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Need for Speed Underground 2
(hx) 04:07 PM CET - Dec,01 2004

Need for Speed Underground 2 is the sequel to Need for Speed Underground, which has sold more than five million copies worldwide since its release in November 2003. As you might expect, NFSU2 sports an ambitious number of improvements over its predecessor, which should be sure to please fans. So, if you're a car lover you want to own and drive ultra-fast - turbocharged - Nitrous-powered - cars once more, NFS: Underground could be very good choice for you.

In terms of basic structure, the races aren't much different from those found in the original NFSU. At the beginning of the game you will be able to create an unique driving profile. Once you've adjusted the settings to your preference, you can select one of the following racing modes: Career, Quick Race, Online, LAN. The gameplay in Career - the game's main mode - borrows a lot from the GTA series. While not in a race, you can drive around the city (wherever you want), looking for challenges, hidden garages, bonuses, racers (which you can compete with to make a little money) and a little more. But nothing is perfect, there are no civilians, there aren't that many secrets, and the shortcuts are lacking.

To make gameplay more various, the game includes a number of different race types - essentially you have classical Circuit, Sprint (you go from one point to another without any laps), Drag, Drift (you drift down the hill on a sprint against incoming traffic), Street-X (cross between motorcross and street racing), Underground Racing League (you race at night against the best opponents in private race tracks or closed environments with no traffic or obstractions), and Free Run. The developers have also added the "Outrun" mode where you're thrust into a quick race against that other racer. These races are triggered in the same fashion as those in the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series; when exploring the world map, it's possible to approach another vehicle from behind and request a challenge.

There's over 30 licensed and fully customizable cars available to race. In NFSU2: Underground you'll find: Acura RSX Type S (2003), Audi A3 (2004), Audi TT (2004), Cadillac Escalade (2004), Ford Focus ZX3 (2003), Ford Mustang GT (2005), Honda Civic Coupe Si (2000), Hummer H2 (2004), Hyundai Tiburon GT (2003), Infiniti G35 (2004), Lexus iS300 (2002), Lincoln Navigator (2004), Mazda Miata - MX5 (1999), Mazda RX-7 (1995), Mazda RX-8 (2004), Mitsubishi 3000 GT (1999), Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX (1999), Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII (2003), Nissan 240sx (1992), Nissan 350Z (2003), Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V (2003), Nissan Skyline R34 GTR (1999), Peugeot 206 GTI (2003), Pontiac GTO (2004), Subaru WRX STI (2004), Toyota Celica GT-S (2003), Toyota Corolla GTS (AE86) (1987), Toyota Supra (1998), Volkswagen Golf GTI (2003) and a few more. All the cars are rated in handling, acceleration, and top speed, but I'd say that in practice the cars don't drive all that differently, especially once you've purchased some upgrades in the career mode. Well, this isn't a simulation, and the mechanics work in the context of the game.

One of the best features of this game is the ability to upgrade your vehicles and customize them before racing. There is a ton of ways to customize your ride with parts to have better performance. There's over 50 individual performance parts for your car which fall into many different categories, like Engines, ECUs, brakes, tires, suspension, transmission, Nintro, weight reduction etc. Unlike the original game, NFSU2's nitrous system is much more dynamic, allowing you to fill it up by performing all manner of racing feats. Of course, there is also a ton of available paint jobs, decals spoilers, bumpers and more for decorative and practical purposes, so you can truly create your own unique racing car.

What else to say? NFSU2 plays really well! The music is good, the upgrades are just silly, soooo many. I would say it is so far 100 times better then the first game. The new gameplay modes, improved vehicle upgrades, and completely redeveloped online modes simply serve as more reasons to want this game If you are into arcade racing games, then this is a must buy!

Related links: demo (362MB), patch #1 (4.8MB), cheats, savegames, savegames v1.01, trainer +3 for v1.01

Minimum system requirements: Intel Pentium III (or equivalent) CPU running at 933MHz or higher, 32MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card (ATI Radeon 7500 or greater / NVIDIA GeForce2 or greater), 256MB RAM, DirectX compatible sound card, 2GB of HD space, 8X CD-ROM, to play online a network card is required for broadband connectivity.

snd: 5/5 - great, awesome soundtrack with style and variety (tracks from Xzibit, Terror Squad, Killing Joke, Sly Boogy, Felix Da Housecat, Paul Van Dyk, Cirrus, Rise Against, Ministry, Queens of the Stone Age, Mudvayne, Helmet, etc), nice sound effects, screeching tire effects
gfx: 4/5 - gorgeous, car models are smooth and impressively detailed, slow-motion crash sequences, dramatic motion-blur effect, sweet weather effects, an amazing assortment of custom parts, no car damage model, static-image cutscenes
playability: 5/5 - addictive arcade racing, easy learning curve, many modes, multiplayer through Internet/LAN (no cross-platform compatibility though)
genre: arcade street racing
platform: PC (available also for PS2, XBox, GC)
release: November 2004
developer: Electronic Arts (homepage)
publisher: Electronic Arts
Overall: 90%

last 10 comments:

El_Coyote(06:34 PM CET - Dec,01 2004 )
you can hardly blame a game thats reviewed as a "ARCADE street racing" for lack of damage models, that wouldnt be very arcade, would it :P

maga(06:59 AM CET - Dec,02 2004 )
Need for Speed 4 : High Stakes featured a really good damage model.

xxxx(06:41 PM CET - Dec,02 2004 )
This is a cool game, just get bored playing it after some time. Very repetitive. I can see it being a lot of fun on a LAN but online I have had a very hard time even seeing 1 server. At the top it says there are so many people playing etc, but I see no servers. I went from playing this game every single night to playing it once a week for a few hours. I kind of wish it had damage models too. Adds to the fun of the game when your car roles into 1st with every window smashed and barely 4 wheels on the ground. For what this game is, it's good.

Ozieo(12:18 AM CET - Dec,03 2004 )
Crap game. EA please learn that the world is not all funky colours together in sight, cars do not flow over the road like a screensaver, hard-rock tracks are getting pretty irritating, todays controllers don't have 862 buttons you can configure for some pretty useless functions, cars do damage when colliding, the moon ain't shining neon light, mirrorlike textures tend to suck when over-used, no car shines like a mirror, making a duplicate of Midnight Club has miserably failed, and American commercialistic BS plainly sucks.

xxxx(03:04 PM CET - Dec,03 2004 )
first off, it's an arcade game, not a simulator. cars are shiny and buffed, maybe not as much as in nfs but still you can most certainly see reflections. maybe you are thinking of your car with Tremclad flat paint..Midnight Club was actually quite different than this NFS. I enjoyed MC2 as well but both are different. NFS U2 is a decent game, not entirely what i expected but what stinks really bad is it's just a very empty game. If you're just looking for a brain dead racer with nice gfx, that's NFS.. Ozieo should get Xpand Rally if he wants realistic physics and car damage.

ntxawg(08:59 PM CET - Dec,03 2004 )
realistic collision? you mean hitting a wall at 45mph and not having your car work or able to drive or possibly catching on mean that kind of realism? :roll: honestly i dont know why people complain about a realistic damage model cuz we all know hitting head on into a wall at 45 mph would probably damage the car beyond why complain, after all it IS just an arcade racer

xxxx(07:03 PM CET - Dec,04 2004 )
actually I guess looking at it from a different angle, the car 'logically' should be history but in a game when racing cars fast with such nice gfx, it would just be neat to see the car damaged and forgo the complexities. They used to do that kinda thing in the original games. Was it High Stakes? EA just has a habit of cutting corners on some games.

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