Need for Speed: Underground (PS2) Reviews & Ratings
Reviews, Ratings, and Professional Opinions
As the name hints, Underground shies away from the dried-out realm of exotic cars that you could never afford. Instead, you start out with one of about twenty normal, everyday cars, and slowly morph it into it's own dream car. Okay, so you might be thinking to yourself right now, "only twenty cars?" Well, it may not sound like much, but with the amount of modification this game allows you to make, it will seem like a lot more than twenty.
As you work your way through the game, you will unlock hundreds of new parts, decals, vinyls, rims, paint jobs, etc. to beef up your car with. These parts are unlocked as you win races, or perform cool stunts that award you "Style Points." These style points are used to buy parts to shape your car with, and are awarded and many ways. When you draft a car, perform a power slide, or just hit a big jump, you get these points. This encourages more dramatic game play and makes the game a lot more fun.
Visually, the game is absolutely beautiful. The courses and cars are dreamlike and are excellently rendered. Underground also creates an excellent feel for speed and control. When you push your envelope for speed, you will require the best reflexes to squeeze around oncoming traffic and make it past your opponents. However, the sense of speed is nothing compared to when you push your nitrous. The game will blur together and your car will becoming much harder to control as you rocket past everyone. Just watch out for oncoming cars or you are in trouble.
When you do crash, catch air, or anything else cool looking, the game will jump into slow-motion and give you a cool camera angle to watch yourself. While this is pretty sweet at first, it gets old quick. Lets say you are doing four laps around a course. On one part of the course, the road suddenly drops quickly and then back to normal. When you hit this drop, you catch a little bit of air. Well, it will go into slow motion for those 2 seconds every time you go around the course, and all you want to do is race. Also, this mode will not allow you to see where you are about to land. Still, when it comes to crashes, the slow-motion can be pretty chill.
"I can sit here and try to form complaints all day, but I will never really be able to bring the game down"
The main idea behind the game is that you start out as a nobody, and work you way up to being the most respected street racer out there. To do this, you need to win races, of course, but create a beautiful car. The more visually appealing your car is to the high, the higher your respect level.
Throughout the game, you have to participate in series of different kinds of races, including Race, Drag, and Drift. The two forms of races are point-to-point and knock-out. In knock-out, the last player is eliminated with each lap completion. Drag and Drift Challenges also keep the game quite fresh. Drift mode offers more challenge for videogame players than the typical, pedal-to-the-metal style typically used today. In drift mode, you need to incorporate power-slides into you outfit in order to succeed at the race. Finally, there is Drag races. Drag races require the best of technique if you want to win. You must shift perfectly, dodge traffic, and throw your nitrous at the perfect time.
While the game lets you mold your own car, these changes are mostly on the shell, not on the inside. The only engine, and mechanical tune-ups you can do are generic machine upgrades. It doesn't ruin the game by any means, but it would have been nice to be able to do as much to the inside as the outside.
The multiplayer area of the game is also very fun. You can play Two-Player against one of your friends, or against up to four online. One of the cool things about playing online, besides cross-platform play, is that you can continue to unlock stuff with your style points.
All in all, Underground is a solid game. I can sit here and try to form complaints all day, but I will never really be able to bring the game down. A fast, hot, and thrilling game, NFS will keep any gamer stuck behind the wheel for hours.
Rating: 9.3 / 10