Review by Fossil

"Do you Crave the Need for Speed?"

Need for Speed has a very long history on many gaming systems. It has always been a well known game that never fails at it's goal to cure "The Need For Speed". The series is all about racing dream cars in environments everyone would love to break the rules in. Pulling off insane stunts and speeds, messing with the law and of course... beating your opponents. Only until now has the series taken a turn for the best when EA Sports introduced Need for Speed Underground. Having a whole new reason to play the game, somewhat replicating the popular movie Fast and Furious and it's sequel. EA Sports succeeded in bringing what gamers wanted in a racing game.

Gameplay - 9/10
With over a dozen cars to use and customize with hundreds of parts, you can easily create the car you've always dreamed of owning and using for this purpose exactly. With the ability to customize things such as window tint, car colors, decals, spoilers, rims and engine upgrades, the options are unlimited.

Four different modes of play to satisfy your Need for Speed. Options such as opponent difficulty, traffic density and number of laps give you plenty of racing enjoyment. You can keep your high scores as well and compete against your friends to prove who is the better driver.

Circuit - Test your driving skill on dozens of different tracks around a giant city.
Sprint - A quick lap to the end of a one way track.
Drag - Drag race 3 other opponents to the end of the strip.
Drift - A greased up course you perform sliding tricks to rack up the most points.

The options menu has a controller feature where you may choose many different kinds of button setup to what suits you best for play. You can customize the music menu to what kinds of songs you want to play when racing. How often for the game to save and whether you want things like the map or the speedometer on the screen.

Story - 6/10
The story mode to the game is a must to unlock the upgrades and custom parts for cars, new tracks, etc but the story lacks more depth. Racing games falter at this the most. You progress in over a hundred story scenarios, slowly working your way up to the title of best racer. A few cut scenes every now and then, but nothing special.

Graphics - 7/10
The graphics are pretty nice. The cars and the environment are very well detailed. Though the color is too overdone. It would be more realistic if less lighting and color were portrayed on the cars and background. The bystanders look horrible. There movements look cheesy and it looks like their pants mix into their bodies and other articles of clothing. But they aren't much concern since you see them at the beginning of the race. For the most part the graphics all around are good.

Sound - 9/10
The music in the game is very good. Great songs by well known artists. Over 20 tracks to listen too while you race away to become the best. The ability to choose what you want to listen to and when as well is nice. The sound effects of burning out, engines reeving and crashing, all nicely done.

Replay Value - 5/10
It's a racing game, what can you expect? Not much fun after beating it the first time. Most of the time having few tracks, most mirrored or reverse only making them rather the same without much increased difficulty. It's a fun game to play through but chances are you won't be going through another time, unless this was your only game.

Overall - 7/10
A quick and fun game to play. I would recommend renting this game first to find out if you like it or not. After beating it, it kind of becomes another game to collect dust.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/31/04

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