Review by gamer64471
"Near perfect game, terrible frame rate."
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 is easily one of best racers for GCN. What other game compares with this excellent selection of cars? No other game. ''If it's so good, why do you give it an eight?'' you ask? The only bad part of NFSHP2 is the fact that the frame rate makes the game seem so much worse than it actually is.
NFSHP2's graphics are mediocre at best. The only reason it gets a seven not a five or six is because the cars look so damn real! The car models in NFSHP2 are the only graphics in this game that look how a game on GCN should look. Everything else looks very poor. The tracks themselves are badly detailed, not quite as bad as N64 quality, but not a fine as they should and could have been. The cut scenes for when you get busted are okay, but the people are really blocky. The animation is pretty good, nothing to complain about. The biggest downfall, however, is the terrible, horrible, choppy frame rate. A racing game with a bad frame rate? Kind of sad if you ask me. If the frame rate was perfect (well close to perfect, you know what I mean) and the game ran smoothly it would look incredible. Unfortunately it doesn't.
I can honestly say that the controls in NFSHP2 are very good. Your car handles just how it should. Drifting and braking both work very well. Each car handles a little bit different than other cars and some are noticeably different. This is very important to help build variety in the cars. The actual buttons are okay by default, but if you change them, it's possible to take advantage of the GCN's analog buttons. Just like if you were to be using racing pedals, the analog buttons allow for more precise acceleration and braking. By pressing in the R button a small amount, your car will accelerate slower than if you pressed it down all the way. There isn't much else in this category and what there is is excellent.
Ahhh, this game is so much fun to play. How can you not just love racing around at highly illegal speeds only to be stopped by many possible things. The main part of this game revolves around being chased by the police. The cops will use a variety of weapons to stop you. The most common weapon that the cops use on you is calling one of their buddies to help chase you. This one is fairly unharmful, but you need to be cautious when at the higher pursuit levels. Cops also use a helicopter, car road blocks and the dreaded spike belt, the only weapon that you can't recover from. You don't always have to race from cops. In single race you can fully customize the race or even be the cop yourself and use police car versions of many vehicles. There are also the one player modes Hot Pursuit and Championship. In these two modes you advance down a tree of races which get progressively harder. In Championship you simply race against the computer or do a time trial. The game gives you 1 to 4 or 5 cars to select for each race. Hot Pursuit allows you to run from cops while racing your opponents or on a few races be the cop and bust a certain number of racers in the allotted time. In both modes races are done one at a time of in tournaments consisting of 3 to 5 races. Overall the gameplay is very good.
There are a good number of music tracks, consisting of a lot of bands you've never heard of, with the exception of Rush. Rap is sort of left out but there isn't any shortage of techno music. The sound is excellent and each car sounds a little bit different from others. I found that the cars have a good realistic sound.
NFSHP2 will give you hours of play time and once you've done everything once you WILL want to do it again. I could probably give an accurate play time, but if you aren't good at the game it will take you longer. Each race is about 3 to 10 minutes long, about 7 on average.
Rent or Buy/Conclusion
NFSHP2 has had a price cut and can be found for half the price of a newly released game. This is a must buy for any racing fan. Lots of cars, plenty of tracks, good music and sound. NFSHP2 would have gotten a ten from me if the framerate wasn't so bad. Excellent game overall.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/30/03, Updated 05/30/03
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