Review by Urb C 2

"Street Racing on the Cube, all the fun, without the cops on your back!"

About a year ago, Need For Speed Underground came out on the consoles, and PC. It was a new type of racing game, because not many Street Racing games were out. It turned out a hit, because of all the features, you could totally re-vamp over 20 licensed cars, and race them on busy streets, in 4 different race modes!

Well now its back, Need For Speed Underground 2 boasts more licensed cars than the first, more races, more parts, more everything!!! The major difference, apart from all the extras, is that it is now set in a city that you have to drive around, unlike the first, where you did everything in the games menus. Once you have a race to do, it comes up on your map, and you have to drive to it. I know what your thinking, that could take ages, well no, because you have a 'Route Planner' type gadget. This works by first you selecting the race, then a little arrow comes at the top of the screen, and it shows you the way to go. The whole game has been though up nicely, there are some great new functions, like the ability to take the pictures for the magazine covers, instead of it being done automatically, and being able to regain nitrous during the race its self.

So onto the story, the cutscenes are all done in 2D 'cartoon' format, it works pretty well, although it would have been better if they kept it like the first game. You are in a new city, Bayview, and you have to make a name for yourself, thats all I want to say, but it is a good story, theres just not much off it. Don't get me wrong, the game is pretty long, it would take around 20 hours to complete fully, but they story/cutscenes are few and far between. I didn't really mind this as you get caught up in all the races!

There are now 7 races, instead of the 4 that were in the first game. On top of Drag, Drift, Circuit and Sprint, theres Street X, which is a combination of Drift and Circuit, it has the same tracks as Drift, but the objective is to win the race, and not stack up points. Theres also the Underground Racing League(URL) which is a great new race, as it is on a race track. Out of all of the new races, I think the best one has to be the Outrun race, you see, in the city that you drive around, there are also other 'Tunners' that drive around it too, and you can challenge them when you want, to an outrun race. The aim is to take the lead from your opponent, and then get away from him.

There is also a whole lot of new things to do to your car, like the audio, and doors, there is over 7 billion combinations you can have, so that just shows the possibilities! The 'modding' is probably the best part of the game, as there is so much to choose, the only set back is that it takes long to unlock everything, and it costs alot, this sometimes means that you have to do loads of race before you can actually start putting pieces on your car!

A small improvement on the first, but not much, theres no damage, but there are alot of effects, like when you use nitrous, and glass smashing. Although the glass smashing is pretty pointless, as the glass on your cas stays intact!

Well its a good story, and it carries on from the first, but don't worry if you haven't played the first, because it gives you a rundown of what happend. It last ages, a say around 20 hours, but it would take ataleast 10 for the greatest of gamers!

Replay Value
Well I just finished the game, and I don't wanna re-complete it, I don't see the point, and I don't think you will either. The only reason I can see is to get differen't 'unique' parts.

Final Score
Well I think its a good game, an improvment on the first, but still lacking the looks, and play of a good racing game. It will have you playing it for hours, but once you have completed it, your not going to go back to it. I suggest you rent it, if you complete it, and you really, really, really like it, then buy it, if not, don't!

Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/04

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