Xbox : Need for Speed Underground 2 Reviews

Gas Gauge: 82
Gas Gauge 82
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
CVG 70
IGN 91
GameSpy 90
GameZone 92
Game Revolution 75
1UP 85

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 50)

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A Solid Street Racer!

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 22 / 26
Date: October 18, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I played a Finished version of this game.I gotta say it looks good. The driving mechanics are a little different ,but barely noticable.Its also free roaming game like GTA. You get to choose where to go to next and you can challenge other drivers,if you have enough cash for the bet. If you like NFS underground,You'll definately like part 2 . Its not to hard to drive the cars either. Its not like DRIV3R at all.Graphics looked good also. I only played about 20 minutes,but from what I saw its been improved.You definately have the feel of being on the real street underground scene. But I didn't see any cops?? So I guess no tickets. Well this review is based on 20 minutes of gameplay,but I gotta say Looks like a winner.Also Brooke Burke (that hot brunette on wild on E)is your personal narrator in the game. PLEASE NOTE: I played a version of this game before it was realeased.This Game Rocks in more ways than I can even explain.If you like racing games you'll LOVE NFSU2! It Raises The bar on this franchise, I can say honestly part 2 is better than 1st game.

Need For "Need for Speed Undground 2"

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 8 / 8
Date: November 21, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I have the first "NFS Underground" and I really enjoyed it but I was worried that Underground 2 would not be different enough to spend money on it. So I rented it. I was blown away by how cool it is, so I went and bought it.

Pros (over the first game)

1. You get Nos much earlier in the game (than U1).

2. The points you get for "avoiding accidents" or "power slides" etc. instantly refill your Nos meter.

3. The game flows better, because you drive (in a free ride mode) from race to race, and you pick where you go.

4. There are more race types.

5. If you are struggling with a certain type of race, you can go to the garage and gear your car for a certain type of race.

6. You get sponsors and you scroll through different companies and names and you choose which you want. (Some contracts require certain types of races, and pay more money)

7. When you are put on a magazine cover, you move your car around until you are satisfied and you take the picture.

8. You can own multiple cars (including SUVs, Sports cars, and the original "U1" cars)

9. There is a GPS you can turn on to guide you to different events (aside from a very detail city map)

10. More details which you can upgrade on your car. Even the new available paint colors pay incredible attention to detail.


1. I have played the game for hours and I am only 15 % through the game

2. I am only 15% through the game and the races are starting to get much harder

(I'm a little worried the game may go on too long and become too difficult and I have never enjoyed games that make you repeat the same thing over and over.)

The game is awesome! If you liked Underground, you will like Underground 2 even more. I think it is definitely the best car racing game available. If you rent it, you are going to want to buy it.

Another Winner in the NFS Series!!!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 13 / 18
Date: November 29, 2004
Author: Amazon User

EA broke the barrier with last year's hit Need For Speed Underground, and rather then let players have some time to catch their breath, BAM!! EA hit us with the new release NFS:U2!!! I saw the trailers, and read the reviews, and experienced some initial hand wringing due to some of the poor reviews i read on-line, but I can say that Underground 2 is an excellent game, and a worthy addition to EA's stable of racing games. The graphics are crisp and clean, and the city of Bayview looks beautiful in the neon washed, wet asphalt look that NFS:U made about as famous and imitatable as "Bullet-Time." The car selections are pretty familiar imports that you can soup up to insane levels of performance but not sure where the hydralics come into play?? Seriously the car selection offers the player some nice choices such as the 2000 Honda Civic SI, one of my faves, the Mitsu Evo, the Toyota Supra and Corolla (Legendary drifter), The WRX, and some brand news ones such as the Infinti G35, H2 Hummer, and the 2005 Mustang GT!!! The city is huge, but easy to move around in with or without the aide of a wonderful GPS system that is very similar to the one used in Smuggler's Run and Midnight Club (think BIG GLOWING ARROW)that helps the directionally impaired find their next race, garage, or shop.
At first i found driving all over the city pretty distracting, and I wasn't sure if i liked the idea, but after awhile it becomes second nature, and I like tooling around Bayview in my Souped Up Civic. SUV's have been added to the stable of cars that can be raced but I am almost afraid to try that level of racing yet. EA was kind enough to add replays (FINALLY!!!) and a very nice Dyno center where the tuner in all of us can tinker, and tweak with your car to get the most out of it, and actually see the numbers on the dyno, nice touch. Many real world sponsors have gotten involved with this series and you can slap parts on your car in the game that you can get down at the local shops. I like the realism in that, plus it sounds cool to say that you have a Greddy Turbo, AEM Cold Air Intake, DC Sports Header and Venom Nitrous Oxide System on your Civic SI. Maybe its just me.
The races are still set up with Drags, Drifts, Circuits, Sprints, and some new ones have been added the awesome URL, Underground Racing League, and Auto Cross racing which seems more like Nascar with all the banging, and shoving. A feature borrowed from Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero has also been added where the player can challenge random cars to Outrun matches which adds to re-play value, and adds that Bad Boy factor.
The only negative i can see is that rather then use real motion, or animated sequences with your street racing tutor like from the first one U:2 uses a graphic novel approach to the cutscenes involving the "story". I'm not real crazy about that, BUT i will not let that one little tiny complaint detract from what i think is an exceptionally fun and satisfying racing game.
I am still playing the Career mode like a madman and don't think i have the stones to go on-line and see how real people are racing, but the game is excellent by my standards, and I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it in just a few races. So give it a try Drop it in and Drive. Come you know you want to!!!

Great game. Better that the First.

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 8 / 9
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).

Slow starter, but shines later

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 9 / 14
Date: November 23, 2004
Author: Amazon User

At first glance, I did not like this game and was ready to pop in burnout 3 again. I thought the gameplay was bad and the sense of speed was slow, but you have to earn your wheels to go faster in this baby. It felt a bit like the first Underground and definitely arcade style and not a real driving sim, but this time you can basically drive anywhere and the game doesn't restrict you to go certain routes in most of the modes. Some people may not like this, but for me anyway, it leaves for more possibilities. I was disappointed they didn't offer "custom soundtracks" you have to deal with what they give you, it's not all bad, but ever new racing should have a "custom soundtrack option" very weird. I was disappointed there is no "visual car damage" some might be seriously turned off about that, but if you don't care, then play on. Sweet graphics, no popup, no slowdown and the load times aren't that bad, but I heard the PS2 has a lot of that. Online play seemed smooth to me so far, but it's early on, so we'll see how that goes later. Overall, a good racer with tons of modes, tons of cars (real licensed cars like Ford, Chevy, Dodge etc) and tracks to earn, good graphics, and good fun. You'll like it.

Awsome Game

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 4 / 4
Date: November 29, 2004
Author: Amazon User

This game is really awsome!!!

Pros -

-playing style ( open environment )
-fun to get a car and then edit it with new body parts, internals, rims, spoilers, paints, ECT.
-The races are great the outruns are also cool if u have a fast car
- GPS system is great if your lost


-some turns are very hard
-you have to unlock most of the parts to be able to purchase them
-other than a few other things not much is bad about this awsome racing game

This game is great overall and i rate this with 5 stars anyday!!!

Fun game, but are forced to play career mode to get all cars

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 4 / 5
Date: January 06, 2005
Author: Amazon User

I got this game for Christmas and so far I have been fairly satisfied with the game.


Though the graphics in this game are not as crisp as PGR's, they are still very good. The car's you drive and the opponent's cars are done very well with a lot of detail. However the car's of the computer controlled traffic are not done in the same detail. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does take away from the overall look of the game. The city you drive through has been done in a pretty good amount of detail. There is also a lot of advertising going on here, you will occasionally see Burger Kings, Cingular and other stores on the side of the street while you are cruising through the city. Also in this game are highways that are very believable, the highways are complete with green signs telling you what's at the next exit and what direction you are traveling. In addition while you are driving through the city, signs will tell you how to get on the highway.

The cars handle amazingly well, and they respond to you commands quickly. Unlike PGR, your car will not mysteriously spin out of control while taking a curve at 15 MPH. The only time where you will find the responsiveness of the cars diminishes is when you are doing drag races. For some reason you have to press the button a little harder if you want to switch lanes during these races, if not, you will often find yourself crashing in a wall and totaling your car resulting in an automatic loss. Overall however you can feel comfortable driving and not worry about your car spinning out of control for no reason, or having to almost come to a complete stop to take a turn.

The sound is pretty good in this game, I wouldn't say its anything to drool over, but its adequate enough to keep you in the game. Your car makes the usual sounds while you shift gears and tires screech when you slam on the breaks. The one thing I don't like about the sound is that you can't choose you own tracks to play in the game like you could with PGR; you are forced to listen to the tracks that EA provided for you, which no doubt get old very fast. It would have definitely added another level of fun to this game but apparently EA didn't feel the same way.

Game play:
The first thing you will notice in this game is that you are only provided with a handful of cars to start with, even when you are doing quick race. I may be wrong but to me it seems the only way you can unlock all the cars is to play career mode unlocking cars as you reach certain levels. Sometimes I just want to race with fast cars and not have to jump through hoops to do so. I shouldn't have to play this game 5 hours just to get a Toyota Celica. The manual does not tell you this, so I found out online that this is the only way to get more cars.

I will focus on Career mode since that's what the game forces you to focus on. The game starts with a storyline reminiscent of 2 Fast 2 Furious and you are ultimately dropped off at an airport with Rachel's tricked out 350Z. She tells you to drop it off and you eventually end up at a dealership to get a car of your own, you are only given 4 choices in cars, Peugeot, Honda Civic, Nissan 240SX and a Ford Focus. I choose the Civic. Another thing I hate is that you are forced to drive with the car they have, meaning you can't change the color. Only later do you "unlock" a graphics shop that allows to you pick any color you want, and even then you have to unlock certain types of paint jobs. Again the manual doesn't tell you this, and I found this out online.
As you cruise through the city you get calls and text messages from your computerized friends informing you of races that are happening and other things going on in the city, the races that they tell you about never appear on the map, they just give you a general area of where they are and you have to find them yourself. The map does however have races that do appear on the map so there is always something to do. The main races are Drag, Sprint, Circuit, Street X and Drift.

As you complete races you are given money which you can use to purchase upgrades for you car and there are a lot of upgrades!! Anything you can think of, is included in this game; tires, neon lights, rims (You can even unlock spinners), graphics, body kits, exhaust tips, hydraulics, nitrous, and not to mention countless upgrades to your engine, transmission and suspension. This part of the game is very fun to say the least. Eventually you will unlock a graphics shop and there you can change your car's color.

Also as you reach certain points in the game more cars will become available at the car lot, and you can trade the car in you are driving for the new one. However you will eventually get a sponsor, and they will give you a free car so you don't have to trade yours in. I think you can have a limit of 5 cars at one time.

Another fun thing in the game is while you are cruising through the city, you can actually challenge others to "real-life" street races through traffic. When you drive up next to another person just press the up button and the game will immediately enter chase mode. The object of chase mode is to out distance your opponent by 1000 feet. Who ever is in the lead can choose ANYWHERE they want to go and the person trailing has to keep up. If you win, you get $100 if you lose then you lose $100. Regretfully there are no cops in the game, so speed all you want.

The game itself is not too terribly difficult, but the computer players will try to wreck you on purpose. The good thing about this though, is that you can wreck them too! Unlike PGR, this game seems fair and not impossible to complete. Another thing I like is that unlike PGR the tracks and city allow you to push to car to its limits, no more endless turns and being lucky to get your car over 110. I actually reached 158 in my upgraded Civic on the highway! I could never do that in PGR! "Borrowed" from PGR, This game also gives you bonuses for doing cool tricks while driving. The more cool tricks you do in succession, the more nitrous you get. I am so glad NFSU2 did not make the tricks the focal point of the game like the idiots who made PGR. This game concentrates on racing which is what "racing" games should do. You get rewarded for doing tricks, but it is very possible to progress without doing them. There is no car damage in this game, and the only real consequence of wrecking horribly, is that you will lose some nitrous. This is a bit disappointing.

All in all I am pretty satisfied with the game. The game itself is very fun and involving, I just don't think that I should be forced to play a career mode if I just want a quick race using the 2005 Ford Mustang. The only additional cars I have unlocked now are the Navigator, Escalade, H2, Celica, Tiburon, and the Sentra Spec V, I have no idea how long it will take me to get all the cars, but I just hope I don't get bored with the game before I get them.

I won't talk about XBOX Live, because I cancelled my membership.

Real-life-looking Entertainment

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 3 / 3
Date: December 27, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Need for Speed Underground 2 is very life-like. While playing this game I experience excellent sounds and fun entertainment.
There are challenges in the game where you are racing against opponents (computerized and real). When you win various challenges, you receive BANK to purchase parts and different accessories for your car. Your car is rated on a 10-point visual system and the better your car looks, the better its rating.
I would recomend this game for children ages 9-15.

good but with a few flaws

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: July 21, 2005
Author: Amazon User

This game is pretty fun overall, but it has some major flaws that need to be addressed.
The career mode is cool, because you're not just racing but there is actually a story and you have to win races to get better cars and upgrades.
The racing is pretty good too, realistic as far as braking and acceleration go.
Flaws: some of the cars just dont drive like they are supposed to. This is especially evident with the AI. It seems like no matter what car the AI is using, its as fast as a Ferrari sometimes, and as slow as an SUV at others. For example, at one point I was driving an Audi TT, racing against a small, POS Peugeot, yet somehow the latter out-accelerated, and out-handled me. It seemed to be able to do extremely tight turns without losing an speed. Not realistic.
Second major flaw is that some of the cars just don't drive the way they do in real life. For example, the Nissan 350Z in the game, while fast and one of the better cars, doesn't drive like a real Z. The tail of the car is all over the place no matter how you tune the car. It doesn't drive like that in real life. The Mitsubishi EVO does drive like that in real life, yet in the game the tail of the car goes nowhere.
Overall a pretty good game.

Solid arcade racer, but misses in many small areas

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: July 10, 2005
Author: Amazon User

When my sister decided to rent this game from Blockbuster last week, I thought that this game wasn't going to be anything special (since I am not a big fan of EA anyway). I wasn't really excited when she came home and popped the game into the Xbox (which disturbed me from my Halo 2 playing experience by the way), so I left that particular room and let her enjoy her rental for the night. After leaving it shelved for a couple of days and a losing streak in Halo 2's "Big Team Battle", I decided to give NFS:U2 a chance.

When I popped the disk into the Xbox, I decided to first enter the career mode that this game offered. What I first got was a taste of the speed that was to come (if I decided to press on) as I raced from the airport to a car lot. What I got when I got there was pretty much where the speed ended. When you first enter the car lot, you are stuck with a handful of low-end stock cars. Luckily, you get the first car for free (and several others for free as well when you get a sponsor).

When I chose my car and left to enter the streets of Bayview, I decided to cruise around the city for a bit (to get comfortable to where everything was, etc.). When I cruised around the city, besides the fact that my car stunk and there is a corporate logo on all the time I am in cruise mode (which I will get to later), driving wasn't that bad. The graphics were solid, there were a decent assortment of real-life stores and billboards (Burger King, Cingular, and Best Buy were the most noticeable, since they probably coughed up the most money to be in the game), and there was a good deal of pavement to drive on.

One minor irk I noticed in the beginning was that some of the areas that are raceable were barred off from me, therefore leaving me with a smaller space to cruise around in. Another irk that I noticed was that you have to find all of the Performance, Graphics, Specialty, and Detail shops by yourself to unlock all of the goodies that you can put in and on your car. And even then, a good deal of things are still locked away until you progress thorugh the game (who was the genius that thought this one up?).

In itself, the racing in the game is solid. As expected by me, NFS:U2 is an arcade racer which relies more on top speed and the overall performance of the car than the anticipation of a turn and working on your car setup to maximize race performance in certain situations (even though you can tweak you car on a test course). For an arcade racer, NFS:U2 holds it's own and executes its gameplay well.

As for the number of races that you can do, there is a good deal of depth in this game. The racing modes are: Circuit (A closed race which involves several laps... and the laps are pretty long), Sprint (follow a course to an end point), Drift (garner the most points while performing drifts), Drag (a race on a usually flat and straight piece of pavement), Street X (Race on a track with tight turns and short straightaways), Outrun (Race another AI driver to see who can get 1000 feet ahead of the other driver with some "bank" at stake, and U.R.L, which is the Underground Racing League (race on real tracks with different patterns). As you can see, a nice selection is at your fingertips.

The only problems with the in-game are that it seems to rain EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. The rain effects are nice (Kudos to the graphics department), but when it rains in every Circuit, U.R.L., and Sprint race, it gets aggrevating after a while. Thanks to this, I tend to think that Bayview is no more than a fictitious Seattle.

Another problem with the racing is that the racing seems a bit too "arcadey" at times. It is "arcadey" in the sense that there is an obvious catchup in the game (for both you and the computer opponents), in some cases it's easier to ride the wall instead of realistically turning, and there is no damage model in the game whatsoever. When you get into a head-on crash at over 100 MPH with oncoming traffic, I expect to have at least some damage. But when I do this, I have a realistic crash with real sounds, but there is no damage whatsoever to my or the other guy's car. Even for an arcade racer, this is unacceptable.

After the race, you are escorted back to the cruise mode where you are looking for the next race or the nearest specialty store to improve or stylize your "ride". And thus is where the next problem of NFS:U2 is. Some genius "black-suit" EA exec decided that you have to drive to a certain location (which is usually in some out-of-the-way place) in order to race in that event. This idea is poorly executed, as driving from one place to another is an arduous chore and can be highly confusing after a while, even with the GPS (which can sometimes ask you to do an almost full 180 at times to get there in the quickest way). And in some cases, one wrong turn will lead you to go a lot farther than you bargained for (this is highly evident in Jackson Heights).

Some other problems I noticed were that the game did not support custom soundtracks (kind of ironic that the game allows you to "trick out" your car yet you can't add on any tracks burned to your XBox).

The game also tries, almost desperately, to be "super hip" with all of the "hip young lingo" in the game. I do not want to hear my agent saying that my last race was "tight" and my "ride" needs to be "tricked out" in order to "score me some photo ops". If I wanted this, I'd watch MTV and gag myself with rerun after rerun of "Pimp my Ride". I know that they tried to get the "underground" feel of the game, but it seems the the script was written by several 13-year-old surburban white males with an unhealthy obsession with gangsta rap and "the streets". Probably not the case, but it seems that way.

Another problem is that there is product placement "up-the-wazoo" (this wasn't in the game, by the way). I'm not saying that all of the product placement is bad. I commend EA for securing the naming rights for a good deal of part manufacturers and automobiles. And I really don't mind the occasional billboard about Burger King and Best Buy here and there, but EA stepped over a fine line with having a Cingular logo plastered on the screen when I cruise around the city in my non-racing time. Okay, I know that it's business, Cingular ponied up the most money to put their rights on the game, and any developer will take another cash infusion to aid development costs, but a Cingular logo plastered on the screen and finding a hidden shop next to a Burger King don't have to do with underground racing.

In short, this game does it's job of being an arcade racer and does it well, but a few minor irks have dropped this game a star in my book, I would reccommend renting this game first to make sure that this is for you, if it is then buy it. If not, no harm to you.

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