NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All PC Review

NHRA_SFA_Launch_Screen_06.jpg
Let me start with: Wow, that name is a mouthful. I tried this game before release, knowing as little as possible about the drag racing scene. Nonetheless, here is my review of NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed for All.

My First Time Drag Racing - Not Yet?​

Upon reading info about this game, I knew my goal: drag race the "funny car" vehicle category. And best to reach this point in the "career" game mode.

However, when first opening the game, my controller did not work on the menu. Well, keyboard it is. Weird though, since the settings "menu" only shows gamepad controls.

Here's a pro tip: You need to disable the Steam controller to play this game.

To do this, right-click on the game on Steam, select preferences and turn off the Steam controller there.

Now, can I finally get to drag racing?

My First Time Drag Racing - Now Really​

Going into the career for the first time, you immediately get hit with a large number of tutorials. Also, it is here where you can see for the first time, that NHRA is focused exclusively on the American market.

Tuning your vehicle is one of the more advanced stages of this game, however, you have quite the amount of settings you can change. To be honest, since I'm a newbie to drag racing as a whole, I'm gonna leave this part behind. It's a nice addition though, and probably worthwhile to adjust your parts.

Anyways, going out onto the track for the first time, I learned that the drag racing weekends consist of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday racing.

Out of many competitors, only 16 can make it past qualifying into the knockout race. The first time around, I didn't make that. My weekend was over after the qualifying.

The second weekend, however, woo boy, did I manage to screw up. Blowing up my engine and gearbox after a qualifying stint, I had to replace the parts to further continue. And I made it into the race. Unfortunately, I got knocked out in the first round of the race.

Now, apparently, replacing parts costs money, and it cost more than I had at this point. So, after just 2 races, I slid into bankruptcy.

10/10, would simulate my financial situation again.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of NHRA​

So let's take a look into what makes and breaks NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed for All.

Gameplay - 2/5​

The gameplay seems to somewhat realistically simulate the everyday events of a drag racer. It's challenging, it's monotonous and it's loud. Here's basically how to play the game in terms of button presses:

A, A, A, RT, LT+RT, LT, X, X, RT, LT, A, A, LT, RT, LT, RT, RB, LT with occasional left thumb stick movement.

This string of buttons is not a combo in a fighting game, it's basically the entire gameplay aspect of this game. Seemingly the only variations you have, happen through upgrades like better car parts or maybe tuning. And of course, your reaction time.

This makes the entire gameplay process feel repetitive and grindy. As your only goal in the first few seasons will not be to win races. It will be to establish financial stability in order to upgrade your vehicle parts. And that is, frankly, not enough.

Graphics and World Design - 3.5/5​

The world design is good. It's nothing exceptional. But since the graphics try to go into a realistic setting, high expectations should be set.

Unfortunately, the areas surrounding the drag strips look like Assetto Corsa track environments. I get you cannot create everything from scratch with the newest technology, but 2d bushes along the road are sometimes not enough.

Settings and Options - 1/5​

The settings screen has 3 options you can choose from:
  • Audio Options
  • Controls
  • Credits
Now only Audio Options gives one the possibility to actually change something. "Controls" is just an overview over the gamepad bindings, and the credits are . . . well, credits.

No changing control schemes, no graphics settings. Just the bare minimum of being able to control how loud things are. Disappointing.

Sound Design - 3.5/5​

The sound design is generally good. The hot rods sound believable and the announcer talking is a nice addition.

The biggest caveat for this game is having only 1 track in the soundtrack, it seems. It becomes annoying rather quickly.

The Summary - 2.75/5​

The game works. It's probably nice for people who are really into drag racing. For the average racing game enjoyer, however, it simply is lacklustre. And for the average gamers, it's not too interesting.

Furthermore, $50 is way too expensive. Get it only when it's heavily discounted.
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of tracc.eu, a sim racing-related service provider and its racing community.

Comments

I think drag race sim will need VR and motion rig with dedicated controllers + online race to be enjoyable, otherwise it will be quite boring. Adding"manager" style gameplay could make it more interesting to a wider audiences.
 
I thought nothing could be more boring than going around a circle on a Nascar track.. but I was wrong; going in a straight line and perhaps shifting once is even more pathetic.
its a DRAG RACING GAME what did you expect it to be LMFAO. what you described is drag racing i dont know why you would be expecting something else

the only fault i can find with the game without playing it is that it looks like it should be on ps2 or ps3 and that it has none of the manufacturer licensing

if you dont like drag racing or nascar why would you even bother buying either games they are exactly what they say they are
 
I thought nothing could be more boring than going around a circle on a Nascar track.. but I was wrong; going in a straight line and perhaps shifting once is even more pathetic.
It can get actually get worse, just slightly:

Modern-day roadcar drag racing. Launch control, traction control, electronic diffs. no clutch, no shifting at all. All you do is floor the throttle then let go of the brake when the lights go out. Done. If you win, you get all pumped and celebrate as if you achieved something.

The epitome of cheap thrills.
 
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Premium
Was hoping when I noticed this on the front page that the Game would somehow be Wheel ready and awesome, dissppointing really:(

...A blast from the past, these where the days from rFactor 1 where I didn't really care about amazing Photorealistic Graphics:)...'DragFactor'...driving this around your favorite track...Nordschleife anyone:inlove:


...and when you are sitting around the dev table in a couple of years wondering what else can we include in our Sim for a point of difference...here's your answer...looking at you 'Reiza Studios';)
 
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"Gameplay - 2/5​

The gameplay seems to somewhat realistically simulate the everyday events of a drag racer. It's challenging, it's monotonous and it's loud."

And since when is this a bad thing? This "review" is so silly....
 
There was a monster truck game on the NES or SNES cant remember that had that same gameplay loop. No driving, just button mashing. As a kid at the time it was very depressing. Cant believe a game in 2022 stole that idea hahah
 

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