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    bccutler's Need for Speed Underground 2 (DS)

    [September 28, 2009 09:24:31 PM]
    Game play:
    During the second session of Need for Speed I was able to start the one player mission based part of the game. Up to now, I have been doing individual races to get used to the feel of the game. Once you begin a career of your own, you get to pick a car and race people for money. You can use the money to buy new parts for your car to increase its performance. You are given a cellphone which allows you to communicate with other racers around the city you are in. I spent most of the time driving around and searching for other racers to confront. Once you confront a racer, you enter into an impromptu race, usually along city streets. These races at first are very difficult to win because your car starts out in stock form. In order to win in the early stages you have to rely on steering and strategy more than acceleration. It forces you to understand the mechanics of the game.
    Another major feature of the game is the ability to aesthetically alter your vehicle. In most racing games I have played, you choose from a list of performance parts, and create the most powerful car you can race with. This game has all of that functionality, but the more entertaining and interactive functionality is the ability to choose from a huge combination of colors, decals, and designs for your car. The editor built into the game has a fairly powerful engine, and if you can picture a design in your head, you will most likely be able to create something very similar in the game. This allows for people to customize the game, and become more involved with the game play. In the online community the design on your car can help friends spot you quickly, or alert another racer that you are on a rival team. Most often, it allows players to show off the ways in which they customized their game play.

    The game is put together well, and the design is unique in how it shows the landscape at high speed. As you accelerate, the screen blurs the view so that it looks like you are going really fast. When you use the nitrous oxide, the screen becomes blurry and the car becomes harder to steer. Besides how the levels feel at high speed, they are also very beautiful at low speed, taking advantage of the game cube’s ATI powered graphics. The backgrounds are high resolution, and use vibrant neon colors which tend to blur more giving a sense that you are traveling at the speed of light. The levels are progressively harder and harder, but as you develop your cars motor, they end up being about the same difficulty because your car is faster.
    I like the way the game makes use of space. There is an over world that you are free to drive around in, much like grand theft auto. I spend most of the time in this freelance portion of the game. When you want to accomplish a task, or enter into a race, you are always only a buttons press away from summoning other racers. The way the parts shop, auto body shop, and car dealerships are laid out, it really makes it feel like you are having to drive for transportation, and not only for racing. This is a lot more fun than the alternative style games where you interact with a menu to make choices like that.
    One thing I would like to see changed in NFSU2 is the incorporation of XBOX live into the normal game world. The way the game is currently set up, when you enter into XBOX live and try to pay with other people, you have to set up predetermined races and then load each individual race via a menu. I think that for the game to come full circle, you should be driving around the digital city, and the other people on the road represent actual players online. This way, instead of setting up pre defined races, you could just drive to the location that is notorious for the type of racing you like. For example, if you wanted to go drifting, instead of waiting in a chat room for other racers who want to drift, you should use the world map to navigate to the mountain parts of the world, and once you get there, sections of the road will lead to less defined races. Overall NFSU2 does a good job of blending a multiplayer game into a open ended driving game, but the best game play is in the one layer mode.
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    [September 28, 2009 07:37:46 PM]
    I have played several of the need for speed games over the past ten years and this might be the most entertaining so far. The attitude of the game is markedly different than the others in that the game has a street flare that is very unique. It incorporates graffitti style artwork, lots of night time driving, and counter-cultured charchters to fuel the story. The cars handle very accurately as far as acceleration and braking, and the turbocharging simulation is realistic sounding. The game has different types of challenges including drag racing, circuit racing, and a new mode called drifting.

    The different modes switch the driving styles and also affect the physics of the environment. For example, in drifting the tracks are "slippery" and allow for easier control while driving sideways. I spent most of the time in drift mode practicing the finer points of steering while sideways. I never cease to be entertained by games that simulate drifting, as this is one of my favorite past times. Although it is a favorite past time, it is not realistic to drift very often, or on any surface other than dirt or gravel. If you use the correct speed and braking, you can enter a turn sideways, maintain your direction, and exit the turn while accelerating, all the while maintaining a slide and gaining points the longer you can maintain it.

    After a while of sliding a car around in a circle, I switched to the drag racing style of racing. In this mode the way you drive is completely different, and has been limited so that you only focus on the gas and shifting at the right time. This is a genius development in racing games as it allows you to enjoy one game as two different games. In drift mode, you are technically drag racing when you leave the start line, but for the designers to completely modify the environment, including how you steer, accelerate, shift and control the game in general. Normally when you are driving,you control the cars direction in an unlimited way, like in a normal car where you can go anywhere. In drag racing mode, using the left or right buttons will cause the car to move over one lane on the road. This allows you to keep focus on the tachometer to make sure you are shifting at the right time, and making use of your nitrous oxide which helps you accelerate. When it comes time to avoid an obstacle, you simply have to press once on a directional button and you change lanes, but the fact that you dont have to adjust any further allows you a level of focus on the main task of racing that was never before possible.
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    bccutler's Need for Speed Underground 2 (DS)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 28 September, 2009

    bccutler's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    More GameLogs
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    1 : Need for Speed Underground 2 (DS) by jp (rating: 2)


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