Need for Speed: Underground 2
Need for Speed: Underground 2 is the eighth installment in the Need for Speed series, developed by EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released in November 2004 for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows. It was the First Need for Speed Game to Be released on PSP following By 2005.The game entails tuning cars for street races, resuming the Need for Speed: Underground storyline. Underground 2 provides several new features when compared to its prequel, such as a broader customization, new methods of selecting races, the "explore" mode (similar to the Midnight Club series, in a large city known as "Bayview").
Why It Rocks
- Seemingly endless amount of customization options. You can add speakers inside the trunk of your vehicles, and add neon lights to your engine. Also, you can customize your HUD gauges with different themes such as a griffin and change the color.
- Installing the third level of Hydraulics will give your vehicle the ability to jump.
- Lots of cars to choose from, and you can also race in SUVs.
- Nice variety of race types, such as drag, drift (including downhill drift), street X (basically doing lap races on drift tracks), and even closed-course racing.
- A much more fleshed-out career system. Now you can sign contracts with sponsors for big bucks and get to take your own photos for your car for magazine and DVD covers. You can always check your rewards in the garage.
- Winning a certain number of career free roam outruns can give you normally-unobtainable unique parts, which also requires doing time trials like the previous game.
- However, this feature is too well-hidden for new players to discover, and certain parts are lost for good once you get past the stage they're in.
- Fine-tuned driving mechanics.
- Excellent track design.
- Well-designed and smooth online mode.
- Beautiful graphics.
- You can also download this mod to run on a high resolution.
- Awesome soundtrack containing rock, electronics, and rap.
- Improved sound effects and engine sounds.
- There is an open world to explore in Career Mode, a formal first for the series (the actual first open world is unintentionally from the PlayStation version of Porsche Unleashed), and races actually take place in the open world. You can find pickups which will give you money, and also find shops around Bayview, and depending on the type of shop, they sell either upgrades, body modifications, or paint jobs for your vehicle. New zones will also be unlocked as you complete more races in the game.
- Once you complete the story mode you unlock everything in the Customization Mode and you can install whatever you want in Quick Race mode for free, which modern NFS games somehow can't.
- You can tune your cars for each separate mode. Running the dyno test in this mode will give you more exact information about your vehicle power such as RPM, torque, and acceleration speed.
- If you own the PAL release of the game, you'll be able to either drive the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 1.8 SRi or Peugeot 106 GTI as both of them are a good choice in the beginning of the career mode.
- The NTSC release, instead has the Honda Civic Si (EM1) and Acura RSX Type S (DC5), while the Japanese version has all 4 cars. PC users can also get all of them via Extra Options.
- The GBA port had 3D graphics which is very impressive for its time. The same thing also applies to its predecessor.
- The DS version even lets you design your own decals using the stylus!
- The comic-book styled cutscenes fail to give a serious impact. Combined with the long & repetitive career mode (which is especially worse in Stage 4 and 5) it's very easy to forget that there's a story in this game.
- The final boss, Caleb, is extremely forgettable. The final race with him is so easy even on hard difficulty that you can beat him with a stock car.
- Some customization parts will make your car look like a rice burner (no matter how fully tuned your car is), unless if you add certain ones with an acquired taste.
- DVD missions (which is mandatory to progress the career) even forces you to customize your car to a hideous state.
- Despite being improved from the previous game, AI warping bugs and rubberbanding do exist. Especially in URL races where rubberbanding can be even worse than Underground.
- There's no teleport system in free roam at all. You have to manually drive to every single place you want to go, which is especially annoying when you have to drive through Jackson Heights over and over again. Maybe the devs REALLY want you to roam around the city, because they also shut down a very convenient cross-town tunnel right before they released the game.
- Police are absent in this game due to certain manufacturers like Honda and Acura not allowing their cars being involved in police chases in games at the time (Ironically, the NSX was featured in in the first Need for Speed game, and had police chases). Though fortunately, these cars were finally featured in the 2015 Need for Speed game.
- Due to licensing issues, vehicles like the Honda S2000 (AP1) (from the prequel), Honda/Acura NSX (NA2) and Acura Integra Type R (DC2) (another car from there) were cut during the game's development. The NSX, which was supposed to return since the very first game, finally got featured in ProStreet.
- However, the Olympic Imports mod for Underground 2 restores these cars.
- Upgrading the Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec (BNR34), Mazda RX-7 (FD3S), Mazda RX-8 (SE3P), Lexus IS 300 (JCE10) or Toyota Supra (JZA80)'s engine to Extreme Package will cause it to have a Ferrari 360 engine sound. However, player can sacrifice some power or use the Car Sound Tuner (PC version only) to keep its awesome RB26/2JZ/13B engine sound.
- Terrible framerate on the GameCube version.
The game was a success for EA. The game ultimately sold around 11 million copies and entered the "best-sellers" of each console PS2's Greatest Hits, Xbox's Platinum Hits, and GameCube's Player's Choice.