Need For Speed: Underground 2 - GameCube

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Need For Speed: Underground 2 (GameCube)
Also for: PC, PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Arcade origin:No
Developer: EA Canada Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 19 Nov 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


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Girls! One for your pinheaded Max Power-infatuated chav of an occasional boyfriend and father to your child, Need For Speed Underground 2 has a ready-made audience eager to play it. It doesn't mean that it's any good: you'll just have to find out for yourself. Baby seats not available in game, by the way...

Competing in the Underground requires an eye-catching combination of speed and style. You can choose from hundreds of performance parts and visual customisation mods to make your ride look good and be a real mean machine beneath the bonnet. Your ride makes or breaks your reputation in the Underground, but nobody is gonna pay attention to a good-looking car if it's running last. So, while you peruse what's available from the outset - a Nissan, a Pontiac or a Peugot for example - don't think of your car as a finished article; think of it more as a blank canvas on which you can project your own personality. Your car can contribute to the all-important visual star rating. As you look more and more sleek and smooth, and your performance improves, up goes your star value and the money you can earn.

Visual mods come in many forms. You can choose from dozens of styles of rims, body kits, exhaust tips, spoilers, side mirrors and more. Your surfaces can be transformed with vinyls, by adding decals to the pearl, gloss or metallic paint job, and you can finish off with a window tint and neon undersides. Smart!

Tuner culture isn't just about how your ride looks. What's under the hood matters just as much, so in the game - as in real life - there is a plethora of aftermarket automotive enhancement available. At a price, of course. NFSU2 offers everything from weight reduction to nitrous oxide, via suspension kits and ECU fuel systems. Add these features to an already powerful motor, and keeping it under control could be the biggest challenge of all.

The gameplay and car handling hasn't changed an awful lot from Underground's first incarnation. The new location for NFSU2 - Bayview - is, however, a massive sprawl of an environment, and there's plenty of scope for exploration. Pootling around looking for a race challenge is one way of getting your kicks in the Underground. Increase your rep by performing to a high standard and you'll get more and more in-game text messages inviting you to compete in bigger and better races for bigger and better rewards.

With the marketing oomph of EA behind it, and a release on all current major platforms, NFSU2 cannot fail to sell in its hundreds of thousands. The boy racers will lap it up, and so will the wannabes.


Need For Speed: Underground 2 - GameCube Artwork

Need For Speed: Underground 2 - GameCube Artwork