Review by Seytek
"NFSU 2 turned me away"
Wow, where to start... Need for Speed Underground was a great game, and it kept up with the Need for Speed series wonderfully, wonderful gameplay, decent graphics, and something most racers don't have, a story. Now after this I was pleasently surprised when Need for Speed Underground 2 was announced, and I picked it up the day it came out. Here is the review:
The gameplay is pretty similar to Need for Speed Underground, you race, earn customizations to your vehicle, and as you progress along thorugh the game you unlock more and more specialty items and upgrades. The gameplay in NFSU2 is pretty decent at best, there are no slowdowns but sometimes the repetitive environments and neighbourhoods of Bayview (The city you race in) really get to you. One place where EA Canada went wrong in NFSU2 is when they implemented the free-roam feature, and at that, they implemented it horribly. A game should be fun, it shouldn't feel like a chore, after I completed about 25 percent of career mode, travelling arounf the city became a major chore because the environments are all very similar, that, and the free-way system is a pain in the rearend to navigate. The place where this game really shines is in the customizations to your vehicle, there are thousands of parts available and you can spend hours tweaking your vehicle, after everything is unlocked though it gets boring fast, although there are new vehicles to mod.
I am hearing alot of people say the graphics in NFSU2 are really lacking, but in fact, they are very, very good for a racing game.. they blow the graphics in the first NFSU away, and one of the major vocal points with the graphics is that you never experience slowdown in any of the areas around the repetitive city.
Wow, again no custom soundtrack, and that was just one of the many fatal mistakes EA Canada made with this game... horrible mix of rap, rock, techno in this game. Now I like rap, but I must even admit, the rap, and other various music types in this game really were bad. Hopefully they re-think the idea not to put custom soundtracks in for the next NFS series. You can turn the music off, but who plays a racing game without music?
With the chore of trying to get around the city, and navigating the freeways, and the very repetitve city areas, and race tracks I have to give this game a 6/10 at the most. Every race is very similar to the other, tracks are just run in reverse or they throw in a extra turn here or there.. it seems really sloppy. Now this game does have it's bright spots... you can now get on DVD's and more Magazines, and a really neat little feature is you can take a picture of the vehcile yourself with some of the mags. The customization is amazing, but like I said, it get's boring after everything is unlocked. EA tried, but they failed, and NFSU 2 has turned me away from the Underground franchise atleast.
Buy or rent? I really urge you to rent it first and try it out, it veered away from the first quite a bit, and alot of the new features are really lacking. If you are in it just for the modding, buy it for sure, otherwise rent it first.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/04
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