Review by IcedEarthaholic
"So Much Potential Marred by Flawed Presentation"
I can safely say I played through all versions of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, including both the GameCube and PC versions that many seem to have overlooked. And while the Playstation 2 version is still the king, this is at least a very playable build that would've benefitted from a few months' delay instead of it being rushed out the door at the same time as the Playstation 2 version. Still, this game feels great overall, and offers up some serious arcade fun on a console that at the time was lacking in that department. And for 20 bucks, how can one go wrong? Well, unless it was the godawful GameCube version. Though I chalk that version up to lazy programming more than anything. Anyway, enough about that, let's get to the main game, eh?
Hmmm...the textures definitely need a bit of improvement, not saying they're bad, but they could've been so much better. I look at the Playstation 2 version, and I think to myself "Shoot, that could've been the X-Box version had it been delayed a few more months." Seriously, EA Seattle should've allotted for more time to deliver a more fine-tuned product to the market than what it was allowed. The sense of speed that the Playstation 2 version gives me has definitely been reduced, though not to the point where it's completely unplayable. Actually, it's still very playable when compared to the other versions of the game. Still, this game had potential to be so much greater than what the final product seems to entail. I mean shoot, I liked the interface in this version, it seems cleaner than the Playstation 2 version's interface, a little more organized. Other than that though, I have to give the nod to the Playstation 2 version overall, for it's much smoother sense of speed, and crisper textures. Still, what's here is not bad at all though, I think most X-Box owners will be pleased with this game.
Shoot, where to start, there's two types of racing here, Hot Pursuit (otherwise known as Ultimate Racer on the Playstation 2 version), and Championship, Hot Pursuit has you either dodging the cops, or playing as them, along with tough computer opponents, while Championship is your run of the mill racing mode, no cops, just computer opponents. But here is where it actually kinda gets deep, there's three kinds of races, standard, knockout, and time trial. Standard is the real run-of-the-mill race around the track, or to get to point B from point A. Time trial is delivering a car to the goal in a certain amount of time, and knockout is a race around the track, but you gotta make sure you're not the last in line, otherwise you'll get knocked out of the competition. All of these modes are in both Championship, and Hot Pursuit, and all of them are equally fun in this regard. I feel the gameplay still shines overall, in spite of the incomplete packaging.
I feel the controls respond very well, I've noticed no delay time between my input, and the timing on my car whatsoever. All the cars control wonderfully, overall I can't complain, everything works like clockwork, and for the most part it's as easy as pie. I can't really explain too much, except that I feel the X-Box controller is good to this game.
In spite of technical shortcomings, this game is a blast to play by yourself or with friends. It's fun to win all the events, unlock all the tracks, cars, and stuff using your Points that you've accumulated throughout the time you put into the game, and after that sitting down with a friend and playing the crap out of your favorite track. The only thing that keeps it down though, is that there's no desert tracks in the game, they had to be removed, a shame really, as I think they would've added even more to this game. Still, what's here is good. And the fact that you can both play as cops? Double bonus in my books.
A great game that's marred by a flawed presentation, it could've been so much more had EA Seattle allotted more time to the development of it, rather than rushing it out along with the Playstation 2 version. Still, for a few months time, this game is very good, and for 20 bucks it offers alot of fun. Would I recommend this game? Truthfully it is up to you, if you already have the Playstation 2 version, I'd probably skip it, otherwise I'd recommend a purchase to any arcade racing junkie. I give this game a 7 out of 10 overall because it should've been so much more, even though the finished product is bearable.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/26/05
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.