Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Need For Speed: Most Wanted U

Feeling the Rush in Need For Speed: Most Wanted U

12:30 PM on 03.30.2013 // Casey B

Smooth like butta'

After smashing a few hundred cars and winning a fair share of brutal races in the hours of time spent in Need For Speed: Most Wanted for the Xbox 360, I was more than happy for the opportunity to check out the recently released Wii U version.

This particular version has been toted as having the best graphics, perhaps sort of a nebulous claim considering the fact that graphical differences between the three consoles are usually incredibly minor this late in the 'HD' generation.

What I did not expect was that it's not necessarily an overhaul in graphics that you'll notice between this version and the other console versions, but an overhaul in how the game actually runs and how it plays with a new and enhanced GamePad interface.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted U (Wii U)
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: March 19, 2013
MSRP: $59.99

Need For Speed: Most Wanted U is undoubtedly a beautiful game. It may take some adjustment of the brightness or contrast of your particular screen to hit the sweet spot, but on most HDTV screens this version will definitely impress you with its prettiness.

Granted, there are still some ugly, muddy textures found in the city of Fairhaven and these pretty much exist on all of the console versions, but overall the game shines as a visual spectacle and the cars look hot. It's important to note, however, that a still frame is not going to give you a good judge of the touted graphical superiority of the Wii U version, unless you're very keen on technical details and/or anal retentive about slight graphical differences.

Instead, what you'll notice immediately is how much smoother the game runs compared to the 360 version. I spent hours switching between both version on my TV set, and what I consistently noticed was that a great deal of the frame rate hiccups that stutter the game in the 360 version are pretty much absent in the Wii U version. The tossup here seems to be the same issue plaguing a lot of Wii U games these days -- load times tend to reach up to the minute mark, especially when first booting up the game.

However, once you're racing around the pristine city streets and picturesque mountain roads of Fairhaven, you'll rarely get stopped up by frame-rate issues. The only real cases of noticeable lag happen when a ton of things are going on at once, such as getting pursued by a bunch of cop cars while causing a huge accident with several racers in front of you. Otherwise, the game runs silky smooth and once you start getting the faster cars and better nitro upgrades, the sense of speed is wonderful.

Besides the nice frame rate improvement, Most Wanted U's greatest asset is its use of the GamePad, which implements the new 'co-driver' mode. In a sense, this mode is a sort of cheat mode. It lets you or whoever's around  play a minor god, changing the time of day to evening or morning, disrupting cop cars as you see fit, changing your car's model and color outside of races, or even just turning off traffic.

You can also use the GamePad either exclusively to drive or to assist someone else driving who is using the Pro controller. The ability to disrupt cop cars with the GamePad is especially notable, as it makes it much more fun to drive to each race and take in the scenery without needlessly getting trapped in another insane cat-and-mouse game every single time you speed past the police.

All of the other shortcuts from the other versions remain, such as giving total power over tweaking gameplay control down to button assignments, or jumping straight to each race without the boredom of driving to a checkpoint every time. The biggest differences here are minor improvements, such as being able to play exclusively off of the GamePad, or even being able to use the GamePad as a miniature screen while still using your pro controller to drive.

This may seem a bit silly considering the fact that most players will want to play off their HDTV, but anyone living with a partner or kids knows that this isn't always possible in the face of compromise and it's wonderful to still have a pretty sweet-looking game run on the GamePad screen without sacrificing your preferred controller for racing games. You can play the game exclusively on the GamePad, but it may feel awkward to control, and even more so with the included motion options unless you're really going for the sim experience.

The online mode of Need For Speed: Most Wanted U is just as much chaotic fun as the other versions, immediately calling back the awesomeness of Burnout Paradise's free-form challenges and social multiplayer component. Just as before, you can jump into public online play or private matches between friends and find yourself competing in a variety of challenges, from sprint races to long distance jumps.With the Wii U version, there's also the expected social ability to pause the game to post on Miiverse whenever you feel like it, though the game never nudges you or otherwise bothers you to do so.

Overall, I have to admit that I'm returning much more often to the Wii U version than my copy on the 360. The game runs smoother and most importantly smartly gives you the option to clear away the annoyances of constant cop chases when all you want to do is drive around Fairhaven at reckless speeds and steal hot new vehicles to illegally race with.

After all, isn't that the way it should be?

Casey B, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure CaseyDtoid Tips
Casey Baker is passionate about all things video game, and has been this way since very young. His earliest memories involve trying to get E.T. out of a hole. Casey plays nearly all genres of g... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Need For Speed: Most Wanted U

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Persona Still Reigns Perfection

Cblogs of 11/30/2015 + Saudi Arabian Ban Hammer

Eleven indie games that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in 2016

Should 'Mercy Spoilers' be a thing?

Thankful It's Over: Assassin's Creed 2

Virtua Memories: Virtua Fighter/Remix (Virtua Fighter Month)

FNF: Christmas toime is hear

Tales of Zestiria Review (PC)

Xenoblade X Squad?

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
If you're ever writing about something from the heart, and you stop and think "I don't know how people will react to me if I write this" then you absolutely should go ahead. Passionate conviction is often the only voice you'll have.
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Wait a second...has the blog editor been changed with the idea being that the formatting be done in Word or something and then pasted in? Have I been using it wrong these last few posts?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
guys I'm standing in a Target looking at a Xenoblade X special edition what do I do
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Dear Dortmund Zoo: how's it possible for people to steal 3 monkeys, 3 squirrels and 2 penguins while killing a manatee and another penguin since April and you still have no clue how to stop this?
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! [img][/img]
Flegma avatarFlegma
Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday).
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] やらないか?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If I were a rhino, I'd be horny.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't want DOAX, but it does make me realize... There aren't actually a lot of volleyball games out there, are there? Or tennis, even? At least golf has a little competition, but still. That's golf.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Well, everyone is throwing in their opinion on women and games, and here I am... writing a blog about being aroused by female characters in games as a kid... Perhaps I should hold off, I have a feeling it may just be taken the wrong way.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Thinking about getting my sister yokai watch or animal crossing Happy Home designer(comes with nfc reader). I already got a copy of Tales of xillia for her ps3, this is just a bonus for when she's on the road or at someones house. any suggestions?
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Dark Souls 2. Dem builds.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Posted image I promised Flanx, didn't get response from him. Heart forever broken.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -