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Tracks & Trails

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The Best Cars and Tracks in Need for Speed Underground 2

Customization in Underground 2 was significantly expanded compared to previous iterations from the series. Visual customization has expanded with the ability to customize the car's front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoiler, hood, exhaust tips, doors, roof scoop, wheels (including the ability to put on spinners), headlights and taillights, side mirrors and paint. Vinyls and decals can also be added, as well as car stereos (speakers, amplifiers & subwoofers), hydraulics, nitrous bottles, and underglow neon. Most visual modifications to the car have no actual effect on vehicle performance. The sound systems, for example, could be put in the trunk of cars but served no purpose other than visual cues. Hydraulics can be used in combination with nitrous at a start of a race which can cause a car to do a wheelie and for some cars get a better launch. The performance and handling of the car are affected by cosmetic modifications, like spoilers and hoods, which affect the downforce of the car - better spoilers allow better tuning of the downforce management both in front and in the back of the vehicle. Visual upgrades increase a car's visual rating, up to a rating of 10.0. At least one car in a career garage needs to be visually upgraded to a 10.0 rating to unlock all 10 DVD events (completing these rewards the player with a DVD cover), and each stage has a required number of DVD events.

GameSpot gave the mobile phone version a score of 9.2 out of 10 and said that it "isn't just the best racing game ever made for a mobile phone; it's also a much-needed showcase for V Cast technology. This game boasts game length and replay value so many orders beyond the mobile norm that it calls for a total paradigm shift. Simply put, mobile gaming just got a much-needed kick up the evolutionary ladder."[65] IGN gave the same version a score of eight out of ten and called it "a big step for mobile gaming, in my opinion. While there are things I did not like about the game -- loading and some control issues -- I cannot deny that this is one hell of a package. If you want a game that maxes out your 3D handset, Need for Speed Underground 2 is the game to get."[66]

need for speed underground 2

According to Electronic Arts, Need for Speed: Underground 2 sold above 8.4 million units worldwide by the end of 2004.[69] The PlayStation 2 version of Underground 2 received a "Double Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[70] indicating sales of at least 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[71] The game ultimately sold around 11 million copies[72] and entered the "best-sellers" of each console, PS2's Greatest Hits,[citation needed] Xbox's Platinum Hits,[citation needed] and GameCube's Player's Choice.[citation needed]

","thumbnailUrl":" -99b1-41cc-b834-2ab07c5d2077/imgingest-5709031622772391153.png?auto=webp&fit=crop&height=675&width=1200"},"name":"Need for Speed Underground 2","applicationCategory":"Games","applicationSubCategory":"Driving Games","image":null,"description":"Uncover the tuner underground in a massive, free-roaming metropolis. Get behind the wheel in one of 30 of the hottest cars and own the streets from dusk 'til dawn. Explore the city, encountering underground races, hidden hideouts, secret shops, and unexpected challengers With comprehensive performance tuning options, all-new game modes, and the most sought-after cars on the circuit, Need for Speed Underground 2 delivers the most authentic tuner experience ever.

As soon as the animation of the cars pulling up to the line is over hold A and hit up then down on the thumb stick. Let go of A and slam the R trigger down to get you motor rev'ing. If you've done the trick right you'll be put "back on the track" about 10 feet in front of the three other cars, and can take off at full speed. You'll get a head start bonus, and more importantly a GREAT head start!This trick only works on U.R.L., Sprint, and Circut races. It will put you off to the side if you are in the first starting position.

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. Like in last year's game, there are a handful of different race types: Circuit races are long lap-based events, sprints take you from point A to point B on a set course, drag racing lets you live your life a quarter mile at a time, and drift races rank you based on how squirrelly you can get on the track. New in this year's game are the street X races, which are essentially regular races that take place on drift tracks. Outrun races take place in various parts of the city--you roll up behind another racer, tap a button, and then try to pass and outrun him or her. You'll also encounter a few races against the clock, in which you'll have to get from one point in the city to another before a photographer leaves the area. Make it, and you'll get to put your car on the cover of one of the game's magazines or DVDs for extra cash. The big new race type is the "underground racing league." These races are the sort of mysterious events where you'll see most of the game's cutscenes. They mostly involve some knucklehead breaking the lock on a race track and then swinging open a gate so your street-racing posse can race on a "real" track, though you'll also bust into airports and such, too. These races are essentially circuit races with racetrack scenery instead of cityscape scenery.

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Need for Speed Underground 2's crashes are laughably weak. While high-speed collisions with other cars trigger a slow-motion, cinematic shot of the crash, the game doesn't model any damage at all. It's like you're watching two plastic car models bump up against each other, accompanied by the sounds of an actual car crash. While it practically goes without saying that modeling damage in a game with licensed cars is still a tricky proposition, that fact doesn't make these wrecks look any better. Fortunately, the game's car customization features somewhat make up for this lack of visual detail.

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.

While Need for Speed Underground 2 is attempting to emulate an illegal scene of "underground" street racing, the game really tries to drive its product placement down your throat. Things like billboards on the sides of the roads aren't too bad (though with an ad for a financial service popping up on some signs, you have to wonder who EA's target audience for this game is), and the occasional real-life fast-food joint does its part to make the city feel a little more realistic. But basing the game's whole onscreen display around the logo for a cellular phone service provider crosses the line. Sorry, but there's nothing "underground" about forcing a bunch of non-car-related corporate logos on people. The game's hokey dialogue also adds to the counterfeit feel. The overzealous script is constantly throwing poorly placed slang at you, having Brooke Burke use her teleprompter voice to tell you that "you've got to be racing tight," constantly calling you "dawg," or being very careful to always call your money "bank."

Graphically, Need for Speed Underground 2 looks good, unless you're talking about the GameCube version, which has a wildly unstable frame rate that really gets in the way of the action in some races. But in the other three versions, the car models are sharp and the city looks fine. For the most part, the game keeps running at a smooth frame rate, even in the later stages, when you're moving much, much faster. But at the same time, it isn't quite the effects show that the last game was. You still get nice little effects, like the shaky camera used to show drag races, but the blur effects are much less pronounced now, which is too bad, because they were really well implemented last year. Now, you get blurring at very high speeds or when you kick in the nitrous oxide, but more would have been better. Like last year, the PS2 version is the heaviest on the effects, though the overall look is still a little subdued. For the most part, the different versions of the game look very similar, with the Xbox and PC versions allowing for slightly higher visual fidelity than the PlayStation 2 version, and the GameCube version bringing up the rear, but ultimately the only major differences come down to the GameCube version not having online support, the Xbox version's analog triggers being the best control scheme for the game, and the PC version not playing very well with the keyboard controls (you'll need at least an analog gamepad if you're planning on playing this game on the PC).

The game's sound rises above its lame dialogue and poorly delivered speech. The engine sounds aren't quite as deep or as throaty as you might like, but the game is great at changing the sound of your car as you purchase upgrades. Also, things like the whoosh of wind when you fly under an overpass really help sell the game's sense of speed.


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