Review by xfactor834

"Only GT3 Is Better...But Not By Much..."

I have to first say that I'm a huge fan of racing games. The only racing games I do not particularly like are the NASCAR games or the F1 games.

However, I consider the Gran Turismo series to be the epitome of the representation of racing on any console. That said, improvements can be made on even a great game like that.

My favorites include GT3, F355 Challenge, Test Drive Le Mans for the DC, and NFS: High Stakes for PS1.

Moving right along to the review:

This game is truly awesome.

It plays great, feels right, and is just plain, fun, fun FUN!

First off, no one should buy this game expecting a clone of Gran Turismo 3 or Sega GT. Those games are created for re-creating cars and tracks in ultra-realistic detail.

The core of this game is in the title: The Need for SPEED.

There are over 20 tracks in this game, which automatically should entice any fan of racing. It's no fun when all you do is race on a select few tracks (cough...Moto GP...cough...)

Additionally, there are a vast amount of cars to pick from here. The crown jewel in this game is the McLaren F1 LM version. The beauty of the gameplay is in its layout. Instead of playing linearly, the player can now pick which route he/she wants to go in order to receive the prize, or ''reward'' that he/she wants the most.

For example, one can choose to race in one venue in order to unlock a new car, while another venue might unlock a new track. It's innovative and it keeps the player motivated.

The controls are spot on. Again, realism isn't the point. Driving 160 mph and flying off a ramp will surely wreck whatever car you're driving and perhaps even kill the driver, but in this game, you get rewarded for ''Huge Air''. Furthermore, if you even catch a good amount of air, the game goes into slow motion and you get to watch your car flying slowly so you can admire your work. It's not cheesy by any fact it's very cool.

The cars behave just like you'd expect them to behave if you ever actually drove them in real life.

The graphics are very clean and sharp and go in detail in all of the tracks, from burning forests to waterfalls in the jungles and the scenic coastline drives.

Sound is adequate...nothing overly done. There is a decent selection of songs that keeps you going...but mostly...the speed keeps you going.

Which brings me to my next point...this game moves FAST. Unlike the XBOX or GC version (s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n)...the PS2 version zips along at a very smooth frame rate and doesn't slow down much. And when it does, it does not make the game any less fun.

Hot Pursuit mode is very fun as well, where you try to outrun the police or try and chase the bad guys. This is a fun diversion from the meat and potatoes of the game, the Championship mode, where you unlock everything.

Basically, this game is a blast. Lots of cars, lots of tracks, fun gameplay, great presentation, slick looks...and a bargain for 49 bones.

Buy it now!!!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/07/02, Updated 10/07/02

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