Review by Scorch_Gonzales

"Should it roam free?"

The answer to the tagline is yes. The new free roaming idea certainly pays off. Need For Speed Underground was a huge success and what my experience of this game shows is that the sequel will be no different. The hype obviously played a big part in this, so is the new Need for Speed what it should be? That's what I aim to test.

Gameplay: 7/10

This is one of the worst bits of need for speed underground 2. Not to say that it is bad, it's just the worst of a good bunch. The cars handles like a dream, and bigger cars are harder to handle, like in real life. The main problem is the free roaming. The new way of doing this certainly is good, as you can have some time out exploring the city, but when you want to get down to customizing the car, you have to find the shops on your own if you haven't got them yet. Your agent gives you cryptic clues to their whereabouts, but it only gives you the district it is in. The satellite navigation makes it a lot easier, and stops you going the wrong way, as there are quite a few spaghetti junctions in the city. Should you get this game, use it as much as you can.

Story: 9/10

This game has a lot more of a story than other racing games, but, that's because other racing games have no story whatsoever. It's good enough, though.

Graphics: 10/10

This is where the game really shines. The cars actually look like the cars they are supposed to be. You can read the car model pretty darn clearly on the back of most cars, and the manufacturer's insignia is also very clear. And the surroundings are absolutely amazing. The screen fogs up if it's raining. Day and night are clearly distinguished. This game definitely puts the Gamecube's graphic quality to good use. One word: amazing.

Sound: 9/10

The game comes with many, many different tracks, some being good, some being bad. The music will appeal to all people, which is why it is so good. The engine sounds are also really realistic, and they still have that squeak of the nitrous oxide from the old game. It all just sounds so realistic. I would think that if you had a big enough TV, a steering wheel, headphones and were in the drivers point of view camera, you could imagine it was you driving in real life.

Play Time/Replayability: 10/10

This game is probably pretty long. I have been playing for about 5 hours at least, and I haven't even finished the first bit yet. It will also be very replayable, as any racing game is. There are unlimited races to to after the game is finished, and there is also the challenge of upgrading every car to the max. In short, you should be able to play for long, long after you complete the story, unlike the first one. If you get bored, you can always, create another file.

Recommendations:

If you are a fan of racing games, GET THIS. It is an amazing racing game, and will be well worth it's money. It is definitely as good as the first one, if not better. If you are not a fan of racing games, get it anyway. It is a game heavily in demand, and will be worth a lot in years to come. I guarantee, you will enjoy this game, no matter what your tastes are. BUY IT! NOW!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/04


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