Review by mazhzr

"Need For Street Racing"

Need For Speed returns with it’s new sequel, NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND. Using street racing as the theme of this new sequel, fans of street racing will definitely rate it as one of the best street racing game in the PS2. EA GAMES should be given a big credit because it manages to bring NEED FOR SPEED game series into one of the best game series ever in the world. This game is hell a lot of fun and it’s a definitely a must buy for any racing gamers especially the street racing fans.

NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND uses street racing as the theme for this game. In this game, it uses a single city as the location of the game. There are multiple play modes that users can play such as circuit mode, sprint mode, knockout mode as well as the two excellent play modes in the game which is Drag racing and Drift racing. In circuit mode, users play in a normal race where users need to finished multiple laps and emerges as a winner. In sprint mode, users need to race from point A to point B. In Knockout mode, users play like a normal circuit race but racers who finished last in each lap will be eliminated so the final lap will be head to head battle. Drag racing is one of the coolest things in this game where users need to sprint from point A to point B using the manual transmission which users have to shift each gear perfectly as each second in the race is so valuable. In Drift Race mode, users play in specially design track to perform the drifts as users need to perform a lot and long drifts so users can score points where winner will be determined by the racers who scored the most points.

The game also has an excellent season mode called THE UNDERGROUND MODE. In this mode user need to built a good and solid reputation car so users can play in the tournaments in the city. By winning each race, users can unlock multiple items such as tracks and car enhancement items so the car can be better performance and high reputation. The underground mode is very interesting to play as it is really bring the street racing environment to a real life. The storyline also quite cool to play as it is really like being in a movie.

The game play of the game is quite easy to play and understand. The control of the game is almost same like every other racing game. The only new interesting stuff included in the game is that users can use NOS in the race to accelerate faster in order to win the race. The camera angle in the game is quite good as users can view the game easily. Users also can restart as many times as users like while racing if users feel that there is no chance of winning in this game and want to retry the track again. The game also includes a split screen mode where users can play this game with friends and family. There also an easy tutorial video for users to understand better in this game such as the drag racing mode and drift racing mode.

NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND includes multiple cool street racing cars that can be choose from such as Nissan Skyline, Toyota Celica, Peugeot 206, Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Impreza, Nissan Supra, and may others cool cars that can be choose from. Users can also can customize their car as what as users like using the items unlocked in the season mode. Users can customize the car for performance and visual. In performance mode, users can customize the braking system, engine, steering system, and of course the Nitrous Oxide (NOS). Users also can design their own car in the visual enhancement mode where users can customize the lights, rim, the windows, neon light, hood, roof, spoiler, and of course adding vinyl design in the car. The items differ by three different levels where level one being a bad one while level three is good.

There also a multiple tracks that can be choose from. The tracks are exploited from the single city traffics system and thus make some tracks can have similar background but only different track course. The tracks differ from each type of racing mode such as for circuit race, sprint race, drag race, and drift racing. The tracks also contain car traffics which make the game look like a real street racing. Beside the excellent game mode and tracks, the presentation of the game also presented neatly and organizes. The option and selection menu even in customizing mode are easily organize and can be easily browse through as users wont have a difficult time browsing the selection.

The graphics of the game is quite good. The cars look exactly like a real life cars in the game and even look realistic when the cars is modified. In the cars customizing mode, each parts of the cars are displayed in details and thus make it realistically like customizing own car in real life. The tracks also look good where the background of the tracks such as buildings, billboards, trees, and car traffics looks realistic. The view of the race also quite exciting as it use simple camera angle and sometimes users can view slow motion while doing crazy stunts. The scenes also quite enjoyable to watch as it increase the excitement in the season mode.

SOUND & MUSIC (10/10)
Soundtracks of the game are excellent. There are multiple great songs that can be play for either in the races or in the menu. The soundtracks consists multiple style of music from Hip Hop to Rock or even the rave songs from the famous artist such as Lil Jon & Eastside Boys, Fuel, Asian Dub Foundation, T.I, X-Cutioner, and Mystikal. The sound effects of the cars also quite good as the sound of the engine or even during crashing sound realistically. Beside that, the crowds in the game which sound wild also quite good as well as the sounds in the scenes as it make the game enjoyable to play.

OVERALL (9/10)
Overall, NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND is another quality game from EA GAMES and its really enjoyable game to play. The best points in this game is the unique season mode, the car customizing mode, drag races, drift race and the soundtracks make the game another quality piece of a racing game even though it is not as good as Gran Turismo Games. This game is a must buy for any street racing fans or even someone who like to customize a car so it can be use as a model in the real life car. Hoping the next NEED FOR SPEED series will be as good as or better than this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/26/04

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