring and training the new employee. The maximum level the crew chief can be increased to is level 5 (five). However, the cost of upgrading the crew chief increases exponentially as the player goes from level 2 (two) to level 3 (three). Making the final upgrade from level 4 (four) to level 5 (five) is extremely expensive. However, pit crew work is the fastest with a level 5 (five) crew chief.
  • On a system of 4 (four) yellow boxes (signifying level), 0 (zero) yellow boxes means level 1 (one) technology investment while four (4) level boxes means the player has achieved the maximum technology investment possible in the game. This statement applies to everything except tires and nitro. The yellow boxes would describe how many nitros or tires the player has remaining. Technology levels of the tires and nitro remain the same throughout the entire game because the game depicts either a single season or a single race. Improvement of tire or nitro technology would be considered redundant in this brief time phase.
  • Racers who race in vehicles owned by another person do not have a choice in deciding their crew chief or in selecting their race number. It is considered to be the jurisdiction of the team owner to decide each player's crew chief, number, and sponsor. The game assumes that the player is a driver/owner.

Japanese version

Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing was released in Japan as Circuit USA (サーキットUSA?)[citation needed] by Virgin Interactive. The tracks are stripped of their realism, giving them more of a the feel of an open wheel racing game rather than the feel of an authentic NASCAR game. Furthermore, its graphics are much cruder than the American version: in track crossings, there are no visible bridges or elevation effects.

In the American version, Kyle Petty is mentioned by name. The Japanese version simply mentions Petty by the number (42) that he used for his race car during the 1995 NASCAR season. Kyle Petty was not considered to be notable in Japan so his name was not used in the Japanese version. However, Kyle Petty is a recognized NASCAR celebrity in North America so his name was stuck on the title of the game with little or no authorization from Kyle Petty himself. Because No Fear was Kyle Petty's sponsor during the development of the video game, it was included with Kyle Petty in the North American version only.

Like Kyle Petty, No Fear was also excluded from the Japanese version because the brand did not have any notability in Japan during the early to mid 1990s.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Additional release information. Camya. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Release information. GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
  3. ESRB Rating. All Game. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  4. Track editor information. Game Stats. Retrieved on 2008-05-18.

Template:NASCAR video games Template:Petty family Template:Petty Enterprises

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