• Need for Speed Underground 2

Need for Speed Underground 2 tries to inject a story into your career mode using static-image cutscenes that pop up before some races. The effect is similar to what the Max Payne series does with its noninteractive sequences, though that game pulls it off much better than Need for Speed Underground 2 does. Dopey story short, you’re sent off to a new town after getting ambushed by a rival racing crew, and you’ll have to start from scratch with one car and a handful of races to get you going.

The biggest change made is that the action now takes place in one large city. You’re given free rein to drive around wherever you want, and you’ll have to drive to races to drive in them. You’ll also have to drive to different parts shops to customize your ride—in fact, you’ll have to find most of the game’s shops by cruising around the city, looking for the right type of colored lights. The game gives you an onscreen map, but shops don’t show up until you’ve found them, and some races don’t actually appear on the map, either.

You’ll start out in some pretty slow cars, so the racing isn’t very exciting until you earn enough for a full set of upgraded performance parts. But once you’ve done so, the racing is fun and the cars handle well. The cars are fast, and things like turning, powersliding, and proper corning technique are easy to pick-up.

A big part of Need for Speed Underground 2 is the ability to customize your car’s performance and appearance. On the performance side, you’ll purchase parts that have been organized into stages, which gives the game an easy way to lock the better parts away from you until you’re ready for them. While the parts fall into different categories, like engines, brakes, tires, and ECUs, the only thing you really need to know is that you need them all to win races. The visual enhancements are a little more involved and give you a little more leeway, but ultimately you’ll need to trick out the look of your cars to proceed, as having a flashy car is the only way to get noticed and end up on magazine and video covers. Each set of parts has a number associated with it, and these contribute to a meter that sums up how many pieces of flair you’ve bolted to your whip. Spoilers, neons, vinyls, roof scoops, spinner rims, custom gauges, and even speakers for your trunk are just some of the available modifications, and they all help your car stand out. This is especially handy online, where you can show off your stuff to the world.

Platforms : PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube

Mike Husleag
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gottaedge - Unlocks Edge Sponsor Vinyl *works in career* 
ordermebaby - Gives $1,000 to start Career mode, and Unlocks Nissan Skyline and Mazda RX-8 in Quick Race 
goforoldspice - Unlocks Old Spice Sponsor Vinyl *works in career* 
needmybestbuy - Unlocks Best Buy Sponsor Vinyl *works in career* 
gotmycingular - Unlocks Cingular Sponsor Vinyl * works in career* 
gottahavebk - Unlocks Burger King Sponsor Vinyl *works in career* 
needperformance2 - Unlocks Performance Upgrades Tier 2 
gimmevisual2 - Unlocks Visual Upgrades Tier 2 
gimmevisual1 - Unlocks Visual Upgrades Tier 1 
needperformance1 - Unlocks Performance Upgrades Tier 1 
gottaedge - Edge vinyl in Career mode 
tunejapantuning - Japantuning sponsor car 
gimmechingy - Chingy Navigator sponsor car 
davidchoeart - David Choe sponsor car 
opendoors - The Doors sponsor car 
shinestreetbright - ShinestStreet sponsor car 
wantmyd3 - D3 sponsor car 
yodogg - Snoop Dogg sponsor car 
wannacapone - Capone sponsor car 
regmybank - Extra 200 in the bank in Career Mode 
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