Review by Cybiolink8000
"21 To County; I'm In Pursuit!"
What you get when you start your first race in NFS:HP2 might surprise you if you have followed the Need For Speed series up to this point. If you're an active Next-Gen console gamer, you will most likely comment on the ''jaggies'' in the graphics. If not, you'll probably notice the nice Car Models.
Gameplay - 10/10
NFS:HP2 offers some of the most if not THE most Fast & Furious racing on PS2 to date. The game has 49 cars in all, most of those you have to earn(as well as tracks) by getting ''Need For Speed Points'' which are given out after a race. You get points for things like how much air you get after a Jump/Ramp, reaching your top speed, or bonus points for finishing in 1st. Some tracks offer set ramps that, when driven off of, activate a slow-motion camera. It's a cool matrix style 360 degree view of your car. You can also trigger a camera that stops time and travels several hundred yards up the road to show you what is ahead. If you are playing Hot Pursuit mode you can check out the cop's roadblocks before you get to them! In 2 Players, those cameras don't work, which would be cool, but you have to think to yourself how would that even work.
The races can be hard or easy. It pretty much depends on how well you drive and if you can stay ahead of the pack or not. In Hot Pursuit mode how well you evade the cops is a bigger factor than how well you drive. Despite real life stats, any car in its class performs around the same as the others. So the game requires driving skill more than a faster car.(You will never have to use a lower class car against, say... a McLaren F1)
Ahh the Control. Need for Speed games have always had excellent control, even for the PC. Each button seems perfect for its use. Using the Analog Sticks for Left/Right steering and Gas/Brake is excellent and classic. Something cool, is the Emergency Brake which lets you do cool slides when going around turns. The only thing that gets annoying, is reaching over to press the Circle button to honk the horn of your car, but you don't have to do, so that shouldn't be a big problem. You can't really customize the controls, but like most games you can change a few things, which is usually enough to satisfy the average gamer.
Graphics/Sound - 10/10
This game has some cool music. You may not have heard of some/any of the artists but that doesn't mean the songs are bad. Just a few of them are groups like Hot Action Cop, Uncle Kracker and Pulse Ultra. Hot Pursuit 2's sound effects are quite good. The cars have their real life horns and engine noises, even at high speeds. When you drive under a tunnel your horn and engine echo and sound really cool, which is a nice effect(that should be expected from the Need For Speed series but still appreciated) There are also some really nice environments, including natural disasters happening in some of the tracks. Now before you get too excited, they aren't Interactive, which is too bad, but at least you can drive through smoke from forest fires in some tracks.
Play Time/Re-playability - 9/10
This game will take you a while because there are so many races you can play. To beat the whole game you don't have to get all the cars or tracks, you just have to beat all the ''Ultimate Racer'' and ''Championship'' races. If you want to get all the cars, you'll still be playing races after you ''beat'' the game. Also, getting cars takes longer when there are only a few left to get.(Around 25 races per car) When you get all the cars, tracks, and beat the game you wouldn't really want to delete your progress and start over, but you will probably find yourself coming back for more even after you have everything. The game is just THAT satisfying.
Final Recommendation - 10/10
This is a must own for any fan of the Genre. Also for anyone who is looking for a pick up and play Arcade Racer. If you are looking for a game that gives you a real sense of speed, look no further. This game packs serious punch. Watch out or you might get knocked out.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 03/19/03, Updated 03/26/03
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