Project Gotham Racing 2 - Review by DemonSlayer2063 The sequel to what was arguably the start of the best Xbox racing franchises, Project Gotham Racing, got a massive update in 2003. Project Gotham Racing 2, the original PGR's older brother, is finally here, and proves that this is the best exclusive racing franchise on the Xbox. Though the ultra-realistic Forza Motorsport is almost among us, PGR2 still stands as one of the best racing titles around. Though PGR2 came out in 2003, you won't find a more realistic arcade style racing game out there on the Xbox. Let's get right to the review though, shall we? GamePlay :: When you pop the game disc into your Xbox, you initially have a pretty decent variety of different races to choose from. In every car class, there are at least two different cars to choose from at the start. When you gain more Kudos Tokens (more on that in a moment), you can exchange for more cars. The higher you are in a specific class on the chart, the more these cars will cost. The races are pretty simple. Just like most recent racing games, you have several modes of play in which to choose from. There's street racing, sprints, timed runs, hot lap, ect. In the main racing section for PGR2, you proceed through the levels of difficulty and length through car class. You will start out with coupe, and end with ultimate. The coupes are the slowest cars in the game, and the ultimate are the best and fastest cars, naturally. In each class, you will have at least one of each race mode (except for sprint, which is only in the track specials class, I believe), which adds a nice variety in the main game, making it not repeditive and end up boring. The Kudos system. Those unfamiliar with PGR, and the clueless, the Kudos system is the way you can get more cars. If you race with style, such as by making a good slide or overtaking an opposing car, you get points. At the end of the race, all of the points you got are combined with the given completion bonus (i.e. = for completing a race on easy, you will get 500 extra points, regardless of how bad you drove during the race). These points are used to get Kudos Tokens. Kudos Tokens are what you can exchange cars for. The higher your Kudos level is, the more tokens you will receive when leveling up to a higher level. For example, leveling up from level 20 to level 21 will get you about 15 tokens. The higher your level, the more difficult it is to receive tokens. Thankfully, cars cost about as much as you should be making at the point in the game. There is a massive variety of cars to choose from- 102! These include the Enzo Ferrari, Porsche GT2, BMW Z4, Pontiac Trans Am, Mustang Fastback, Dodge Viper GTS, and Saleen S7. There are cars in many different categories, ranging from your ordinary Coupe class to the extremely fast cars found in the Ultimate class. But, the games' massive garage of cars is also one of it's downfalls- it's too hard to get every car! You don't receive enough Kudos tokens to do so. You can take your cars online and race against people from all over the world. You can also post your track records on an Xbox Live scoreboard, and also receive some records from other players as well. But beware- don't get too cocky when racing against some people. A lot of people love to race n00bs online, so always be sure to prepare before racing on the server. Speaking of opposing racers, the racing AI in PGR2 can be extremely cheesy sometimes. You could be cruising along, about to make a corner in your own little fashion, when three or four cars come flying in your direction, making you spin out and crash into a wall, while losing Kudos points, and them taking the lead. This happens a lot, so be sure to plan out your corners when in a street race. Graphics :: For the most part, the car models are beautiful. But unfortunately, there are a few models that look dissproportionate to the real car, such as the Chevy Camaro to the Ford Mustang GT (the 2003 model). But other than a few cars counteable on one hand, the car models are very detailed and identical to the actual car. We know you love Gran Turismo. And apparently, Microsoft knows it too. So, in a huge leap of innovation, Microsoft and Bizarre Creations have created a racing game where your cars actually take damage. In Gran Turismo, you can go 280 mph into a wall, and drive off without a scratch, as opposed to simply grazing a corner in PGR2 will scratch the hell out of your car. But unfortunately, the car damage has absolutely no affect on your cars' performance- it's there for show. So much for innovation. But I guess it's one step at a time. The plenty of different locations in which you can race in are wonderfully detailed. They look absolutely beautiful, and very identical to the real tracks. The streets actually look like they were man-made, especially when the sun is shining at an angle (like near sunset), you can see the indentations of gravel on the roads. Buildings are great, with fantastic shining effects and realistics proportions. Though you won't find people anywhere, it's not really a huge loss. Audio :: I found that being able to customize your own soundtrack into PGR2 was one of the best features that this game has to offer. Not only can you rock out to the games already massive availability of tracks to listen to- you can personalize your own soundtrack to listen to while racing through the game. It really puts the Xbox's cd-burning capabilities to good use. But, what one of my pet peeves for racing games is that in some racing games, such as Gran Turismo 3 and Need for Speed Underground, is that all the cars sound alike. Thankfully, all of the cars have a specific engine sound which I really liked. It gives the cars a little bit more variety, and makes the game more realistic. Worth :: One of the best selling points for PGR2 is the Xbox Live capability and the great amount of cars to choose from. PGR2 is also the best racing franchise that is exclusive to the Xbox, which is also something that makes PGR2 much worth the 20 dollar price tag. Any car lover interested in driving an exotic car will certainly love this game. Overall :: All in all, Project Gotham Racing 2 is an awesome racing game that any racing fan would surely enjoy. There are so many options, both online and offline, that will keep you coming back for more every time, and for 20 bucks, it's a steal. If you like really realistic racing titles, you'll love this game.