Review by Wist

"A NFSU Upgrade"

Introduction:
Let me start out by saying I loved the original Need for Speed Underground. I thought it was a great game and could be labeled revolutionary in racing games. The game focuses on not only gameplay, but style and appearance of your hot, tricked out ride. The weapons of choice are import cars, but not your typical rice burner. The cars you build in this game are quite fast and handle like champs. You start out with a crappy car, but who doesn't? Work your way up to the top by showing them how well you can drive. However, this game seems to be just an upgrade of the original rather than a new game that brings something new to the table.

Gameplay:
This isn't nearly the same as your average racing game. It's very original, just like the first. Its addicting to where you find yourself wanting to have one last race to unlock that new hood you've been wanting to put on your car. Similar to the new "open world" games that seem to be popping up everywhere, you drive around your car aimlessly in an open city unlocking new places and races as you go. You start out with a piece of crap car but sooner or later you'll be able to unlock other, better cars. There are a lot of returning cars from the original and some new ones. A car I was suprised and happy to see added was the 2005 Mustang GT which I admit is a little out of place. I also hope nobody rices out a perfectly fine American Muscle car. There are a lot of different racing types just like the first one and they even added a few more. Tricking out your car is also a fun part of the game. You add literally hundreds of modifications to your car from engine upgrades to vinyls. Hopefully you will have enough taste in designing cars to make the fastest car in the city also the coolest looking one. Out of all the systems, I do believe the Xbox's version is the best. And when comparing it to the PC version, I definitely enjoy the controls unless you own an amazing PC controller.

Story:
You are a new upcoming racer to the city and you must prove yourself worthy by showing off your pimped out ride as well as your driving skills. Prove yourself worthy of everyone's respect on the underground and you will rise to the top. Keep racing and you will continue to unlock more cars, parts, and places of the city.

Sound:
I suppose the sounds are well done. The sounds of the cars are semi realistic. I wish most of the cars didn't sound the same. As you have faster cars, they sound alittle more.. faster. However, I wouldn't go much beyond that. The music is kind of fitting to the game as well. The music is racing music but might be a bit repetitive if you don't like some of the songs. Some songs fit really well, especially when your focusing on driving down a narrow street with cars closing in on you. My favorite sound in the game is definitely the turbocharger's blow off valve though... or possibly the 4.6L Ford Mustang GT.. *drool*

Graphics:
The graphics are good for the Xbox. Microsoft and EA are definitely pushing the Xbox's hardware to its limits. The cars look really good and can be very shiny.. especially if you add metallic or pearlescant paint. Adding a bunch of modifications also help with the appearance of your car.. since it looks like crap stock.. The city looks great, especially when going at high speeds. You can actually feel the speed.

Flaws:
This game has a few flaws, but what game doesn't? My major concern is traffic. I absolutely hate when you get into accidents near the finish line on a LONG race and you have to restart the whole thing. The difficutly of the game is actually pretty tough and comparable to the first one. The difficulty causes a lot of fustration and cussing. The free roam mode is kind of cool but I'm not a big fan of it. Its neat but it ends up being a bigger problem than a cool feature. Multiplayer was a bit lacking as well. Competition is tough and slim online and if you play a 2nd player.. its just.. well.. lame. Also, I was not a fan that this game is nothing more than an upgrade of the original. I was expecting the team to take it into a new direction with a whole new, cool feel to it. Instead, its just a repeat of the original (just improved with a bunch of new features) and that didn't give me the same feeling... but its good for a sequel.

Replayability:
This game has a lot of replayability involved. There are two main reasons. First off, it will take a long time to beat and unlock everything. Second of all, multiplayer and car building will add dozens of hours of gameplay onto the grand total. Multiplayer is better online than against a 2nd player on the same console by far.

Conclusion:
I bought it. Do I suggest buying it? Perhaps. If you want it, definitely get it! If you are unsure about it, I suggest renting it. If you enjoyed the first one and can see yourself playing a continuation of it, I highly suggest buying it. Otherwise, use your judgement.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/05


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