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NASCAR Racing 2003 Season

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, or NR2003 for short, is a computer racing simulator released in February 2003 by Papyrus Design Group for Windows and Mac OS X. The game was the last to be released by the company before EA Sports bought the NASCAR license exclusively from 2004 to 2009 (parent company Sierra's successor company, Activision Blizzard, reacquired NASCAR rights in 2011, with NASCAR The Game: 2011). The game included all of the 2003 NASCAR season tracks and many of the drivers, including Dave Blaney, who was absent in NASCAR Thunder 2004.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season contains 40 Winston Cup teams that were anticipated to run throughout the season, with the exception of the cars from Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as 23 Winston Cup series tracks, putting the player behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car. Players are able to choose between testing sessions, offline single racing, championship, and multiplayer options as well as car setup choices.

The game won PC Gamer US's 2003 "Best Racing Game" award. The magazine's Andy Mahood wrote that it "established a daunting new standard for PC racing simulations that may take years to eclipse".[16]

Say it ain't so! Having revolutionized PC vehicular competition and proven definitively that a truly authentic computerized driving experience is entirely within reach, the most dominant racing series of the last decade is headed for that great oval in the sky. Though designer Papyrus Racing Games may return to the PC at a later date with a new driving game, it has officially ended the run of its flagship PC series, NASCAR Racing. Fortunately, it hasn't done so without one last hurrah. Papyrus's latest game, NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, makes a great finale for the world's foremost stock car racing series.

Yet NASCAR Racing 2003 shines brightest on the track. Many have tried, but to date no other game has delivered the same level of authenticity; the same feeling that you are indeed in control of a large and very powerful stock car. And in NASCAR Racing 2003, that experience has been enhanced. If you play at the highest realism setting with all the driver's aids switched off, you'll find your car to be even more difficult to control than in previous games. And should you ever get into a position where a corner of your car lifts from the racing surface, you'll soon realize just how easy it is to get one of these things airborne, and cornering is also more challenging in NASCAR Racing 2003 than ever before. In fact, some beginners who try to play at the highest realism settings may get frustrated and simply give up.

Fortunately, rookies can always turn to the game's optional driver's aids. Though the first few NASCAR games were designed strictly for hard-core racing fans, the series now caters to both the expert and the newcomer. NASCAR Racing 2003 has optional features such as automatic transmissions, antilock brakes, traction control, invulnerable cars, and simplified "arcade" control to help beginners get started. The game even has a new set of incremental steering, acceleration, and braking adjustments to give you greater control over your input.

Traditionally, one of the great benefits of the NASCAR Racing series has been its enthusiastic multiplayer following, and that shouldn't change for the latest edition. NASCAR Racing 2003 delivers a sophisticated online multiplayer experience that takes into account every aspect of a racing weekend, supports up to 42 players per event, and is wholly accessible from within the game. We entered several races via Sierra's dedicated servers and had a ton of fun. Although we experienced a few instances of warping, the action was generally fluid and the racing extremely tight.

For the most part, NASCAR Racing 2003 sounds as good as it looks. Few racing games have effectively captured the guttural growl of these big-motor machines, but Papyrus mastered the art a long time ago and continues to do a great job. NASCAR Racing 2003's engines roar convincingly, but they don't obscure important sound effects such as tire squeals, gear shifts, and crashing body parts. You may occasionally encounter instances of car-to-car contact that don't create a corresponding sound, or occasions where the game's audio will drop out momentarily, but these occasions will be rare, if you experience them at all.

In retrospect, the NASCAR Racing series as a whole has quite likely done more to advance the art of computerized racing simulations than any other title to date. Papyrus stuck to its guns throughout and continued to deliver an extremely challenging and impressively realistic experience right through to the end, while at the same time gradually opening the game up to newcomers. Though NASCAR Racing 2003 Season isn't quite a revolutionary game, it is nevertheless a worthy finale for the series.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, or NR2003 for short, was a 2003 auto racing simulation released by Papyrus Design Group. It is widely regarded by many fans as the greatest NASCAR game of all time. Unfortunately, this would be the final game Papyrus would release after EA Sports bought out an exclusive NASCAR license that lasted from 2004-2009. However, the game still lives on with different cars and tracks being developed by a great modding community, as well as some of its source code being used for iRacing.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, or NR2003 for short, is a computer racing simulator released in February 2003 by Papyrus for PC and Mac OS X. The game was the last to be released by the company before EA Sports bought the NASCAR license exclusively from 2004 to 2009 (parent company Sierra's successor company, Activision Blizzard, reacquired NASCAR rights in 2011, with NASCAR The Game: 2011). The game included all of the 2003 NASCAR season tracks and many of the drivers. The game box featured the cars of Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick on the front cover.

Mr. Moderator, for your information, NASCAR Racing 2003 Season was the LAST of the BEST NASCAR simulation on the market. NASCAR got big bucks to award an exclusive license to Electronic Arts and their NASCAR Thunder, so Papyrus and Sierra had to discontinue NR2003, and no longer do any development for it. Despite NASCAR's endorsement of the EA product, all the drivers and serious fans use NR2003, and the user community is keeping it up to date as possible for subsequent seasons. With problems like this, either the software can be fixed for the only driver that causes problems with it, or the driver can be fixed for the only software that causes problems with it.

Moe, just so you know this issue is not related to the drivers but do to NR2003. I have had this happen with a variety of sound cards while running all the Papy racing sims (SB Live!, SB Live! X-Gamer, and an Audigy 2). There are a few things you can do to solve this problem - first, try turning the sound volume (master and wave) in the windows volume control down a little. Second, turn down ALL the sound levels from within NR2003 in the options menu. I like to keep the master at 65-70% and the rest of the volumes somewhat below that. Third, play around with the number of sounds heard, and 3D-Sound options. Since it only happens to you with headphones or external speakers I'm hoping that these volume adjustments will fix it. I've used those drivers on my i8500 with and without headphones, and either way there's always going to be a minimal amount of popping/clicking in the game (I even have it on my new XPS with the afformentioned Audigy 2 card). As always, close all background programs before running the game.

March 8, 2003: Version 1.1 -Track Editor added -Minor changes on user interfaces -Save track.ini with Backup Utility -Backup up to 1024 files at once instead of 256 files -Fixed bugs with the buttons in Season Scheduler -Fixed an error editing an existing season schedule -Fixed an error on AI chart when all AI strength are the same

OVERVIEWThe old adage "all good things must come to an end" goes very well with the latest and final release in the NASCAR series from Sierra and developer Papyrus. NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (NR2003) is trying to end the series with a bang and leave fans still addicted for years down the road. Sierra says that its time to end the series and concentrate on other endeavors. It has been hinted that Sierra is going to try and concentrate on releasing titles for the mainstream consoles. Sierra and Papyrus have said that they don't plan on completely abandoning their PC roots. More than likely this just means we will possibly see some racing from them in the future, it just probably will not have NASCAR associated with it. Does NR2003 have what it takes to keep the legacy going? Only time will tell on that one. For now lets concentrate on the now, and see if NR2003 even has what it takes to make it through the end of the year.

I have been racing since the NASCAR Racing 1 days, but my seriousness with the series began with NASCAR Racing 4. That was also my entry into the broadband era and it changed my outlook on gaming as well. Not only has broadband become a must have for me, so has having a racing game that I can race online with. To this point the Sierra series has been the one I turn to the most. When NASCAR 2002 Racing Season (NR2002) was released I finally removed my NASCAR 4 CD from my computer, and NR2002 stayed there until a couple weeks ago when I received my copy of NR2003. Both of the previous versions had a CD drive solely dedicated for its purpose until the successor was released. On to finding out if this is just another typical sequel released by the pencil pushers, or if NR2003 has the capabilities to not only keep the user entertained but also justify to the same user whether or not they should be shelling out their hard earned dough.

GRAPHICSThe graphics in NR2003 have become a lot crisper, more detailing, and of course more taxing on the system. The changes in NR2003 reflect the new changes in the cars in real life. NASCAR trying to be more like the NFL made a common template for all the cars for 2003 to allow for more competitive racing and this was carried over into the game as well. In addition to the more detailed cars, the tracks and the surroundings also have received upgrades. Overhead you will see a moving helicopter (also can be used as a replay view via the selectable cameras), flashing billboards, and a variety of other trackside objects generally that are also seen on any NASCAR broadcast. Unfortunately, the scoreboards around the tracks, that show the current top drivers are still static objects that don't change. Even at a 640x480 resolution the game looks good enough to race in, but it is a little rough around the edges looks wise. Those with a weaker computer can get some decent on the track racing when set at this resolution, but this comes at a price of dull looking and very bland graphics. Starting with 800x600 and higher you start to see the noticeable improvements in crispness and amount of details that stand out. I personally set mine to 1280x1024x32 in the OpenGL setting and will normally run at a very decent 45-80 FPS (frames per second), depending on the track and how many cars are on the screen. Papyrus says that the ideal FPS should be no less than 30. Anything less than that can affect controller response time as well as the drivers' ability to race in an adequate and competitive manner. Turning out some of the backgrounds and un-needed 'eye candy' will allow you to race at a higher resolution as well with a noticeably higher FPS. Shadows can also be a major killer to your FPS, but something about turning off the shadows on the bottom of the cars makes the game feel really weird to me. 041b061a72


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