Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

TVP Reviews Need For Speed Underground II

Last response: in Video Games
Share
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 8:00:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

For those who may not know, tvp are the initials I always signed on arcade
video games when I was a youth hanging out in Seattle area arcades. I set a
world record here and there. I impressed the right people at the right
times, and I became a writer for Joystik magazine. I'm not sure how many of
you know it or can remember it, but for a short while it was considered the
definitive arcade game magazine. If you wish, just imagine you're reading an
article from those days.

I'll even try to write this one just like I did those!

I don't have the time to expend on games to the degree I used to, and my job
no longer has much to do with games, so that means I just can't play
everything. I only play what word-of-mouth tells me are the definitive
games. For instance, I like Soul Calibur II as the current definitive
one-on-one fighting game.

Well, when it comes to racing games. I count Need for Speed Underground, and
now Underground II, as the definitive games in the car racing category.

The graphics are outstanding--absolutely incredible--there are times when I
get so swept up in it that it's as close to reality as video games can get
for me.

The responsiveness of the car, the feeling that I'm one with that car, and
that feeling that it's handling like a real car, are also phenomenally close
to reality.

All that leaves us with is the game itself. And that's pretty cool, too,
although not everything with Underground II is perfect. There were some good
things from the first game that somehow got lost in the second. For
instance, I found that many of the races in the first game were extremely
challenging and crazy things would happen versus the computer cars and that
there were many, many races that were very close to the wire. Somehow that
doesn't happen as much in Underground II. I just beat 'em. Easy. Next race,
please. I can't say that there were never close or memorable races--they did
happen. They just didn't happen as often.

Then there are the new ideas that were exactly what I wanted. I love being
able to drive around the city and go wherever I want.

Of course, that immediately brings me to the first thing on my wish list: it
makes me wish that the user could define his or her own crazy tracks to race
on. Just block off the city however you like and go!

The background story to Underground II can be a bit too Hollywood, but it's
not bad. The comic book-like illustrations are actually very well done.
There are quite a few more races to finish to get to the end and this makes
it a longer game. Finishing it can be a major undertaking. Part of the
reason is that the game is separated into stages, but stages don't end with
a bang, they end with a whimper. I kept finding myself having to search
everywhere for some little thing I missed to continue, and sometimes that
alone could waste an entire day. And then whatever it was, such as finding a
hidden shop (What??! That's I!?!?!), it always seemed anti-climactic.

I felt there should have been a build to a climax race that was hard to win
and once won, you really WERE done with that section of the game. But this
isn't really a big deal. What's right about the game more than makes up for
it.

For instance, I love the idea that there are other racers driving around the
city and you can have an outrun race against one at any time. Something
about that makes it seem a bit like real life. I remember late nights in
Seattle when I was 18. I'd race a blue '76 Cobra with white stripes all
around the city. I outran cops more than once. Life was a blast. The outrun
races lend the background story-line of having a hot car and racing on the
street some believability for me. Ironically, I didn't bet on any of the
races I won with that Cobra, I bet on video games, but there's enough there
to really remind me of things from my youth. Add in the fact that Bayview
and Seattle have a very similar feel when driving on a dark, rainy late
night, and it makes sense that this game seemed so real at times.

Which brings me to another thing on my wish list. Why not take a real city,
like Seattle, and reconstruct a game version of it with buildings and
businesses where they belong? Imagine it. Need for Speed Underground: Paris.
Need for Speed Underground: Hong Kong. I'd buy 'em all.

And as long as we're vicariously living the life of a real person with an
underground lifestyle, why not make living that person's life the game even
more so? After slamming some outrunner, let me get out of the car and into
that casino. Let me gamble up with my bankroll. Let me play poker against
real people. Let me hire a prostitute Let me get it on with Brook Burke. Let
me go inside these places and enter different games. Wanna bowl? Wanna play
pool?

That's a game I'd love to see.

tvp
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 10:58:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 05:00:23 -0800, "Tad Perry" <tadperry@comcast.net>
wrote:

>After slamming some outrunner, let me get out of the car and into
>that casino. Let me gamble up with my bankroll. Let me play poker against
>real people. Let me hire a prostitute Let me get it on with Brook Burke.

Sounds like you should stick with the Grand Theft Auto games. :-)
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 3:16:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

"Tim Wisner" <tlwisner@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:lgci1155gnaplulcepuf91khdk4vm1qkof@4ax.com...
> On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 05:00:23 -0800, "Tad Perry" <tadperry@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
> >After slamming some outrunner, let me get out of the car and into
> >that casino. Let me gamble up with my bankroll. Let me play poker against
> >real people. Let me hire a prostitute Let me get it on with Brook Burke.
>
> Sounds like you should stick with the Grand Theft Auto games. :-)

I would rather see NFSU taken to the extreme than the game you mention.

tvp
Related resources
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 3:21:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

Apparently you haven't played online much and dealt with the awkward
menus, lack of chat in the waiting area, or the random disqualifcations
that happen most often in the drift events. (I mostly do circuit and
drag myself).
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 3:57:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

"Jeff Reid" <jeffareid@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:7eBTd.81437$Yu.204@fed1read01...
> Apparently you haven't played online much and dealt with the awkward
> menus, lack of chat in the waiting area, or the random disqualifcations
> that happen most often in the drift events. (I mostly do circuit and
> drag myself).

I play online all the time, but did not review the online aspect. Some
things are better, some not as good.

One thing that's better is that the game is much more about the ability of
the driver now than with the previous version where it was much more about
who had hacked together the best car.

tvp
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 1:26:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

> I play online all the time, but did not review the online aspect. Some
> things are better, some not as good.
>
> One thing that's better is that the game is much more about the ability of
> the driver now than with the previous version where it was much more about
> who had hacked together the best car.

There's still a system dependency similar to NFSU1, making the game run
bit faster on some machines than others. Haven't figured out the machine
dependencies, but know that the issue exists. For example, I've gotten a
19.5x doing a drag at Bayview Bridge when my time was really 21.6x because
of a host with a "slow" game clock. In an extreme case, I got a 11.xx at
Bayview
and an 8.18 at South Runway along with disqualifications, here's a link to
a video of these runs, an example of a host with a really slow game clock:

http://jeffareid.net/nfsu2/nfsu2dq1.wmv
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 6:05:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.need-for-speed (More info?)

"Jeff Reid" <jeffareid@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Q5KTd.81493$Yu.23397@fed1read01...
> > I play online all the time, but did not review the online aspect. Some
> > things are better, some not as good.
> >
> > One thing that's better is that the game is much more about the ability
of
> > the driver now than with the previous version where it was much more
about
> > who had hacked together the best car.
>
> There's still a system dependency similar to NFSU1, making the game run
> bit faster on some machines than others. Haven't figured out the machine
> dependencies, but know that the issue exists. For example, I've gotten a
> 19.5x doing a drag at Bayview Bridge when my time was really 21.6x because
> of a host with a "slow" game clock. In an extreme case, I got a 11.xx at
> Bayview
> and an 8.18 at South Runway along with disqualifications, here's a link to
> a video of these runs, an example of a host with a really slow game clock:
>
> http://jeffareid.net/nfsu2/nfsu2dq1.wmv

I know this is going way back in time to respond, but it might be happening
when the game host is using a game console such as a Playstation. However, I
have reason to believe that Playstation can handle the game incredibly well
and is not actually burdened by anything. It could also be a host that is
worm ridden and is time slicing the processing for the game because of all
the bs the cpu has to take care of that is going on in the background.
Clearly it could also be just plain CPU chip differential. New Intel's
outperforming ancient Cyrix and/or AMD chips.

If investigating further I would investigate in this direction.

tvp
!