Review by fst249

"A game that lives up to its name."

Introduction:
I've played Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2 on the computer with my cousin once. So after a few years I bought it for my PS2. It was a standout in and I loved the cars. It was then, I heard about Need For Speed Underground through a magazine. I thought that it could be better than Hot Pursuit 2. I started to hear people talking about it and started dying to buy it. When I finally got it I didn't regret it. You can customize your car by making it faster and better looking. However you don't get that far until you've had a good race or two. It didn't take long to beat it, but when cars look that good on a game it's something car lovers can't resist. There are a few problems with the gameplay, but nothing that makes the game boring. In fact boring is the most far out word you could use to describe this game.

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics are one of the most unbelievable things in the game. The cars look real, which is amazing because on most games you can tell that the cars are not real by taking a glimpse at them. In Underground you have to squint in order to realize they are not. The tracks are realistic dirt roads, the traffic, the street signs look real and the part that takes the breath away, the races happen at night. The sky is realistically dark, but the streetlights have a huge effect on the amount of light. This is where Underground really excels above other racing titles.

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay in Underground proves that it is one of the best racing games on the market today. Sure there are a few glitches and beating Underground mode doesn't take long, but who cares about that when you can do so many things? You customize your car with vinyl, bumpers, spoilers, rims, paint jobs and much more. The good thing about this game is that when you beat underground mode you can still customize cars for quick race mode. The game modes fit the street racing style in a brilliant manner. There is the straight out circuit racing. There are lap knockouts where the driver in last place gets eliminated after each lap. The sprint races sound simple one point to start at, one point to finish at, to win, beat the other competitors to the finish line. Then the race modes that make Underground standout over every other racing game are the drift and drag modes. In drag you go start to finish, but you better make sure you shifts on time, in drift, get sideways, drive fast, don't hit the wall. The racing physics are the best that I have ever seen.

Story: 8/10
It's hard to understand the story even with the cut scenes. You know this much you've got to be the best and to be the best you've got to unlock performance upgrades. If you crash or lose you're done. The AI gets harder as you go even on easy. However, you have got to love the customization options because pretty much everything you unlock will be unlocked in quick race mode. Even tracks and cars that are unlocked can be used in quick race mode.

Sound: 10/10
If you like rock and rap music then you'll love this soundtrack. The soundtrack also suits the street racing culture. If you do not have like the sound just turn the volume down because you do not want to miss out on the rest of the action.

Replay: 10/10
I just cannot stop playing this game no matter how hard I try, it is always “one more race.” Replaying the game is great because now you have got the experience and you can unlock more upgrades and cars. If you think you’re better than before change the difficulty setting. One bad and good thing is that you have to create a new profile. If you knew what you had on the other profile try something different with the new one, with multiple profiles you can unlock everything, but you have to switch profiles to find what you want. You cannot trade things from one profile to another either. However, if you love racing you will not be able to stop playing.

Final Recommendation:
The game fits the Street Racing Culture, so if you love street racing this is one of the best games you'll find. For those that have started with the stock car culture, I started there also and still enjoy it, but I also enjoy the street racing culture. You may not enjoy it so read about it and if you like what you here I recommend you go for it. The downside is the $50 price. I’d say it is worth every penny, but there are a few who might want to rent it, and if you think the price is a good value, go for it. Now it's entirely up to you whether you have the need for speed.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/09/04


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