Review by RPGs R Awesome

"If You Want To Buy A Racing Game, It Should Be This One!"

I’m starting off this review by saying this. Need for Speed: Underground is one of the best games I have ever played. It is one of the best racing games I’ve played and probably one of the top 3 games of the year. The computer-controlled characters are good racers, so it’s not a game where you’ll start racing and beat everyone right away. Most levels will take about 2 or 3 tries to actually win. There’s also some where you can beat it the first time and some where it will take about 6 tries to beat it. I will now go into detail about the game.

Graphics- 9.8 out of 10
The graphics in this game are astounding. The city, the cars, the trees and even the lights have amazing amounts of detail. Since your going over 125 miles per hour, there’s a blur effect that looks like your actually racing and it makes the game look all the more realistic. The reason I deducted 2 points from the graphics is because, since every race takes place at night, the glare and the darkness can sometimes make it hard to see some corners and shortcuts, leaving you hitting corners and losing leads. Still, the game looks great nonetheless.

Gameplay- 10 out of 10
The gameplay is awesome in Underground. There’s Underground Mode, where you make your way through 111 events including circuit races, drag races, sprints, drift races, lap knockouts and tournaments. Circuit is racing around a track for a few laps, drag races are races down a straight road, but you must time your shifts and dodge traffic and even trains. Sprints are racing from one point to another, drift races are shorter courses where you get points for drifting around corners. You get more points for the sharper the turn is and your speed while doing the drift. Lap Knockouts are where the person in last place each lap is eliminated and racing continues until only one racer is left and tournaments are just three or four races of the same kind in a row. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Along with that, you can customize your car. There are plenty of different types of cars. You start with 5 and can unlock more as you progress through Underground mode. You can install Visual upgrades and Performance upgrades. Performance upgrades make your car faster and have better handling. Visual upgrades are a different story. They make your car look cool and also introduce another part of the gameplay. If you do things like not hitting anything, barely dodging cars or go off a jump, you’ll get style points, which can earn you new part and items for your car. If you install visual upgrades, your reputation meter will go up. If you get you meter to 2, you will get double the style points and it goes up to 5 times the style points. There’s lots of cool stuff that make Underground worth playing.

Sound and Music- 9.6 out of 10
There’s great sound effects and there’s music from artists like Lil’ Jon, Mystikal and much more. Not every song is great though, so it loses some points for that. There is a good option though that lets you choose which song you listen to and which you want to turn off. Unfortunately as well, there's no horn. It would have been a nice added feature, but it doesn't make Underground any worse.

Controls- 9.7 out of 10
The controls are great in this game. The only problem is that if you want to reset your car onto the track, you have to press the Select button, which is kind of away from the other buttons. Also, turning is difficult. It will take awhile to master the turning controls.

Replayability- 9.9 out of 10
There is a ton of stuff to do after you beat the game. Get enough style points to unlock every item, buy all of the items for your car, race against friends or race to beat your previous records. You can also get all of the Magazine covers, be ranked first in every race type and, if you have a Network Adapter, you can play online. Online is only on the PS2 though.

The Final Word!
If your looking for a good racing game or just a game, casual gamers and gaming fanatics alike will like Need for Speed: Underground. Only steer clear of this game if you don’t like racing games. While the controls may not be absolutely perfect and there are some bad songs, it shouldn't make you change your mind. The gameplay is flawless and that's what really matters.

Final Score: 9.8 out of 10 rounded up to a 10 out of 10


Remember! Don't race like they do in this game. It's very dangerous and could kill you! If you feel like street racing, just play Need for Speed: Underground!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/29/04

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