Review by pancakes771

"Pimp my ride, because I've got a Need For Speed!"

There comes a time in gaming history when all those cheesy racing game-spinoffs need to be dispelled and deleted by a more powerful one. That is Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.

While in the beginning of the game, you start out with a sweet rides like Vipers, Corvettes, and Cobras. While the game progresses you unlock new, faster cars by completing tougher challenges. Just don't get caught by the police and don't crash, or you'll have to start the race over.

Graphics: 7/10
While, personally, I believe the GameCube has the best graphics out of the current three leading consoles (You can't say otherwise until you've played Metroid Prime 2!), the pictures weren't as perfect as I thought they could have been. Levels are choppy and people appear to be made of blocks. Contrary to this, though, the cars look so dang real! They are so incredibly perfect! Driving one of these puppies down the road at 140 mph will almost make you feel like you're in the game yourself! But overall, I'm not complaining about the graphics - I'm just saying they could be a bit better.

Controls: 10/10
Wow! It's so incredibly smooth! Using this control set while cruisin' down the road gives that 'wind-through-your-hair' feeling. However, it's important to make good use of the Hand Brake and Emergency Brake when doubling back and for those pesky sharp turns. I think this game shows off how perfect GameCube's controller setup is for racing games. Using the Analog-Stick to it's full value can give anyone the upper hand in a head-on-head heat!

Gameplay: 7/10
As far as single-player modes in racing games go, this is fairly average, but I can see why some think it's great. Whee! Joyriding through the first few levels, with basically no threat from cops is an awesome feeling, I admit. You'll soon learn that as the game progresses, you unlock more challenges and 'pimpier rides', if you will. In later levels, the cops pose more of a threat and can sometimes make you restart whole maps. This I like because I always enjoy taking on more challenges. Now, I've only completed the game once. In that time, I was taken on a wonderful trip through the game's main campaign mode. I highly suggest renting the game just for this mode!

Multiplayer: 10/10
Saw this one comin'! Two McClarons, two controllers, two competitive friends, one winner. Will it be you? This is absolutely insane! Try racing through the wine country, through the Calypso Coast, or right through San Fransisco! If the lack of police tends to bore you after awhile, reverse the process! Play as the cops and see who busts the most in a set time limit! Either way, you're going to end up having a party with y'er bud (or a fight over the last car in police mode!). Just be careful -- If you have a job two hours from starting the game with a friend, keep an eye on the clock! It goes by FAST!

Sound/Songs: 9/10
The incredibly realistic sound effects in this game will make you drool. Everything you do, from honking the horn to screeching around the corner, makes your eyes open up wide! But of course, NO racing game would be complete without a fantastic soundtrack of solid hard rock. This soundtrack is so incredibly invigorating that you often find yourself having more fun listening to the game than playing it.

Overall: 9/10
It's not very often I hand out 9's and 10's, but I rightfully believe this game is worthy. Next to NFSU and Grand Turismo 4, this is the best racing game I've played in my life! However, if you're not really sure what to buy for your new GCN, PS2, or XBox, I suggest buying this title first and not the newer installments in the NFS series. Why? Because playing this game as the first in the NFS series correctly introduces you into family of racing games. After completing this game, THEN buy Underground and/or Underground 2. You'll be shocked at how far NFS came when designing and composing these awesome games.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/02/05

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