Review by Fossil

"Got the craving? Crave no more."

Introduction
One quick thing before I start...

NFSU - Need For Speed Underground
mph - Miles Per Hour
IRL - in real life

NFSU is a fairly new racing game that EA had started a few years back around the time The Fast & The Furious came out in the theatres. Its expectations were high since it focused on the inside life of what illegal racing is all about. The game hit off really well but didn't get as much talk with its lack of reputation. Well, Need For Speed 2: Underground is finally here and you couldn't ask for a better racing game. EA knew exactly what they needed to add to the installment of a new series of racing games and the kind of things gamers love. All I have to say is I can't wait till NFSU3.

Gameplay - 10/10
The depth of this game is unreal. The game spans across a city that compares in size to Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PS2. You're free to do just about anything you want that involves racing and cars.

There are at least 3 times as many cars to choose from than the first NFSU. I've only completed about 30% of the game and I probably have about, 15 maybe 20 unlocked? And they only get better.

So speaking of the cars, lets talk about what you can do to them. I think asking "What CAN'T you do to them?" would be more proper. If you have ever seen the Fast & Furious movie series, then you pretty much got the idea of what you can do to the cars in this game. Paint jobs, spoilers, beefier engines, new rubber on the wheels, etc etc.

In NFSU2, you can't just start having work done to your car, you have to find the Auto shops first. The more you find, the more options you unlock to be able to add to your vehicles. You'll be back and forth at the shops constantly pimping out your rides to your liking since there are so many parts and add-ons. The customization goes as deep as being able to change your gear ratios and suspension to be loose or tight.

There are 2 new styles of racing in NFSU2. Street X and URL. They add a much harder difficulty to the game. Street X takes place on tracks you would normally drfit on, except you race on them. URL are on actual tracks which are located throughout the game. It involves real car handling skills with good timing of gas and brake. Most are worth a huge load of money and unlockables afterwards.

The game is mostly open for you to do whatever you please. However, you eventually have to do some things to open up another section of the game or storyline, but chances are you won't even realize it.

Story - 8/10
The story is much better in NFSU2 than the first one. The game in general is focused around the storyline and ties it all together regardless of what you're doing in the game. They actually didn't focus so much on cut scenes and all this wasteful crap that takes up space and put a lot more audio files in the game with people talking to you all the time making you feel like you're racing with the real deal.

Graphics - 10/10
Absolutely flawless. Top of the line in realism when it comes to games these days. Everything is just so detailed and chiseled to perfection it makes playing the game more fun. All from your rims spinning, reflections off of windows, NOS out the exhaust and rain coming down on you as you fly down the street doing 120 mph playing tag with another racer for a couple hundred bucks.

Everything is unique which makes your choice for customization endless. Every car you deck out will be different than your friends which is one reason this game is so great.

Sound - 9/10
The sound effects in general kick ass. I personally love the sound of a BOV right as you shift at 7k into the next gear. The music choice isn't personally my liking, but there's a song in there for everyone. Besides, if you hear something you don't like you can always turn it off in the options menu under soundtracks. Something you don't find in very many games. :)

Replay Value - 7/10
Considering the fact this is a racing game, I feel the replay value will be moderately high unlike the first NFSU. Being a set storyline, lacking such a free roaming environment to play in lessens it like such. And with you having the choice to do what you want, you may get one car really early your first time around and then not get it till much later in the game because of the way you do things in the game.

I haven't personally beaten the game yet, only bein playing it for 2 days but I can say this game is just bomb right now. I couldn't ask for more, except maybe the car I'm driving right now to appear in my driveway. >_>

Overall - 9/10
Superb. One of the best games I've ever played. Even if I know it's not going to last forever. I would highly recommend you rent this game. Buy it by all means if you're a hardcore racing fan because NFSU2 will become one of your all time favorites.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/06/04, Updated 08/28/08

Game Release: Need for Speed Underground 2 (US, 11/15/04)


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