Playstation 2 : Need for Speed Underground 2 Reviews

Gas Gauge: 84
Gas Gauge 84
Below are user reviews of Need for Speed Underground 2 and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Need for Speed Underground 2. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

Summary of Review Scores

Game Spot 74
Game FAQs
GamesRadar 90
IGN 90
GameSpy 90
Game Revolution 75
1UP 85

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 103)

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Great Racing Fun, but Almost Too Much of a Good Thing

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 55 / 61
Date: January 22, 2005
Author: Amazon User

Need for Speed Underground 2 (NfSU2) is the latest installment in a long-running series of EA racing games. The "Underground" element wraps the game up in a world of nighttime drag races and super-tuned and modified import coupes ala "The Fast and the Furious" movies.

The most engaging part of the gameplay is the career mode, which allows you to build your reputation and your bankroll by entering events found throughout a sprawling urban landscape. All of the now-familiar features are here: a variety of race types, a huge selection of cars and options to be unlocked, purchased and installed, etc. There's a lot of straight-up racing fun to be found on these streets.

The graphics are really good; not Gran Turismo good, but close. The cars are especially fine, and you've got ample opportunity to examine your customized baby. You'll occasionally get a mini-mission to have your car photographed for a magazine cover where you control the background, "pose" and camera angle. Sure it's kind of a silly way to build your bank, but not a total waste after you've spent an hour selecting the perfect color scheme and combination of paint and artwork for your car.

One minor gripe about the graphics is the lack of options for camera angles. Given how big the city is, the always-nighttime gameplay and the fact that some shortcuts and objectives are tucked away between buildings, it can be tough to spot things. I feel the other reviews when they complain about long times searching for this or that between races. Another minor problem is the perpetual nighttime during gameplay. Coupled with the brightly lit and highly detailed environment, it's sometimes too much to look at and the car can actually get lost in the overall scene.

The controls are intuitive and well-designed. One of my favorite features is the ability to use the right analog stick as the accelerator and brake. Couple it with a manual transmission (shifting uses the L2/R2 buttons) and you've got a great amount of subtle control over your car. It's not as good as playing with a wheel and pedals, but it really beats the usual x-and-square two-button setup (which is also available at all times if you prefer).

Does it play a lot like GTA-lite? Of course it does; it's meant to do so. There's a plotline running through the career mode focused on getting revenge on the rival who did you wrong before you landed in Bayview. It's not as deep or sequential as the GTA missions, so you're free to do pretty much whatever you want in whatever order you want. This can be good or it can lead to a lot of aimless driving around.

The game also struggles a little bit with identity - what game does NfSU2 want to be? It's not an exact sim like Gran Turismo, although you can certainly tune and tweak your car's performance options all day long if that's your thing. The race action has a big-time arcade feel, but it's not simply an arcade racer because of the GTA-esque missions in career mode. During some lulls in the action, you may find yourself wanting to pop this out in favor of one of those other games instead.

Nonetheless, the good easily outweighs the bad in this good-looking and ultimately exciting racer. It does a very nice job of satisfying fans of all flavors of driving games: arcade, sim and mission.

* Beautifully-rendered cars (and SUVs) that can be exhaustively customized in terms of looks and performs
* Exciting racing action with very little learning curve
* Well-designed controls make the most of the PS2 controller

* Too much time getting around the huge environment
* Notable lapses in realism, i.e. gigantic crashes with no consequences; no cops at all (I guess then it would simply be a GTA clone)
* Lots of product placement gets a bit heavy after a while - meet me at Burger King, the garage is next to Best Buy, I'll call you on my Cingular wireless, etc.

Great Game. Better Than The First.

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 24 / 25
Date: December 13, 2004
Author: Amazon User

This game is a great game. You can customize your car in many different ways (custom gauges, engine and trunk neon, hydralics, doors, split hoods, spinning rims, new bumpers and lights, you can change your car's light color, new cars, new vinyl, SUVs [Escalades, Navigators, and Hummers H2], etc.). It's a free roaming city and you discover hidden shops to get secret parts. Also there are new modes. In Street X, you go on a drift track but you race on it so corners are real tight. In URL, you go in a race track with no traffic and the reward is high (depending on your sponsor/contract). In outrun, you find a race car roaming around and challenge him to an outrun. You must get 1000 feet away from your opponent (it's really not that far. it's like 2-4 blocks). Also, you choose what races you want to race (unless you are required to in your sponsorship contract and you must do so many races in your contract.) And there are many chances to get on a magazine or DVD cover. Also, you take your own picture for the cover (most of the time). This game has improved greatly from the first and there is new music from: Snoop Dogg, The Doors, Chingy, Terror Squad, Spider Bait, Queens of the Stone Age, Ministry, and a lot more. I would definately get this game. It's worth the $50 and it will keep you busy for a long time with all the new features. If your not sure about getting the game, rent it first (I did at gamefly.com and it was worth it. I thought it would be like the first game but it was REALLY different).

GREAT GAME! *Note: I actually own the game

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 33 / 39
Date: November 18, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Yes, thats right, im a reviewer who OWNS this game, unlike the reviewers under me who are just talking about what it will be like when it comes out. To acknowledge some of the other reviews talking about sponsors of the game...thats how street racing is, you get sponsors. Also, the people complaining about fine tuning of cars, once again, thats how street racing is. They made this game more realistic than the previous one. The free roam option (career) has changed in a better way, I'm more of the guy who would rather get my missions/races done so i can get better cars or upgrades to race them online. The online option is also another great great feature. The graphics on this game are beautiful as always. The control seems to have changed just a little, maybe to make it easier, but its hard for me to notice a change. The sound has changed for the better, sounds are more realistic and clear. The music of the game is good, but not my preference. Its got a demo of Burnout 3, which is also a good game. This is just an all around good game, very addictive since you can get better cars as you progress and then race online. Also, if you dont have online features, I highly recomend it, I just got it when Mortal Kombat Deception came out. It adds a VERY high replay value to the game, you can beat a game over and over again but theres always new people to fight/play/race online. For only $39.99 its a great deal as opposed to xbox's high priced Xbox Live subscription required service.

Awesome Game

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 17 / 18
Date: November 30, 2004
Author: Amazon User

In NFSU2 you can do almost anything to your car. You can change your front and rear bumpers. You can change window tints and spoilers and side skirts. That isn't even half of what you can do to your car. You don't have to buy everything in packages like the the first NFSU you can buy parts separately. You can also add spinners, other rims, and hydrolics! You can add a sound system and trunk neon colors and engine neon colors. There are a lot more cars in the sequel opposed to the first one. For instance there are Escalades, Navigators, Hummers, Civics, the new 2005 Mustang, Skylines, RSXs, Audi TTs, Audi A3s, Supras, and much, much, more. You have your own garage so you can hold more than one car at a time. You can even tune your car for any kind of race. 3 new styles of races have been added. This game is extremely fun and to me is worth $49.99. If you like racing games this is the game for you unless you like Nascar type games.(for Tony to use the hydrolics you hold down R1 and move the left analog stick then it will make the hydrolics go up depending on which way you press the analog stick.)

2 Cool to Wait

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 15 / 17
Date: November 09, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Okay, not only are there 30 cars, there's millions of different customization options for your cars. Including lambo doors,sound systems, and lots more. Races happen out of the blue, and the city it takes place in is huge and free roaming, so the playing is less linear. Also, the car list also includes a Mustang, Mazda RX-8, and also a Lexus IS300!

It has some cons but it has some good pros.

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 8 / 9
Date: November 28, 2004
Author: Amazon User

If you liked NFSU you will realy like this game. There are so much more cars in this game, and more American cars, like the 2005 Mustang GT and the Pontiac GTO, then in the last game. Plus there are a whole lot more ways you can sup up your car to make it look realy cool. You can now add hydrolics, engine neons, trunck audio and much more to you car.
The graphics are pretty much the same in this game as they were in the last one. There are also new race modes like Steet X, this is like a go-cart trac for cars. Also, there is this new thing call out run where you try to lose your opponit any way you can, and if you comlete it a couple of times you can get a special spoiler, engine upgrade ect., but you can only get one special thing per stage(if you buy this game you will understand what I am talking about).
There are some cons to this game though. One is that when you are playing career you have to drive to your races, which isnt too bad, and you have to search for the shops that alow you to sup up and tune you car, the shops are realy easy to find because all you have to find is a odd colored street lamp and that will tell you that a shop is down an ally by the lamp.
In all I thought this was a sweat game and you should put this on your wishlist.

Almost a perfect game

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 7 / 8
Date: January 18, 2005
Author: Amazon User

I just got Underground 2 and it tore my attention away from San Andreas, just to give you an idea of how addicting it is. The NFS franchise has done it again. They've managed to go beyond their expectations and deliver the racing game of its time. Some people are eagerly anticipating Gran Tourismo 4, but I've always preferred the NFS games.
There are major improvements that were both a relief and a milestone at the same time. First is the graphics. Crisp, clear and a lot of definition. It makes Underground 1 look like a PS1 game. Then there's the gameplay. There's a lot more variety with cars, modifications and tracks. The free roaming is a great idea too (although not completely original). Also, as you would expect, there's a bunch of side stuff you can do, like doing photo shoots, challenge races, hidden races and of course, trade ins and mods. Also, returning to the franchise is the replay feature.
I don't do online gaming, so I can't comment on that aspect.
Now here's the part where I explain why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. As I said before, the free roaming feature is cool. Also, it can be a bit annoying at times. You have to drive all over to do anything, including entering races, doing mods and also swiching cars. Sometimes a shop and/or race will be clear on the other side of the map. The GPS tracking system is the saving grace here, but sometimes you can't activate it and then it becomes a real pain. My other major gripe is the trade ins. On Underground 1, if you traded cars, you would still keep all of your custom parts. Well, not in Underground 2. If you get tired of driving your car, you'd better make sure you have some serious bank before you switch cars because you have to start all the way from bare bones stock.
Complaints aside, this is a really fun game. I do wholeheartedly recommend it.

Driving Physics

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 4 / 4
Date: December 24, 2004
Author: Amazon User

NFSU 2 has made leaps and bounds over NFSU as far as driving physics are concerned, but there are still a few flaws. On the pros side vs NFSU(1):
1. You now have to brake and downshift for some corners
2. Different car types react differently, ie front wheel drive, rear wheel drive
3. Rain does decrease traction
4. You don't have to replay a level over and over because one section of the track is too tight (remember NFSU drawbridge jump circuit track where you had to dive a narrow alley with bumps that threw you off your driving line)
5. If you touch and opponent's car or they touch you it doesn't mean that you will spin each other out right away
1. You still just bounce off walls and bounce off walls. You might have to downshift after the third or fourth strike in a row
2. "Catch Up" mode seems to really kick in on the straight stretches of highway. You can win a sprint race with a large margin every time
3. Still no damage to the cars, probably because they are actual licensed cars. As a manufacture you don't want models of how your cars break up
4. The cars are almost too stable; yes I just said that in NFSU they were too hard to control on some tracks. The only time you really notice a lack of control is with rear wheel drive cars and/or at the 150 mph + range. A little tweaking in this area will yield the perfect balance in a future addition of the game. (I don't have the stabilize function activated.)
That said, NFSU 2 is a great game that will keep you entertained for hours. It seems that programmers don't want to do that anymore; after all you won't buy another new game right away at 50 bucks if you are still playing NFSU2.

A big step foward in the racing genre

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 4 / 4
Date: January 02, 2005
Author: Amazon User

First of all I do not own this game but I did rent it. And I have to say I was really impressed. Like Midnight Club 2 Need for speed now has a new explore mode where you can drive over hundreds of miles of terrain. In explore mode you can go to all kinds of shops each with their own types of upgrades. Such as Car Lots, Performance shops, car specialty shops, and car design shops. Upgrading your car is trully addictive, you can get anything from hydrolics, neon lights, speakers in your trunk, and even scissor doors. The racing is great and has great car control. The car physics are very realistic. The sound is very clear, and the music is alright. My biggest complaint is probably the load times, it feels like it takes for ever. That is the only complaint for me, although I don't think I'll buy the game.

Patience required!

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 4 / 4
Date: March 14, 2006
Author: Amazon User

The only faults I can find in this otherwise great game are the horribly long load times and how long it takes to get a decent car to race with. The game is very addictive, especially when it comes to tuning your hard-won new car. Customization of your car is extremely detailed and is almost as fun as racing. The computer cars give you a real challenge in certain types of races, but you can change the difficulty level if you find it to be a little too hard at first. The scenery is gorgeous! Being able to drive anywhere you want is really fun too. I actually prefer this game over EA's newer release: Most Wanted. I would recommend this game, but patience is needed for your first few hours of gameplay.

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