Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2  (Sony PlayStation 2, 2002) Reviews
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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (Sony PlayStation 2, 2002)

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Not the Most Wanted Racing Game for PS2

Jan 17, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fast, arcade physics, tons of car customization, decent story

Cons:Slowdown on PS2, repetitive races, inconsistent difficulty curve

The Bottom Line: If you liked the Underground series, there's more to love in Most Wanted. Otherwise, try before you buy.

Since Need for Speed: Most Wanted is based on street racing, I thought I'd show it to a friend of mine who's a real street racer and get his opinion. The following is a mostly word-for-word transcript of his impressions, just sanitized a bit. Enjoy...

So the first thing to say about this Most Wanted game is how it's based on street racing, right? Except this whole deal with street racing that you see in the games and the movies and stuff, they don't really do that, at least not anymore. Yeah, maybe a few years ago, before it got [really] big, but these days you get your license taken and anyway there's a track an hour or two away from anywhere. So the guys that are really out there, they're racing at the strip a couple times a week, you know? You actually get timed and [stuff]. It's not like in this game. Now, does this make kids wanna go out and do it? I dunno man, but you gotta figure the people who do it are gonna do it anyway, right?

So I got a buddy who plays the [Need for Speed] Underground games, I played them a little, they're alright. This one's a lot like those, except there's more to do. I mean, the basic idea is the same, you got a bunch of different cars you can buy, you tune 'em up, paint 'em and put on stickers and wings and [stuff]. Then you race for cash and respect. Except in this one the respect part comes from [messing] with the cops, that's pretty cool. So you gotta do the regular races, you know like drags and checkpoint races and laps around the city, but you also gotta get the cops to chase you and then lose 'em. That gets pretty tough too, the more you do it the tougher they get, with helicopters and [stuff].

The city is cool, I like that a lot more than just picking the race from a list. Actually, you can do that too, and that's cool if you get tired of driving everywhere. So you can either drive around to your races or just start 'em from a menu, that's pretty sweet. Driving around is kinda like Grand Theft Auto, you can just cruise around and smash up other cars or look for a race or whatever. You got a radar detector, it tells you when a cop is around, and if you like wreck a bunch of cars or drive really fast they'll be on the radio looking for you. That's pretty nice, the radio thing.

Oh man, the cars are crazy too! They got all these European cars now, not as many Japanese ones. There's maybe 30 cars right, but some of them are [really] nuts, like the Porsches and Lambos. Crazy [stuff], man. Now, this isn't Gran Turismo or anything, these cars won't go flying off the road when you corner at ninety. I didn't really like that, it's like all of 'em are on race slicks or something, but it fits the style of the game, you know? The painting and decals and stuff are cool, but really I was like, they're just advertising to me. All of the stickers are for brands, all of the wheels are brands, there were even like Axe billboards, I mean how stupid do they think I am? Plus, the real guys out there, they're not using these crazy paints and tribal vinyls. The big thing now is the rat look, nothing shiny, even flat black paint. Can't do that in this game, it's all like straight up Fast and the Furious or something.

I kinda wish I could play this on XBox instead of PS2 or something, because it looks good and all, but like, it's just slow. Like, you know, you get a couple cops behind you and it starts to get choppy. Then it starts raining, which is cool, but it slows everything way down to where you can't control your car. I mean, if you're gonna put that stuff in, make sure it works, right? It's just [really] annoying. You know, the music and stuff is kinda the same way. I guess a lot of people are into it but I don't like all that studio, formula, generic rap [stuff]. If I hear that I Am Rock song one more time, I'll probably [defecate] a rock, know what I mean? So I turned off the [bad] songs, and I'm left with like four tracks. Not cool. And the car sounds, they're alright but some of them get annoying, especially if you add a turbo to the car.

I mean, it's a cool game though. I guess I should have explained it earlier, but it's got a whole story to it. Like, you rolled into this town and picked a fight with this guy, and when you raced him someone sabo[tage]d your car. Okay, now no real racer would ever do that, especially if you're talking about rep like these games do. But anyway, you gotta start allover from the bottom and fight through this list of racers to get your car back. And before they'll race you, you gotta prove yourself by doing other races and earning rep by fighting the cops.

So yeah, there's like a reason to play the game, it's not just a bunch of cars and races and money to buy more cars. But man it gets [really] repetitive. Like, at each level you gotta do the same races, and for the first half of the game, it's so easy. You don't even need to mod your car. Then after that it gets [really] hard, you gotta put on nitrous, turbo, tires, suspension, everything just to keep up. Like, it's either super easy or impossible, you know? And all you're really doing is the same stuff, a few laps, a point to point race, a drag. I gets kind of boring, especially when you gotta do like eight races just to go ahead.

But yeah, I mean it's not a bad game, just unrealistic and it can get a little boring. But the cars are cool, and running from the cops is cool. I wish the graphics were better, that kind of [ticked] me off. I guess if you liked Underground, you'd like this, because it's like the same but with a huge city you can just drive around in and running from the cops. I wouldn't buy it though, but that's just me.

There you have it, right from the source. Trust me, this guy knows what he's talking about. Normally I would break down the game into a bunch of scores, but I didn't ask my friend to do that, so we'll just say that the high points are the fast, arcade physics and car/modification selection, but the low points are the graphics on the PS2 and repetitive gameplay. Try renting before you buy, unless you really liked the Need for Speed: Underground series.

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is another addition to Electronic Arts' long-running racing franchise. Blatant disregard for the law is the order of the...
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