PC - Windows : 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
CVG 84
IGN 91
GameSpy 90
GameZone 90
Game Revolution 75
1UP 90

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 41)

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Fun, fun, fun

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 19 / 21
Date: November 29, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I don't know what it is about EA Games or whoever writes the Need for Speed series. Others have said that every other Need for Speed release is great and the other half stinks. Anyway, the last Need for Speed Underground (1) was a big disappointment, too much bling, bling, "you go girl" stuff, in addition to the software creators locking you out of tracks and cars until you complete certain tracks, very annoying... Once again, this game is a major improvement to the first of this series. Obviously the creators have listened and have opened up most of the cars and tracks and allow you to just cruise the city in whatever car you want. You can also upgrade the cars with mods to see if they help the performance. The graphics are excellent but at 1600 x 1200, they start to slow down my 3.06 GHZ, ATI 9800pro system. I find the graphics totally acceptable at 1280 x 1024 with max details. I really enjoy the game and find the physics to be very good. I'd say tat they could work on the feedback in the force feedback steering wheels to be more representative of oversteer/understeer, etc. I'd have to say that this game is an equal to Porsche Unlimited and I'm happy I bought it..

Best race game ever

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 8 / 8
Date: December 30, 2004
Author: Amazon User

First off, the PC version with a decent system simply blows XBox and PS2 away, there simply is no comparism in graphics and gameplay.

Second, I see alot of posts talking about this game in the early stages (Miata, Supra, Hyundai etc). This game has to be PLAYED to be appreciated. Ive played it for weeks, have unlocked ALL parts, ALL cars, and am only about 60% completed with the game, and thats playing every day, and winning very well. The top end cars (Skyline, 350z, WRX, Mustang GT) are absolutely exhilerating. The gameplay makes every car stand out in different ways. Have a front wheel drive car? Its going to COMPLETELY handle different than a rear wheel drive counterpart. Have great handling but no power? You will own on tight courses. Etc etc. Again Ive been playing this for about 3 weeks and its still my favorite game and Ive unlocked all parts and cars.

Its nice that you can customize the looks (or even add different spinner or hydraulics) to your car in a million ways (literally) but the real shine of this game is the racing. Its awesome, its a challenge, and ITS REPLAYABLE (umm I have only picked about 8 cars throughout the game and there are like 30 to choose from)

Stop reading these silly pros n cons, if you have a PC with decent vid card (high end ATI or NVidia), you will no way be dissapointed and you will put the Xbox and PS2 versions to shame.

Truly a superb game if you like racing. BUY IT

EVERYTHING a sequel should be.

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 9 / 10
Date: November 22, 2004
Author: Amazon User

One of the FEW games actually worth the money.

I have been following the NFS series since "Need for Speed" hit the PC oh-so many long years ago. So I've seen MORE than enough racing games. The good, and the bad. Right now, you're looking at the best.

EA took a lot of criticism for straying from the exotic muscle car genre they created... but now that we're up to the sequel of one the most succesful racing games ever published, it's safe to say they they made a good move. To say the least. THIS is what "Need for Speed" has become.

There's not a whole lot to say that hasn't already been said by so many people... if you've made it this far, then you already know that. And, I agree with them all. If you're looking for an unreal racing game, this is it.

It's been my experience that one of the better changes made from the first Underground is the ability to choose for yourself what event you want to race... they're not picked FOR you. As you drive around Bayview, you can pick and choose your event, and if you don't like drifting for example, then you don't have to drift.

Other new additions are the "Outrun" mode where while driving in free roam mode to say, an event, you come upon other racers who will challenge you to an "outrun" race immediately on the fly, where you're thrust into a quick race against that other racer... the first to lose the other person by 500 feet wins. DEFINITELY breaks up those long drives from one side of Bayview to the other.

Numerous exterior (carbon fiber mirrors, and spinners) and INTERIOR (custom instrument panels and trunk audio layouts) have been added.

As for graphics, and sound, everyone else has already praised them enough... and if you have a choice as to which system you want this for... if you know you're stuff then you already know you want it for PC. I'm not here to offend any XBox or PS2 fans, but it's just simple tech. Neither XBox nor PS2 can do what even a medium-range PC can. NO console ever will. The day they roll off the assembly line technology passes them by. However, a PC just isn't fit for everyone, but then, you probably already know that too.

If you enjoyed the first one, there's only more to love in this one baby. ;)

Far from perfect, but a fun racing game nonetheless...

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 9 / 12
Date: August 23, 2005
Author: Amazon User

If you've seen the movie "The Fast and the Furious" starring Vin Diesel, then you have a pretty good idea what Need for Speed Underground 2 is like. You play the role of an aspiring street racer who has moved to a new city. You are given an initial car with "stock" everything. As you win races with other street racers, you'll collect money that will allow you to accessorize and tune your car for maximum performance. Along the way, the races you win will unlock new parts, new accessories, and new vehicles to drive. You can even sign up with sponsors, who will set certain requirements for you in exchange for things they will give you. I'm not nuts about the idea of having to "unlock" game content, but it wasn't that hard to do in this case so I didn't mind.

The graphics in the game are quite good and realistic. They respond smoothly and fluidly, and with as much detail as you'd expect in a modern racing game. Sounds are also good. Each make and model of car sounds a little different from the others, and the sound changes in response to the upgrades you make to the car.

Controls respond quickly when you press them. For the most part, I think the default control layout is optimal and logical. The use of the Alt key for nitrous boost was problematic for me, as the "Windows" key is next to the Alt key on my keyboard. When I wasn't paying careful attention, I would sometimes hit the Windows key in a tense part of a difficult race. This would cause the game to go to the background and Windows to go into a tailspin trying to bring the desktop and Start menu up for me. I realize I could remap the key, but I got used to it being the Alt key and it was hard to change it and get used to the new position.

The game has a fairly large playing map, with a nice selection of terrain. It includes everything from winding uphill roads to long, straight, level, multi-lane highways. At different times, you're required to race on just about every road in the game.

The game has a fairly limited number of race types, but they vary enough that you won't get tired of them until you have beaten the game. The race types include:

Drift: In these races, you get points for putting the car into a controlled slide. The longer you can keep the slide going without hitting anything, the more points you'll get. The more points you get, the more likely you are to win. Having a "slippery" car with lots of torque is valuable here. The "downhill" drifts in traffic are probably the second-hardest races in the game, as it's tough to go sliding down a hillside with other cars coming at you without bumping one of them or tapping a guard rail and losing your points.
Sprint: In these races, you must be the first to cross the finish line. You will race between two specific points in the city. The first one there wins. Simple as that. Sometimes there are shortcuts and alternate routes you can take that will help you shave seconds off your time. If you have a fast car, these can be the easiest of the races.
Circuit: In these races, a group of streets is selected that forms a roughly circular pattern. You race in this "track" for a given number of laps. The first car to complete the required number of laps around the circuit wins. If you have a decently fast car, these are probably the simplest races to win.
Drag: These races limit the control you have of the car's steering. In exchange, they require you to take on the task of shifting gears at the appropriate moment. The closer your shifts are to the "perfect" time, the more speed your car will gain. The first person whose car gets across the finish line wins. For my money, these were the toughest and most frustrating races in the game. The computer-controlled racers seemed to rarely miss a shift or get into an accident, and unless I responded perfectly and poured on the nitrous at the end, I didn't stand a chance.
URL: The "Underground Racing League" races are kind of a cross between the circuit and the drift races. By "drifting" at the right times, you'll gain nitrous, which you can use to power past your opponents. URL events are a series of two or three races that you win by accumulating the most points. Points are awarded based on your position at the finish line. The racer with the most points for the series is the winner.
In addition to the above races, there are three other kinds. One is a "race against time" where you are told that if you can reach a certain location within a specified amount of time, you will get a special part for your car. Another is a "race to publicity" where you have to meet a magazine or DVD cover photographer within a specific amount of time. If you get there in time, your car is photographed for the magazine or DVD. If not, it isn't. Last is a race against other street racers like yourself. Win these and you get some reputation points and cash. Occasionally, the racers will send you on a "race against time" to get a unique part for your car.

Since both my 13-year-old step-son and I have spent a lot of hours playing this game, you can be sure that we are enjoying it. The races are challenging enough that we're willing to stick with them, but not so overwhelmingly difficult that we get tired of trying to win a specific one. Plus, it's fun to customize the look and performance of a "stock" vehicle, something that the game gives you a seemlingly endless array of possibilities to do.

But this isn't to say that the game is without flaws. The good news is that the flaws can be overlooked or compensated for in your gameplay. For instance, I mentioned earlier that the use of the Alt key for nitrous boost sometimes causes me to hit the Windows key by accident. I could use the game's options to re-map that function to another key. I just chose not to.

Another flaw is that although the game recognizes that you have a mouse and are clicking on interface elements on the screen, its response to those clicks is inconsistent. For example, if the game asks you whether you want to accept or decline a race, clicking the mouse on the "accept" button generates a beep that sounds like the game knows what to do. But it doesn't do anything. To accept the race, you have to hit the arrow key on the keyboard to highlight "Accept" and press the Enter key to "click" the "Accept" button. I am guessing this is a remnant of porting the game to/from a console. Regardless, it's a sloppy interface for a PC game. The mouse on a PC should work for anything that looks like an on-screen button.

Although it's hard to call this a flaw, the game likes to show you slow-motion video of your car any time it leaves the ground for more than a split second. This happens even during intense races, and can really throw you off because it changes the camera perspective for 2-3 seconds and disables keyboard input. By the time the little "cut scene" is over, you've relaxed for a moment and your car is now slightly out of control. I can't tell you the number of times this "feature" caused me to have a minor to major accident. As near as I can see, you can't turn this off.

Next is the the choice of vehicles in the game and the whole "unlocking" concept. If you suspend your disbelief and treat this as some kind of a simulation of a real street racing world, the "unlocking" part of the game is a load of crap. If I have accumulated enough money to buy a particular car, a particular performance part, or a particular accessory, there is no retailer in the country who'd refuse to sell you that item unless there is a legal issue in doing so (e.g., "that part is only available to police officers"). Having to wait until you win some arbitrary number of races to get a part that a "real" street racer could buy instantly is silly. While I accept the "unlocking" device as a way to keep you challenged by the game, that doesn't mean I like it or agree with it. I don't.

The thing that perhaps bothered me most about NFSU2 is the array of cars available. Until you've played for quite a while, you can't buy a single American car (unless you count the Ford Focus, which is made overseas). When they finally unlock a couple of American cars, it's the Hummer H2 (which is hardly a performance vehicle) and the Cadillac Escalade (also not a performance vehicle). It's only very late in the game that you can pick up a Pontiac GTO or Ford Mustang GT. If you know anything about the "real street racing scene" (i.e., not the Hollywood version of it), you know that the movers and shakers in that scene are rarely driving Japanese or other foreign makes. Most will have Chevy Camaros, Ford Mustangs, and the like. That includes many of the "newbies" on the scene, since it's often cheaper to pick up a used Mustang or Camaro than a Honda, Toyota, or Hyundai. There are also a lot more parts available for the American Iron, at lower costs, to generate more horsepower. So the fact that you have to play around with a Honda Civic from the start is more Hollywood's idea (think "The Fast and the Furious") than a real depiction of the street racing scene. But again, if you can suspend your disbelief, this is an aspect of the game you can get around, since the selection of cars is decent enough to allow you to get "something better" when you need it.

The one aspect of the game that's hardest to get past, though, is the physics used in the game for vehicle traction. I'm betting that a real, tuned-up Honda Civic with bald tires on slick, wet pavement wouldn't slide a third as much as a stock Civic in the game with new tires on dry pavement going 35 miles per hour. Cars slide with little provocation and require considerable coaxing to stop them from doing so. I've seen cars going 15 miles per hour slide what would equate to 5-10 feet in the real world. I'm sorry, EA, but something's just wrong with that. I drive a 2002 Ford Mustang GT with performance tires on it, and my car doesn't slide going around sharp turns at 50mph speeds, and even on slippery, wet pavement I've never slid more than a few inches or found the car impossible to recover when the wheels start to spin. I suppose all this sliding around makes for a more dramatic "teaser" video for the game, but it makes for a game that's very unrealistic and at times extremely frustrating to play. (And no, I didn't have the car "tuned" for drifting when this happened. It was tuned for precisely the kind of race I was in when it happened.) More often, I lose a race in NFSU2 not because I'm a lousy driver or my car wasn't fast enough. I lose the race because the car gets into one of these "complete loss of traction" moments and won't get out of it until I completely take my "foot" off the accelerator and let the wheels stop moving. Real cars do not respond that way... at least not the ones I've ever driven, and I've driven quite a few.

On a 1-10 scale, with a 10 being excellent, I'd have to rate NFSU2 about a 7.5.

For better and for worse

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 7 / 8
Date: March 07, 2005
Author: Amazon User

I must admit, I'm quite fond of both the NFS:U games and the second in the series proves a worthy if somewhat fluffy sucessor.

The basic formula is unchanged: you buy, trick-out and race high performance cars through the moonlit streets of a thriving metropolis. The most notable difference in NFSU:2 is the wide-open city that spraws beneath your wheels. Some have said this aspect serves to distract from the flow of the game, but for the most part, I find it to be a welcome and generally enjoyable addition. To me, the racing engine in this game is nice enough to make cross-town trips less of a chore; not to mention the scenery is pretty nice.

Another flaw (though it depends how you look at it) in the new design is that rather than having tracks built to look like a city (as in NFS:U1) you have a city with built-in tracks. Most oof the races in the game will put you in a closed-off section of the city. While this is nice for continuity, the "real-life" streets of Bayview are at times somewhat less enjoyable to race on that the specifically-designed city tracks of the original game. The excess of sharp corners and the like are a contrast to the more race-friendly tracks of NFS:U1.

This brings us to the next aspect, the cars. NFSU:2 features a metric buttload of machines for your tuning enjoyment, including most of the cars that were in the original. I've found that the "power bar" rating system is somewhat misleading, and recomend that you test out cars in Quick Race to really get a feel for their performance. The rating system seems to be pretty static in nature, not accounting for a car's weight and size. The physics engine in the game, however, does. Meaning cars with identical ratings may often perform entirely diffrent from one another.

The only lingering disappointment with NFSU:2 is that while there are ALOT more customization options, many of them are firmly geared towards the flashy tuner style. While this is great for fans of flashy tuner cars, it leaves the more conventional players wishing they could find more than one style of spoiler that they like. With as much as the game offers, there's really no excuse for such a lack of variety.

The AI is competent, if somewhat less adept than that which was featured in the original game. There is a slight void between "too easy" and "almost impossible" which leads to a bit less geniune intensity in the competition, and a bit more "how the heck did he suddenly pass me and get 5 seconds ahead?!".

I think that's a long enough review. For all its flaws, if you liked the first and/or like racing game in general, NFSU:2 is still definitely worth a play.

Wowzers, what a game!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 7 / 8
Date: January 25, 2005
Author: Amazon User

This is by far the best racing game that has come to pc yet. The level of detail is so impecable. You can customize anything you can think of. The sound of this game is amazing, every car has its own sound, and you can switch mufflers and other modifications to change it more. There are 30 or so cars to be unlocked and it is not one of those games where you can unlock them all after a couple of hours of play. The game is very big so it will take you a while to complete, which is a good thing! I enjoyed playing number one but I was disappointed with the fact that you couldn't drive around anywhere you wanted, you were restricted to drive only on the track, which I thought was too bad. However, they definitely corrected that in Underground 2, the maps are huge, and there are endless highways, freeways, town roads, etc. to drive on. If you like import cars, street racing, or just car games, this is definitely something you want to pick up if you haven't already.

The prodigal game is here...

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 6 / 9
Date: November 18, 2004
Author: Amazon User

For racing fans (such as me), this game will blow your mind away.

I, too, have been playing NFSU since last christmas, but this game is even better! This game's graphics (if set correctly with the right video cards and drivers, etc.) are absolutely amazing and triumph even over what the GameCube has to offer. By far, the XBox's version of NFSU2 has the best graphics, but then again, this game is about $10 cheaper and just about as good, except for the fact that it's not on Xbox.
**** 1/2 (four and a half stars) for graphics.

The sound effects on this game are good, but some songs get old after a little while, and some don't. EA has greatly improved the car sound effects, like the skidding, turbo, NOS, and burnouts, and all of them are astonishing, sounding like it would in real life. Songs are 'meh'. Not that bad, but not that great either.

**** (four stars) for songs and sound effects.

The gameplay- WHOA! This game is packed full of races and challenges that you can compete in, as well as a garage full of parts and modding materials. The city is too big for it's own good, and after awhile, the random challenges get pretty annoying while you're trying to get to your race. So, for this purpose, EA created World Mode, a mode where you have a list of races and a map of the city so that you can jump to race to race, avoiding those pesky popups. It's rad. :)

**** 3/4 (four and three-quarter stars) for gameplay.

Replay Value: as with most NFS replay values, these are really not that great. Once you're done, you're done, and that's pretty much all there is. Well, that's not entirely true in this game. You can customize your car in thousands of different ways. It's absolutely amazing--if you can find it on the street, you can find it here. One of the little things that I love are the split hoods. Silly, I know, but'cha gotta love 'em. :P

*** 1/2 (three and a half stars) replay value.

Overall, this is a great game for racing fans- highly reccomend it to all of you teens and middle-schoolers out there. And yes, the rumors are true, there are SUVs in here. Escalades. And just like in real life, the turning radius and base acceleration on these cars are absolutely horrible. (^-^)

Buy this game.

Significant Improvement

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 5 / 7
Date: November 19, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I have been in the NFS series since Porsche Unleashed so i've seen a few games. I orignally purchased NFSU in the first month of its release and I played the Undergroudn mode on hard and it acctually was a challenge. The legacy continues today through this game. I got it the first day and immediate set it to Hard.

This career mode offers a challenge allbeit a surmountable one. Im working through career as fast as i can. One of the best changes in this mode is the addition of a garage which allows you to have multiple cars for multiple race modes, something that annoyed me in NFSU 1. I was at first annoyed by the free roaming city idea but it turns out its alot of fun. The map is huge.

The actual gameplay and handling are very well done, and each car handles dramaticly diffrent (very good thing). I am a personal fan of the Miata but thats neither here nor there.

The modes of racing are now even more plentiful and each mode is done quite well. I personaly am not as big a fan og drag as everyone else, i prefer the long drawn out high speed high cornering races of which there are plenty of as well as the new outrun challenge which is sometimes a joy.

Graphics and Sound are done well. I don't know anything about the ingame music as i have it turned off lol. I run a Nvdia 6800 GT OC @1600x1200 with max details all around and it runs very well. The addition of 1600x1200 made me happy b/c it was left off the first NFSU. The effects and detail are amazing if you can crank them up high enough.

If you enojyed the first you will love hte 2nd and if your new you won't be dissapointed in one of hte best racing games in a good while.

Need for Speed Underground 2 is a great game.

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 4 / 5
Date: January 03, 2006
Author: Amazon User

Need for Speed Underground is a very fun and unique game. Unlike other games, you must look for the races on the map. There are 5 stages that consist of a certain number of races. Races include:
Sprint (Green on the map)
Place first on a race from start to finish.

Circuit (Purple on the map)
Place first on a race course consisting of 2-4 laps.

Drag (Blue on the map)
Race from start to finish while shifting gears.

Street X (Light blue)
Race on a track with very tight turns.

Drift (Light tan)
Unlike other races, you don't have to place first at the finish line. However, you must score the most power slides or drift points. Along with regular drift on a track, there is also downhill drift. Your opponents have already crossed the finish line and you have to drift down a mountain and beat the first place car.

SUV (Orange)
Any of the above races for only SUVs.

URL (Underground Racing League--Yellow)
Either come in first on a long race, with 5-6 laps, or a tournament with races about 4 laps each. All URL races are sponsored.

The game takes place in Bayview. You start out in the city core and later unlock Beacon Hill, Jackson Heights, Coal Harbor East, and Coal Harbor West. In each section, there are hidden shops including body shops, performance shops, car specialties shops, car lots, and graphics shops. Tune your car at either the garage or any performance shop for different races. As the main character, Rachel gives you tips, tells you if there is a special event, and helps you get a sponsor. All races give you money when you win, but sponsored races give you more money and hidden races give you a lot!

Around stage 3, you will meet the street reapers, the most tricky racers in the game. After that, the Street Reapers remain there and you race them occasionally. As the final race, you race Caleb, the leader of the Street Reapers. I know you will enjoy this game.

Need For Speed Underground 2

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 3 / 3
Date: September 01, 2005
Author: Amazon User

Need For Speed Underground 2 is a game where you drive and compete with advance racers. Based on the sequal of the first Underground game, the storyline was O.K. All it talks about is you trying to be the best racer and to earn reputation so people out the can give you respect in the streets of underground. Major changes in the underground 2 made this game a bit better than the first need for speed undergound game. First of all underground 2 made maps and a free roam/explore place for you to roam around the streets of underground to to compete some drivers around. More cars now available to drive and customize. graphics from this game make me think thats its a little better than the first underground game. I rate this game a 4 out of 5

Some technical features of this game from the need for speed website:

Key Features

- Free-Roaming City: Explore a massive city divided into five distinct, interconnected neighborhoods, ranging from serpentine suburban hills to an intense downtown grid. A complex series of drivable freeways connect the neighborhoods together.
- Emergent Gameplay: Want to make a name for yourself in the underground? You'll need to find it first. Races can happen anywhere and at any time and as players encounter rivals on the street they'll be clued into where they can buy the hottest upgrades or enter the most elite events.
- New Gameplay Modes: Three new gameplay modes are added to last year's circuit, drift and drag competitions, challenging gamers to hone their skills in a number of driving disciplines.
- Performance Tuning: Tune every aspect of your car's performance with hundreds of licensed aftermarket performance upgrades and then fine-tune everything from the gear ratio to the suspension for the ultimate ride.
- The Hottest Cars: More than thirty of the most sought-after tuner cars are available from the hottest manufacturers--from Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, and Toyota to Ford and Volkswagen, if they're hot on the street, they're in the game.
- Visual Customization: With more than twice the visual customizations of last year's game, there are literally billions of car combinations available to gamers. Featuring audio upgrades, scissor doors, spoilers, headlights, side skirts, roof scoops, hoods, rims, wide body kits, neon and more, if you can trick it out in real life, you can trick it out in Need for Speed Underground 2.
- Environmental Variety: Each of the five distinct neighborhoods in Need for Speed Underground 2 feature a unique look and feel, including varied driving conditions and track types. Road surfaces, real-time weather effects, and environmental hazards will keep gamers on their toes as they race from dusk till dawn.
- Online: Gamers can put their reputation on the line, challenging the world's best racers online for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

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