Review by Bob565656

"A MUST read review, criticizes everything in this game. You will know exactly what you're buying."

STORY LINE: 6

Not to be harsh or anything, but the story line in this game is quite simple, to be number one. All you do is climb up the ranks winning races and winning money. Although most people might think, ''It's underground racing, that's what your supposed to do,'' I can definitely tell you that you are right, but it needs to be much better. For example, if you lose a race, you don't lose any money. You can play the same race over and over again until you win, ultimately, winning the prize. I won't say much more about it or I will spoil the game for those who want to buy it.

GRAPHICS: 8
When I first started playing this game, it looked like a joke. The graphics were WAY different than those seen in NFS: Hot Pursuit 2. They seemed too cartoony if you will. You eventually become used to them. The backgrounds and reflections are beautifully done. In my opinion, they could have been better because this game was originally made for PS2, then converted to Xbox. If any of you recall the movie Fast & Furious 2, when you push the nitro button, you get a huge speed burst, resulting in a screen blur signifying fast speed. Well, this game has that as well. I like the effect that it causes. Although the speed boosts aren't the greatest, it is still worthwhile. Along side the blur caused by the nitrous, if you are driving at high speeds, the background starts to blur and meld as well. It makes it seem you are driving at an incredibly fast speed. For me, the car became harder to control because it's harder to see where your going. Very realistic. In drag-race mode, when you are zooming at high speeds, the car begins to shake. Another realistic trait. Car models are designed very nice also.

SOUND: 9
I can't really say much about this category. Best rap/hip-hop songs of 2003 are incorporated in the background music. The sounds of the roar of the engine are very sexy. The only reason I didn't give this a 10 is because the game does not allow a custom sound track. I don't know why the makers of this game did not incorporate one because after a while, the music becomes repetitive.

CONTROLS: 9
The controls for some cars are ridiculously easy. For example, the Mazda Miasta. Very easy and loose handling throughout the game. (I started with this car) In my sense, even though the handling claims to become better, it is actually the same, easy throughout. For the person who can't seem to find the perfect configuration for controls, the game has 4 preset options. My personal favorite is type-2.

GAMEPLAY: 7
Bad Part
This is going to take a while. I'll start off with the bad parts of this game. Cops, there are none. That is so ridiculous. Underground racing with no cops, I can't believe EA did that. One thing I never liked about any racing game, except NFS: High Stakes for PS1, is that there is no car damage. And if there is, it is very minimal. In the PS1 game, at the end of the race, you would have to pay money to get your car fixed because you trashed it so much. If you didn't know how to drive, you were penalized for it. It obviously isn't the case here. I read somewhere, I believe another review, that the computer runs under a certain A.I. For example, if you are running a perfect lap and the computer crashed into something earlier, it will actually catch up to you at great speeds, regardless the difficulty (before you start your race, you can pick easy, medium or hard, the harder the more money you get if you win.) If you are losing by a great deal, the computer tends to go a little slower, so that you can catch up to about 2-3 seconds behind him. In the later races, you will be playing for a long time because it seems impossible to catch up those 2 seconds. Another flaw that made me very angry is after you clear the game (underground mode), you are no longer able to customize the car you were playing with. It becomes 'stuck' the way you left it after you beat the game. In order for me to pass the last level, I had to remove my Nitrous upgrade. By doing that, the computer won't have nitrous either. When I had cleared the game, my car's performance was stuck the way it was, with no nitrous. Very stupid flaw by EA. Another big downside is that when you are unlocking vehicles to use in split-screen mode, these vehicles mods are ****! For example, after beating the game, you unlock Racer X's vehicle to use in multi mode. It looks nice, very nice, too bad it runs worse than a Honda Civic at the beginning of the game with no mods. And you can't do anything about it. Just to tell you guys, I bought this game Boxing Day, and cleared it Jan. 1. About a weeks worth of fun. If you buy it during school, that makes two weeks of fun. There is no online play either.

Good Part
Time for the good part of the gameplay. I'll start off with Drag-Race mode. This mode is played in stick shift. It is a straight-away where you must change gears at the right time to get high speeds. Very well done. This is one of my favorite parts of this game. Car customization is also very amazing. The first racing game that actually incorporates this. You can add anything you want to your car. The game has a wide array of vinyls to choose from, literally over 150. The racing part of the game is also amazing. As I mentioned before, the backgrounds and everything is beautifully done. Just a tad cartoony. Drift mode is also a nice mode they added in. You basically have to power slide to get drift points. Show off your skidding-skills and put your driving to the test. Don't hit the walls! That's about it. The only reason the 'bad part' is longer is because I provided examples. All in all, this game is pretty good.

FINAL WORDS
Do your self a favor. Play NFS: Hot Pursuit (XBox), and then this game, and compare. If the two games would be combined, you have yourself a ***ing amazing racing game ever created by mankind. Overall rating: 8 Rent/Buy: Buy, definitely!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/01/04


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