Get past the drift-happy car handling, and you'll find FlatOut 2 to be a fun little crash-fest.
The vehicles in this game vary in looks - Derby cars look grungy and dirty, like they've been through a few explosions and set on fire several times over, Race cars look like they just finished a rally race, and Street cars look like showroom models. They won't be in one piece once you've finished the race, though! Thankfully, at least they'll still look good, as the cars break up rather nicely. The environments look great overall, and explosions look absolutely amazing for this console generation. I'm even going to mention the lighting effects, which are also great. There are only minor graphical slip-ups, such as the drivers and smoke effects, but those are somewhat insignificant compared to the entire graphics picture.
I don't see why a lot of people are ripping Bugbear about the soundtrack - I think it's great. I mean, I'll be the first to tell you, I am in no way a Fall Out Boy fan(only good thing to come out of them is "Dance, Dance"), but "Snitches and Talkers Get Stitches and Walkers" is a surprisingly manic song, good for racing. There's also some other great songs from equally great bands, highlights including Audioslave, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, and Papa Roach. The soundtrack overall is great. Of course, then there's the sound effects. Cars sound somewhat different, collisions sound visceral - overall, the game sounds great, with the only exception being some of the songs and the cars.
I know what you're thinking - why an eight? Well, to be blatant, blame the single-player mode. It's useful for training and getting a feel for the cars, but other than that, the single-player mode gets boring after a decent amount of time. But then, there's the KICK-ASS multiplayer. Split-screen is something I have yet to test, but I've already tested the online mode, and trust me, it's some good stuff. Races, stunts, and derbies are all online-enabled, everything is unlocked online, there's rankings and all that, but the sheer glee of wrecking other people in online derbies is a feeling you'll have to experience yourself to believe. Control-wise, as I said in the header, even the FWD and 4WD cars are a little slide-happy, even on paved roads sometimes.
Replay Value: 8
This is a great party game. Pop this in and just watch the carnage unravel, you'll have yourselves a grand old time. But if you don't have Live and you want to get this game, better go get Live, because the multiplayer is why this game is great in my opinion.
So, in short, if you don't mind a little - make that a lot - of wreckin' with your racin', get this game, but make sure you've got some friends to play this game with or Xbox Live, because the single-player mode will most likely disappoint you.