Review by HypoXenophobia

"A dissection in Need For Speed Hot Pursuit II"

I've played this game several times but never till completion till this week. Having won every medal in Gold, I've seen a game I once revered slowly show me it's faults.

The NFS series generally has been pretty realistic on some aspects. Generally one of my favorite features is the fact that when your car was damaged, you were responsible for the repairs, which came out of your wallet. With a sequel to a NFS game I loved, I had high hopes. They generally surpassed them, but in the end there was a rather empty feeling.

I'll discuss the three major flaws within the game's theory.

NFS Economy - you're awarded NFS points for every race you win, plus small things you do within a race : lead a lap, break a pursuit. The problem is that you are essentially taxed man hours just to play the game you purchased. In the end, all the points you accumulate from each race gives you enough to purchase everything that's available. Which is ridiculous, why should you use those points to buy the same track you raced on for "Free". Or even more to play that track reversed, or mirrored, or mirrored reverse. Then also buying every car you've played with for free. It's a very cheap reward system that seems to plague the Need For Speed franchise.

The game logic is an arrogant one because it seems riddled with laziness. Instead of giving the user something interesting such as new cars, new tracks, they rest on their laurels believing that users really want to waste time unlocking the same tracks they've raced repeatedly.

Repetitiveness unbound- being restricted to four larges maps and their variations (including mirrored, mirrored reverse, and reverse) and a short list of gameplay options gets rather tedious. It's incredibly poignant how they're stretching gameplay hours when you're bombarded by tournaments towards the end of Championship.

The problem that occurs with it being so repetitive is that it gets to the point that if you play this game longer than a weekend, you will hate it. If you start playing to get a 100 percent, you will hate it. If you play it just to enjoy the fact that it's Need For Speed, then you'll love it.

Lastly, A.I.- artificial intelligence is very weak, Generally, if you know how to drive through the shortcuts without hitting an ungodly amount of walls, you can guarantee victory easily. Until, you get to the last lap knock outs in Championship mode, the AI cheats. I've had the AI serve into me when I accidentally tapped the horn. I've had the AI basically disappear from the game once they became number one. Secondly, if you get the car with the most horsepower, you can ensure victory.

This is not to say the game is a bad one, yet those problems plague the game to the point that it doesn't seem fun outside of a rental. Though one doesn't rent pc games, borrow one if you see it. But be wary of purchasing it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/01/08

Game Release: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (US, 10/21/02)

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