Review by Backyard Mongoose

Reviewed: 12/10/03

This game is a demon in the sack...I mean GameCube

Well, Need For Speed: Underground. A nice racing game for GameCube that has so much behind it, and uses all it has to the full potential. Well, not much to say overall, besides it is an extremely fast arcade-style racer.

Graphics:One-word: Breathtaking. This game is a piece of art, with details that are beautiful. NFS:U is well polished and it shows. Throughout the races, you notice the neon of the signs, wet spots on the roadways and great effects, such as the water. The whole city looks real, yet surreal at the same time. It is aglow with lights which add to your car. When you use the boost(Nitrous Oxide, to be specific), the game blurs and gives an incredible sense of speed.

No slowdown whatsoever in this game, but the only thing I wish to complain about, well two things actually, is that the people crowded around at the beginning of the race should be more detailed and life-like, not looking like characters from a N64 game(no offense to N64) and there really should be a course during the day to show more details, but then again, street-racing is done at night, so it equals out. Score 9.5

Sound: Good overall, but the cars sound really whiny, not strong at all. They should have made them sound, I do not know,hmm, let's say stronger, instead of like drunken Segway scooters.

Another thing is the music, sure it fits the game, with some pieces that stand out more than others, but overall it is bland, repetitive, but it does get you in the mood for racing so it is forgivable. Score 8.5

Gameplay: The core of any game, NFS:U delivers gameplay and does not disappoint. Fast and furious, this racer has lots of playing value, with several different racing modes such as Circuit, Drift, Drag, Tournaments, Lap-Knockout, and others. All of these modes add to the value of the game, and keep it fresh and challenging.

Good controls, no real problem here, unless you yourself have a problem with the controls, but hey, you can customize them, so don't complain.

The difficulty is insane towards the later section of the game, with the need for restarting over and over again a norm. But, hey, who doesn't want a challenge.

Another part of the game that adds depth is the great customization factor of it. Every detail of your car can be modified, painted, decorated. From your rims, to hood, roof, muffler, brake calipers, headlights, sides, you can add vinyls, decals and various paints to trick out your car in whatever way you want. This adds greatly to the game.

Replay value is also present with all the modes and customizing possibilities, this is a game that one can play for quite some time.

The only problems with the games that I have noticed and that irk me, are the un-realistic damage, there should be some, not much, but some. Oh well. That and the insane, sometimes bizarre physics of the game that cause your car to do weird things when a minor accident occurs, or when you jump, but then when something big happens, it lets you plow through the vehicle you crashed into.Score 9

Overall Score: 9.0

A fun game, with minor problems, that do not really distract from the game, Need for Speed: Underground is a great game, that is almost a must-buy for every fan of fast, arcade racers. Unlimited playability makes this a wonderful game, and the reason I wrote my first review so I could share my joy at this great game.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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