Review by exult
"Welcome to Bayview, the city where it's always night"
Welcome to Bayview, the city where it's always night and races are everywhere. The only non- auto-related shops available are Best Buy and Burger King, so if you love cars, electronics and burgers than this game is for you.
Need For Speed Underground 2 like most racing games has a story mode (known here as career), a race mode and a multiplayer mode. But what's special about this game's story mode is that you get to roam around the city of Bayview (where the game takes place) looking for races. There are several racing modes such as Drift, Drag, Sprint and Circuit, (which are all pretty self-explanatory) just to name a few. But you may also challenge opponents while free-roaming' in an outrun race. And you can compete in the Underground Racing League, a.k.a. URL.
There is quite a few things to do in the game. And your cars are very customizable, from Spinners to Hydraulics, Speakers to Neon Lights, Engines to Bumpers, I can have 5 cars of the same model and have each one look very different from the other. The races are pretty intense later on in the game and I must admit the handling is nothing like real cars but hey, that's why this is an arcade racing game, not a driving sim.
Most people make fun of the Gamecube button positioning, but anyone who actually used it knows it's more efficient than that uncomfortable thing on the PS2. With R to accelerate L to reverse/brake, B for nitrous, C for camera, and the analogue stick for steering this game is one of the game that makes great use of all buttons on the Gamecube controller (I know, I only described a few buttons) The only bad thing is your right index finger hurts a bit after playing for way to long, but you can look at it positively, it indicates when you have player too long.
There is more story in this game than most other racing games, and it's told in a comic book style. The story isn't that interesting but Brook Burke is in it, and she's hot.
Like I said before, all races are taken place at nighttime, so I guess this makes NFSU2 unique in graphics. The city lights are beautiful and you car looks real nice and shiny (with the chrome and all). Although the city cars look pretty blocky, you don't really go that close to them to realize it. The Xbox version does have better graphics than the Gamecube version, but in my opinon the graphics are great, and perhaps even better than the PC or PS2 version (as Gamecube has better hardware than PS2). I only major difference I noticed in the Gamecube version is the cinematic, and I usually skip them.
The SFX in this game is quite realistic, from the engine sound to the drift sound and even the paint sound. But what I really enjoy is the music, the music features such artists as: Snoop Dog, Xzibit (Pimp My Ride), Chingy, Terror Squad, Queens of the Stone Age and many more. The songs on the game's soundtrack are all relevant, they're either about cars, the import scene, racing or just fast past songs good for racing to. The songs range from rap and hip hop to rock and techno. Most players will enjoy the music, I did and I'm not really big on those genres.
The Career mode is moderate long itself, for weeks I've enjoyed unlocking new tracks or cars/car parts. As the cars are very customizable every game will be completely different.
So if enjoy racing, customizing cars or just the import scene in general then this is the racing game for you, GO boy it right NOW. And this is the best car racing game you'll find on the Gamecube. (notice I said car racing' not kart racing')
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/15/06
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