Review by Mech Master

"Amazing in Every Aspect"

Past need for speed games haven't really been real street racing games. All of the past games have had you racing on the road and those games were called street racing games which isn't right because they weren't street racing games at all. The latest installment is the most authentic street racing game ever created. This game is like Gran Turismo meets Midnight Club. That makes Need for Speed Underground the best racing game of the entire year. Everything about this game is done flawless except for the multiplayer.

For a racing game, this game has an awesome story. It all starts off with you being the new guy on the streets and you get shown the ropes by this chick Samantha. She shows you the best of the streets. From there you slowly meet up with new characters. You also climb higher and higher in the ranks of the streets from everything from intense drag races to insane drift races. So, it is your job to become the best street racer in the city. That ain't much of a story, but for a racing game it is a good one.

GRAPHICS:100,000,000(oh crap-can't rate that high...10)
These are the best racing graphics ever seen. Forget all bout Apex and Gran Turismo. This game makes them look like NES games. I'll start with the negatives first. First, the asphault and roads don't look as good as Apex's. Secondly, in the multiplayer there is no effect to when you use your NOS. That is one of the things that makes this game appear to be so fast. I guess it is because this game uses the PS2's graphic technology. If this game was made using the Xbox's power, the graphics would look a whole lot better. Oh well. On to the positives. There are so many good things to say about the visuals. This game creates an amazing sense of speed. The car models look great. The environments are gorgeous. The reflections from light on the wet streets are just amazing! This game just looks stunning.

Even though the audio is great it could have been so much better. For one, there is no custom soundtrack option which completely sucks balls! Secondly, the music is very repetitive. The music is heavy metal mixed with hip-hop. They have some bands like Fuel and Static-X. I wish there were more bands in the game too. Despite the flaws the audio is very good. The voice acting is good. The script is good. But why isn't there any custom soundtrack option? It seems that EA never takes advantage of the Xbox's capabilities. Despite that the audio is good enough to get an 8 though.

GAMEPLAY:9.5(Round to 10)
Almost every part of this game was done right. The game is very polished. There are lots of diversity to the game. There isn't just your regular circuit race. There is also drag racing which tests how fast your car can really go and it is also the best mode IMO. There is Drift where it is all about how good you can powerslide. One other mode is lap knockout where at the end of each lap one person is eliminated until there is a winner. Each mode is very polished. There is an insane amount of tweaking that can be done, performance wise and visually. Multiplayer is actually fun. There is no online play lor even four player split screen or even system link. That is unexcusable. This game is amazing though. This game shames ALMOST every other racer there is.

CONTROL:9.5(Round to 10)
The control in this game are fantastic. All of the cars don't handle redicuousoly easily like in Midnight Club. But they also aren't as simulation as Gran Turismo. That is perfect...well, almost. The one thing that keeps the controls from getting a 10 is the fact that the faster your car goes nothing happens to the handling. C'mon, lets face it. Making a turn at 130 MPH wouldn't be easy. Well, apparently it is in this game. Other than that, the control are perfect. The button layout is good. Triggers for gas and brake. B for NOS. A for handbrake and so on. The controls are fantastic overall.

This is easily the best racer of the year. This game is the complete package. It has some of the best graphics you will evr see on any console to date. The audio is very well done. The gameplay is top-knotch. Everything is just so polished. The controls are also great. If you have the money, don't hesitate to buy this one.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/16/03

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