Review by Jondy

"No Cop Chase, worst track design every, annoying AI, it freaking SUCKS!"

I bought this game because I enjoyed 2 player cop chase in hot pursuit 2. I have played so much cop chase that it's not even funny. I heard this game was going to be really awesome, and being a Need for Speed game, I was like "Heck yeah! Cop Chase, awesome racing, awesome graphics!" So I bought it, and, I really wish I hadn't.

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics rock. Very nice lighting effects. There is nothing wrong with the graphics.

Sound: 7/10
The engines sound good. I hate the music, but that's just because it's not the kind of music I listen to. Hey, you may LOVE the music.

Gameplay:

Ok, I'm going to break the gameplay down into different categories, because racing games are special in this way.

Controls: 9/10
Hey, the game engine is great. The cars have just the right amount of steering sensitivity. The controls are very fun.

Variety: 5/10
Yeah, there are quite a few gameplay modes in this game. Drift, Drag, Sprint, Circuit, and Lap Knock out. It's a great way to break up the gameplay. Lap Knockout will drive you insane, though. But I wouldn't have minded, I would have accepted it as a challenge. But what the freaking crap? No cop chase? That's right, there is no cop chase at all! In a need for speed game! That's like a zelda game without link! It's what Need for speed is freaking known for! What idiot decided to remove it? Seriously, the underground illegal racing setting would have worked PERFECTLY for it! There is no excuse at all for leaving out cop chase. I can just imagine watching a cut scene in which I am challenged by a good racer, then part way through the race the cops suddenly show up, and suddenly we must work together to screw the cops over and escape. There are so many awesome things they could have done with cop chase, but it was all down the freaking drain.

Track Design: SUCKY/10
This game presents the worst line up of tracks I have every seen in my whole freaking life. They're all the same! I don't care if it IS supposed to go along with a underground theme, this is just pathetic. There's like, what, 10 real tracks that look pretty much identical? Then they take those tracks, and they
1)reverse them
2)mirror them
3)reverse-mirror them
Or they take parts of different tracks and piece them together to for a new track. Track design is the single most important aspect of racing games, and they blew it. The tracks are boring to race on in the first place, even if they weren't all the same. No insane jumps, no crazy turns out of nowhere set up perfectly for a nice fun drift, (well, ok, they're some insane turns but most are 90 degree corners, and the curves are... well... just plain boring curves) they're just... not that fun to race on. Ok, there are some big jumps, but not insane. The tracks are absolutely dull. If you don't believe, go rent it and see for yourself before you blow 50 bucks on it.

AI: 5/10
Something I'm very picky about in racing games is the AI. I'm sick of seeing the same old AI over again. If you suck at racing, they slow and wait for you. If you freaking rock, they cheat and pass you. It becomes luck-based racing. This game does a little better than that... except... not really. It does really annoying things in lap knockout. You'll be so far ahead of everyone that realistically, you could afford a crash and still win. Then you screw up one time, and the AI takes that opportunity to cheat past you. You can literally see them speed up on the map. Then they're usually just ahead of you the rest of the race. I wouldn't mind game difficulty that penalizes you for wrecking, but I want it to be because the AI is good throughout the whole race, not just when you screw up.

Customization: 8/10
The customization mode is very nice. You can pretty much build your dream car. Unfortunately, you can only have one car in your garage at a time. Another problem is that the performance upgrades are too linear. There is no strategy in giving up turning for speed, or the other way around, it's just simple upgrades. Which, they are awesome upgrades, but, it might as well automatically equip your car with them to save you time of buying them.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
The career mode is nice. There are some fun things to screw around with in other modes too. Assuming you can get past the sucky tracks and lack of cop chase, the game will last you a while.

Final Score: 4/10
They screwed it all up. They spent all their time making the graphics and engine nice and pretty. Then they threw some crappy tracks together for you to race on. They left out what the series is famous for. What can I say? This game sucks. I sold it to buy Tales of Symphonia. I highly recommend you rent this game before deciding to buy it.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 11/15/04


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