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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need for Speed- Underground PC
Definately a vast improvement on previous need for speed titles. Underground blends arcade and simulation perfectly. The driving experience is realistic (handling, acceleration, limitations and drive physics etc) and 20 fully licensed vehicles with authentic car parts and upgrades including the likes of Greddy, HKS USA, NOS etc. (look closely and you'll see such parts...
Published on 21 Jun. 2004 by Iain Birch

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but disappointing in parts
For a racing game, this is impressive. The graphics are something special, the ability to upgrade and customize the car is breath-taking, and the different types of races and tournaments is very good. However, despite all these, the game has flaws and is near impossible in places. When you have defeated Eddie there are a few more races, these are impossible. No matter...
Published on 20 Jun. 2004 by takingbackmarc


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need for Speed- Underground PC, 21 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
Definately a vast improvement on previous need for speed titles. Underground blends arcade and simulation perfectly. The driving experience is realistic (handling, acceleration, limitations and drive physics etc) and 20 fully licensed vehicles with authentic car parts and upgrades including the likes of Greddy, HKS USA, NOS etc. (look closely and you'll see such parts stickers on the cars in the fast and the furious films) Then comes the wonderful blend- no seriously the HUD looks really arcadey but works very well.
Graphically the game is unchallenged in its field. (on the PC anyway, view the latest update preview videos for Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2 and you'll see what i mean) The cars look gorgeous and on higher end machines able to support higher frame update rates then the reflection deatils on car surfaces are cool.
Gameplay other than the driving experience is also cracking fun. Not only can you race your personally customized beast machine head to head with people around the world on the net (Personally i run a godlike nissan skyline) but the single player is great too! You begin with a pretty s**t ride by street race standards and the idea is you have to work your way up the ranks gaining better prestige, engine upgrades, body parts for your car and unique bits and bobs (probably the funnest part of the game customizing your ride)
I was already impressed with this game when i completed it but the fun doesn't stop there. In order to unlock all magazines (you will frequently appear on magazine covers in sinlge player mode complete with hot chicks!) you will also need to gain the maximum ammount of style points (obtained in lots of ways) in order to unlock all the different variations of the cars.
The best driving game i've played in a long time. Beats all the competition out there atm, nuff said.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speedy, 8 Mar. 2004
By 
S. Greig (Guildford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
The concept of this game is that you are an underground illegal racer who performs races in the dead of night in order to earn style points. Style points will gain you respect and allow you to unlock visual upgrades to your car. This car upgrade piece is unique to this game. As you win races, you unlock new upgrades for your car (visual and performance). The performance upgrades effect the car handling and speed and its pretty staple console port race game stuff. The cool bit is that you can unlock visual upgrades such as alloy wheels, spoilers and body kits. These visual upgrades do not affect the driving ability of the game but you can spend hours getting those funky hardware items to look “just right”. Its not just hardware, you get to unlock stickers to put on the car and paint jobs etc etc. Cool.
There is a good range of cars, mostly Japanese, but there are a few European models to tinker with and paint purple with 20” rims.
Race wise, there are three basic themes:
- Race: first past the post wins
- Drag: as above but the skill is in the gear change
- Drift: Try to slide your way round a course getting sideways as much as possible
All are fun, but the drag is possibly verging on frustrating.
Now for a game like this, with such an emphasis on the car looking good, obviously the game engine needs to be up to the job. I am happy to say that the graphics are excellent. Little details on the cars stand out (e.g. painted brake callipers) and since its all done at night time the neon lights in the city look fab reflecting off the shiny bodywork. There are lots other details such as tyre marks that stay around and dust coming off the car when you “catch some air”.
Sound effects are pretty standard engines, tyre squeals, crashes, but the game’s sound track really comes into its own. Underground racers obviously have to have their stereo cranked up, the sound track on this game is great. Hip-hop and rock tracks are used to good effect.
The game does have its downsides, for those used to the GTA freeform there is none of that, each circuit is fixed (though there are a few shortcuts) and if you take a wrong turning you get the car reset back in the right place. The circuits are all based on the same city, so different streets are reused in different races and it can get a bit samey. There is no damage modelling and the physics make the cars seem a bit light, but this is an arcade game so you can’t mark it down for that.
For a pure arcade racer, this game rocks! If you are after a realistic driving game then you ought to try something else.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NFS Underground PC, 6 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
If you enjoy the Fast and the Furious movies, or even the real thing by driving around Asda car parks at 1am carving the tarmac, then you should enjoy this game. A very fast paced driving sim that takes the best of Project Gotham (x-box) and Burnout with a splash of Gran Tourismo and rolls them all into this excellent package. I'm not sure if the console versions will suffer from a few framerate dropouts, because trying to do all of this at once will push anything to its limits. Fortunately my PC spec doesnt suffer from any problems therefore the game isn't spoilt. Only couple of minor downsides would be that the game lacks a damage system, therefore you can plough into a brick wall at 180mph and not feel a thing, but hey, it can give you an advantage in the game. Other minor problem being that the tracks are all set in the same city and all at night, although they do deviate it can get a little repetitive. The car physics are very good, which makes this game as much of a sim as a balls-out racer. And the ability to up-spec your car with a whole bundle of bells and whistles will bring out the boy-racer in everybody. Overall I love this game, been playing it for two weeks almost non-stop, and i'm about three quarters of the way through. Hard to put it down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed fun, 30 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
One factor is more important than any other with racing games - the dynamics. The way a car handles can make or break a game. The Gran Turismo series excels in this area, with Project Gotham Racing not far off. NFSU (to save my fingers) on the other hand, doesn't. It's not terrible - see the original Italian Job game for how to really balls it up - it just lacks the progressive feel, the finesse, of GT or PGR.
So NFSU needs to be spectacular elsewhere to make up. It's hit-and-miss but the pros far outweigh the cons. The graphics are delightful on a reasonable spec machine (XP2000, 256Mb, 64Mb graphics card), with every reflection beautifully rendered. And for once in a racer the cars and scenery look like they belong in the same game. So often in other games the cars are pixel-perfect whilst buildings look like simple bitmaps, or simplistic cars sit against scenery that could hang in the National Gallery.
What really helps is the way the cars interact with the scenery, smashing barriers, shopping trolleys(!) and assorted street-rubbish from their path at 150+mph.
Then there's the car customisation. Let two different people loose on the same base spec car and the results will never be identical. The range of colours, vinyl graphics, decals, and bodywork is enough to keep any fan of The Fast and the Furious entertained for months. It's almost a game in itself.
The range of cars is similarly good, everything from the humble Ford Focus to the stunning Nissan 350Z, and the inclusion of the Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Impreza will gain the approval of mid-life crisis accountants everywhere.
The range of race types is impressive too, more so than Gran Turismo. There's standard circuit racing, point-to-point sprints, "knockout" races, and drift events where points are scored for hooligan-esque behaviour. Always a good thing.
The game falls down on drag race mode though. It's little more than a lottery whether you win or not, with traffic crossing the drag strip. Your opponents can seemingly see this traffic before it appears and regularly swerve to avoid it. Most gamers will struggle to copy this and it becomes irritating pretty quickly.
You'd have to give EA respect for making the other drivers fallible though; with practice it's possible, and entertaining, to herd an opponent into the path of oncoming trucks whilst you speed off into the distance.
The other criticism is the lack of tracks initially available. Without tackling the full-on Underground mode only a handful can be raced in Quick Race. It's tedious and shouldn't happen. I have no problem with unlocking cars as you go; in real life you'd start with a basic set of wheels and upgrade, but there's no reason for locking the circuits. I'd also like to see a few more circuits; rather than offering half a dozen in each race mode and racing them in either direction. It'd be nice to use real cities, as in PGR, but you can live without that.
With over 100 races required to finish Underground mode, NFSU should keep hardened boy racers playing for weeks, whilst the choice of difficulty for each race means even beginners stand a chance.
Until we get PGR on PC (why not, it's on Microsoft's XBox!), this is the best arcade style racer you can buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but disappointing in parts, 20 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
For a racing game, this is impressive. The graphics are something special, the ability to upgrade and customize the car is breath-taking, and the different types of races and tournaments is very good. However, despite all these, the game has flaws and is near impossible in places. When you have defeated Eddie there are a few more races, these are impossible. No matter what car you use, no matter if you have all the upgrades, you can't win. The opponent is extremely unrealistic in terms of driving and some of the things it does. It manages to take 90 degree corners at 160mph without hitting sideboards or sliding. The opponents also know exactly where all non racing cars are. For the gamer, cars come out of no where and are impossible to avoid, but opponents easily avoid them at high speeds. Another annoyance is that these cars can easily accelerate up hill and take over you, this is extremely annoying if you're happening to be going at 160+ mph up the hill. And finally, the opponents car seem to have unlimited NOS as they can make up an 8 second gap within 1 lap of a circuit, and still manage to have that burst of speed to beat you on the final lap.
If you are looking for a game which is tough get this. It is very very hard at the end. So if you are a boyracer, this is the game for you. However, if you like a racing game which you can get glory easily then get a different game.
P.S. I recommend buying a punch bag with this game, it gets hard and a lot of frustration comes out. Don't take it out on the wall, just put a picture of your opponent on the punch bag :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impossible Near The End!!, 21 May 2004
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
I've played this game and nearly but not quite finished it. There are a few things that i don't like about this game, and they are the fact that when you (like it says in the title) are very close to the end of the game, the other contestants are extremely hard to beat. When it comes to games of any kind, i have the patience of a saint, infact you could say that i won't be beat, but in this case i just gave up. No matter which car i picked no matter how precise i took a turn everyone else just seemed to fly through the alleys or corners and i had all the upgrades that were possible. I have to say that i enjoyed need for speed hot pursuit 2 more (except for the fact that it well...was too easy) but this game is beyond hard for me. Now graphics, they are stunning, could'nt have been better in my opinion. Everything is pin sharp, the sounds are great as well and very realistic. Also you have a load of cars to choose from, obviously you will have to win certain time trials/races to win better cars. Overall i was enjoying this game totally, that was until that certain race when the cars became unaturally precise and impossible to beat. I must have tried god knows how many times but still no joy. anyway i've given it 4 stars because of this. I've completed every single racing game i've had except for this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Gran Turismo but as good as PC racing gets, 28 Dec. 2003
By 
N. Tanter "Tantona" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
As the title suggests I am a big fan of the immortal Gran Turismo series on the Playstation2, and for me it'll really take something special to top it.
However, as far as racing games on the PC go this has to be by far the best offering I have seen so far!
Perhaps it's the fact that you can customise your cars so well, maybe it's the enjoyable mix of good graphics/gameplay and 'street' music, and maybe I'm just being extremely biased because I was a big fan of 'The Fast and the Furious' and because I own a Japanese Import (Impreza Turbo) and this game is packed to the rafters with them.
This game is basically the pc representation of the classic film 'The Fast and the Furious', with almost every car that you saw in that film available in standard road going form, and it is very easy to modify and paint your car to match any of those seen (and many cars you may see in real world performance mags too for that matter).
The level of modifications are well beyond anything seen in any previous game; the engine and performance upgrades themselves are nothing special, these come in the form of 'Level1-3 turbo/wheel/brake/nitro upgrades that were seen right back in the giddy days of 'Supersprint' on the Atari and Amiga.
What sets this apart from the rest are the VISUAL upgrades that you can perform on your car....these range from adding superb body kits (too many to list, but include bumpers/spoilers/undercar neon lights/bonnet scoops), and then of course comes the magnificent paint mode. This does not only give you the ability to change the base colour of your chassis, but you can add manufacturer decals, tint the windows, add design paint jobs (eg flame designs/tribal designs) to the sides/top/back of your car...the possibilites are almost endless.
To be honest I found that I was spending far more time actually tarting up my cars then I was actually racing them !
Ok enough ranting about the plethora of modifications, what about the racing itself? Obviously the game offers the standard 'Quick Race' mode which does exactly what it says on the tin. The main meat of the game lies in the 'Underground' mode which is basically the equivalent of the Gran Turismo 'Career Mode'. You start with your bog standard cars and you have to complete a multitude of different races against increasingly difficult opposition (the AI of the computer cars is just right - some races you will breeze through first time and some will require a little more effort).
There's a satisfying variety of race types too, with the game offering Drag races (see the Fast and the Furious!), Drift events (where you rack up points for carrying out fast and effective skids rather than beating people to the finish), Circuit races which are self explanatory and also beat the clock style solo runs.
As you complete races you unlock more and more cars/body kits/decals and the game just keeps drawing you in (I still fondly remember unlocking the Nismo Skyline and the pearlescent paint kits - tremendous!).
All said, if you have ever liked racing games/racing genre films or are just obsessed with cars in general (like myself - obviously!) then you really ought to get hold of this game, it will give you hours of sheer fun.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need For Speed, No need for a better game!, 30 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
No doubt about it! This game is the top of the lot for all you boy and girl racers! Nothing can replace this game with graphics or with gameplay! This should be postered on every street of every country! I have played the game and think it is superb!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game - just one problem, 30 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
I don't want to reinvent the wheel but none of the other reviewers have mentioned this....
The game has some sort of dynamic AI controlling the computer opposition. This means that if you drive really poorly you will never be too far behind. If you drive like Michael Schumacher on steroids you will never get too far ahead.
This can be extremely frustrating. You can hare round a track like a guided missile and come second. Equally, you can slow down to the pace of a blue haired granny and never be more than 10 seconds off the pace.
You never get the satisfaction of creaming your opponent, equally you never get thumped. It kinda takes out the highs and lo's and leaves an "average" feeling........
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need For Speed Underground, 7 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Need for Speed Underground (PC) (Video Game)
Before I start I am not a big fan of racing games. I bought this game as a christmas present for my son along with a steering wheel and pedals. So on christmas day I set it all up and installed the game and took it for a test drive. Straight away I was blown away. The graphics are incredible, the game speeds its way along the tracks without a judder and is so smooth and fast. This on an AMD 1.2 GHz with a Geforce 4 mx440. The game actually makes you feel like you are driving a car not just playing a game, although I don't tend to crash as much in real life. The underground mode breaks you in slowly and gets progressively harder with the drag and drift tracks to give you a bit of a change. If you like racing games you will love this. If like me you are not a fan of the genre it just might persuade you otherwise. I couldn't imagine trying to play this without the aid of the wheel and pedals though.
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Need for Speed Underground (PC)
Need for Speed Underground (PC) by Electronic Arts (Windows 2000 / 98 / Me / NT / XP)
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