Review by Wuzzzzzzzzap

Reviewed: 01/05/04

A good game, but is over quickly.

I've been playing the Need For Speed series for awhile, but I never played any of them past Hot Pursuit. When I heard that Need For Speed Underground was coming out, and I saw how good the game looked, I decided to ask for it as a gift for old times sake.

Graphics: 10
The graphics in this game are outstanding. The PS2 version looks like it was meant for the X-BOX. The life like surroundings reflect off the cars detailed surface. The cars are so life like, it's unbelievable. This is one of the best looking games I have ever seen. It gives you a great sense of speeding down a road at 200 miles per hour. And when you throw on your NOS, the surroundings blur, as if your going faster. Definitely a little detail that made the game so much more life-like.

Sound: 9
The soundtrack in this game is unbelievable. From rap to rock, there's music for everybody. With over 20 songs to race to, you rarely want to mute the TV and pop in another disc.
The cars sound amazing also. Although the turbo of the cars sometimes doesn't seem to make any noise at all, that would be the only flaw I can think of. It's just amazing to hear the engine revving, or the squealing of the tires as you throw the E-Brake on in the Drift mode.

Gameplay: 10
The gameplay of this game is awesome. From customizing your car in every possible way, to bashing your opponent into the side wall, it all seems lifelike. The controls are very good, and the game responds quite well to the way you push the buttons. The cars turn as soon as you push the button, not half a second before or after.
There are many modes of gameplay. With the Circuit, Drag, Drift, Sprint, and Free Run modes, you rarely get bored. The only problem with this game is the story.
The AI gets very aggressive in the later races in story mode. When you go over a ramp, the AI will hit your rear quarter panel, sending you off into traffic, or sending you out of control. If you are drafting behind a car in a drag race, they'll move at the last second leaving you a sitting duck for an on coming truck.392

Story: 7
This is where I felt the game lacked. The story is bland, with you wanting to be the top street racer, with no real cut scenes except for quick ones which mock you and your ability to play the game. However, the story is over so quickly, you barely get any of these cut scenes. What makes up for the shortness of the game though is that as the story goes on, the AI gets very difficult to beat as mentioned above.
Where this game's story shines is the unlockables. As you progress through the story, you get new parts to put onto your car. You can then go and fully customize your car.

Replay Value: 8
If you want to replay story over again, you have to create a new profile, and start from scratch. The one player quick race is very good though. You can play these tracks over and over again, and you can never have the exact same race. The traffic is always in different patterns, therefore making the races unpredictable. What has the most replay value of this game is customizing your cars. You change them from stock to fully customized beasts.

Overall Score: 9
I give this game a 9 as an overall score. Where this game lacks in story, it is made up in the graphics, sound, and gameplay. I would recommend that any racing game fan buy this, and even if your not, I'd give it a spin.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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