It really provides an excellent level of tuning and racing, but it isn't the Masterpiece that everyone claims it to be.

User Rating: 7.5 | Need for Speed Underground 2 XBOX
A sequel to what continued a sudden growth into the world of Underground tuning and Street Racing, on paper may have seemed quite the deal 8 years ago, but let's be brutally honest here, doesn't it just seem all too silly as years go on? Well, I might be the only one who feels this way, but that doesn't stop from Underground 2 being an enjoyable racer despite some cracks here and there.

Firstly, I do like the idea of the story a bit, that you were nearly left for dead and have to rebuild yourself back up in order to gain revenge on the same person who tried to end your racing career and your life. I mean, if you were in the same situation, wouldn't you really want to do the same thing?

Next, the Graphics. I've never been huge on graphics much in games, because I really don't feel that they are a huge importance in games that they HAVE to look groundbreaking and realistic, because it's just a VIDEO GAME. Despite that though, the car models and scenery for Underground 2, are quite well for a 2004 game. The models look sharp and the scenery, while nothing spectacular, works just well for me.

Onto the Music... this is really hit and miss for me. Some great songs can be found in this game, such as "No W" by Ministry and "Back on a Mission" by Cirrus, but some just really don't feel like you're going to get an adrenaline rush or if it really seems appropriate during a race. So yeah, mixed score there for me.

And now ofcourse, the gameplay. With this game, it seems to have a problem telling whether you can stay attached to it, or if you are just going to become rather bored with it. Alot of the races are well made and intense, but others just feel too simple and can become very much of a bore. For one thing, I found the drift races to become INCREDIBLY boring fast. I love drifting just like the next person, but you really don't feel too satisfied when drifting in this game. Maybe I'm just too good at it and rarely lost even on the hardest difficulty, so I could be the wrong person to talk. The Drag races on the other hand, are the complete opposite. I always found them intensifying and lots of fun, especially when you're trying to get the best time, the perfect shifts, or trying to make sure you don't crash your car into a traffic vehicle. Street X is also quite need as you do get to drive your Ricer/Tuner vehicles to semi racing track potentials, so I do like it's inclusion.

Lastly, the Extras. The tuning in itself is quite interesting, as you can make some great looking Ricer/Tuner vehicles with their own special distinction. Only problem is though, once you've been tuning vehicles for so many years, it feels as if your options become limited. Other features like major customization of the vinyls ((Which would eventually feature in Carbon)), and a greater detail of outside modifications would've made it go from quite excellent to unbelievably amazing. The ability to regain Nitrous via Driving Skill Points was a great addon, because it was incredibly annoying to use the nitrous in the original Underground and not be able to gain it back whatsoever. The Car list is also quite good for a tuning scene, though it surprises me why vehicles like the Audi TT, Pontiac GTO, and Mitsubishi 3000GT would make such entries.

In the end, it's a great choice if you are looking for a tuning game, but it's not perfect like everyone seems to claim it to be. Also, don't bother with the online mode, that no longer works as far as I know. As an offline racer, It really provides an excellent level of tuning and racing, but after you've finished everything, you might be left with not much else to do that can really add to the game.

Overall Score: 7.5 out of 10.