Review by Skidlz

"It's like Fast and the Furious, but without the bad acting"

The quote from Game Informer on the TV commercial is right. This is, hands down, the racing game of the year. It's also the best racing game ever. After playing it non-stop for nearly a week, I finally tore myself away from my GC to write a review. It's THAT good.

The story is a simple one. You're a no-name racer who moves up through the ranks of Circuit, Drag, Spring, and Drift racers, with some help along the way.

Graphics: 9.5/10

Pros: Everything, looks fabulous. All the tracks and the cars and car parts and car accessories look beautiful. So do the starter girls. The slow-down shots of wrecks are sweet, and I haven't had any slow down at all.

Cons: I know this is Need for Speed: Underground, but since when do ALL underground races happen at night right after it rains? The tracks are always wet, and I would love to see my ride in the daylight just once. And there is one thing that doesn't look fabulous, and those are the fans that gather around the winner. They don't look really bad, just bad enough to make me mad.

Sound and Music: 7/10

The sound effects are perfect. I wish I could have a horn like in the free-roaming car games, but no street racer has a horn. Oh well. The music drives me nuts though. The rap tracks are nice, and I can't stand rap so that's sayin something. The rock sucks, plain and simple. And the soundtrack isn't that long. You'll quickly get sick of it.

Gameplay: 9/10

Pros: Every car drives just like it should. Shifting acts just like it should, both up and down. A lot of the shortcuts kinda suck, but you don't need em anyway, right?

Nearly everything is customizable. Your body, window tint, neon lights, decals, vinyls, hood scoop, etc....They're all fully customizable. Your engine, drivetrain, tires. Yep, they're customizable too.

You can have Sprint, Drag, Drift, Circuit, Tournament, and Knockout Races, and I'm probably forgetting some, and they're all great fun.

Cons: The controls are hard to get used to unless you change the configuration. The different tracks are all very similar. There isn't any car damage, and you can't tweak things like the suspension. Hard difficulty isn't extremely hard, like it should be.

Rent or Buy?
If you've ever driven a car and felt even the slightest urge to test its top speed, buy this game. With graphics like these and the level of detail and customizability in this game, this is the best racing game ever, and I have a feeling it will stay the best until someone makes a good virtual reality racer.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/09/03


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