Need For Speed Underground 2
Do you have the need for speed? Underground? Part two? Well, Nintendo DS does, and we have the full preview right here.
Just as losing your trunks while jumping into a pool is embarrassing, so is owning a Nintendo DS and watching games that are slated to come out for it later this year debut earlier on Sony's PSP. Ok, well perhaps that's not embarrassing at all, but it's damn annoying, especially when the game is a part of EA's Need for Speed Underground 2 series.
The PSP already has several quality racing games including NFS Underground Rivals, but the DS NFS Undergound 2 has yet to be released! While Modojo doesn't have the scoop as to why EA's taking so long I have some details that may intrigue you... that is, if you love using the system's touch screen to do cool stuff.
NFS Underground 2 is a pint-sized DS version of the popular console hit, though things have been scaled back a bit so the game can fit on Nintendo's machine. However, there are numerous licensed cars to select from, high-powered muscle machines that'll get you to the finish line in a hurry if you've got the right stuff under the hood, as well as several cool-looking urban environments to race on, many of which feature backgrounds decorated by skyscrapers, which has become a trademark of the series.
Another thing the game is known for is its breakneck speed, not Burnout 3 fast but certainly pretty zippy, and thankfully it appears that EA has managed to carry that over to the DS, so expect to make hairpin turns going 90 miles per hour and spin out after nicking a guardrail.
The NFS series is all about car customization and in this version you'll do plenty of that, but it's how you'll do it that makes this DS game so unique. You can make custom decals in the Design Studio by drawing on the system's bottom screen and then you can slap them onto your car. I'm not sure how much creative freedom you have, but it's definitely a good example of a publisher/developer looking to do exciting things with the technology.
The touch screen also comes in handy during races. While it displays the usual stuff, such as the map and where you are in the competition, whenever you want to give your car a little kick you can activate the nitrous by tapping the screen. It's not exactly a super thrilling feature (and I'm wondering whether it'll actually work in practice), but at least EA's trying.
Wireless is all the rage now with the portable machines and NFS will allow you to battle opponents sans cables. Up to four people can play at once and there may be some mini games to check out in addition to the standard races that we're all used to.
Personally I think Need for Speed Underground Rivals' graphics are pretty bad for a PSP title, and with that being said I'm actually impressed with NFS Underground 2 on the DS. Since the system is basically a supped up Nintendo 64, EA's done a great job making the game look as true to the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube versions as possible, and the result of their hard work are shiny cars and detailed tracks that should please fans when they take it for a spin.
While NFS Underground 2 is supposedly coming out May 24 I have a lot of unanswered questions. However, based on what EA's shown the world the game looks to be coming along rather well, and I'm looking forward to putting it through its paces. Look for a review sometime after E3.