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Need For Speed 2

Written by Matt Phelan

What?! No cops?! No segmented tracks?! That was my first reaction when I first played The Need For Speed II. And the game also did run kind of slow on my Pentium 133, but it was still fun. The tracks had some interesting features, like a few had some sort of alternate routes and others have jumps and fun features on the tracks. The real kicker in this game was the cheats. I remember playing the game for hours in the tournament mode to get the Ford Indigo and Monolithic studios track. But then later I find out cheats. Not only cheats just for those things, but cheats for tons of things!! Faster engines, civilian cars that you can now drive, and even a Tyranosaurus Rex! This just was way to cool. After conquering the game, I now get all of these other fun things to do. Not only that, but the split screen racing mode had now found its way onto the PC format.

At first glance of this box in the local Sam's Club store, my heart starting racing!!! There is a sequal to my favorite game!!! Alright! I picked it up and looked at all the cars. I didn't even know what an Isdera was at the time, but hey! The thing sure looked cool! One thing I noticed about these cars though, the least expensive was the Lotus Esprit, with a price tag of $80,000. That's a big change from the last game where there was a $35,000 Mazda RX-7. But the very interesting thing about the game was that it would allow you to race cars that pretty much no one else in the world could. Prototypes! There was the Italdesign Cala, the Ford GT90, and the bonus car, the Ford Indigo. I didn't know about the Indigo until I completed Tournament mode though. One day I was cruising around the web looking for info on the Indigo for fun, and I found a page proclaiming "NFSII Cheats, how to get the Ford Indigo." Hmm. well,... I don't need to say much more on how I got here writing this review :)

There's that magic word again, cheats. I was amazed at what I saw! Drive the Citroen 2CV, or the giant school bus, or... what a minute?! what's this?! A UFO from Monolithic studios?! The flying cop car and sewage truck from the same track?! WHAT!? DRIVE THE T-REX?!!?!?! This is insane! Insane as it may be, but it sure was fun! I think the cheats alone made up for the lack of segmented tracks and no cops. But wait! There's more! There's also one of my favorite cheats, the so called "Psycho Mode!", in this mode, the opponents will chase you with wreckless abandon and will do anything to ram you off the road. I found it quite fun and I also found many new "secret areas" (or "bugs" whichever term you prefer) in this mode, atleast on two tracks, Pacific Spirit and North Country.

NFSII was also the game where the editing revolution began. Back then everyone had to use a base of some car, there wasn't an editor that could create vertices. Now if you're new to the NFS scene and you see that there are editors for TNFS/SE then you'll say that I'm wrong, but in truth, Mike 'Thommson' made and released his NFSII editors first, then he eventually made an editor that could do both TNFS/SE and NFSII. The second version of Electronic Arts' Need For Speed series had drawn quite a crowd now, especially for the computer version with people doing the editing. Car editing became a huge thing.

Need For Speed II lost some of its realism from the first game, physics-wise that is, but the fun factor was very much alive. For any car nut who wished to drive cars impossible to drive, like the McLaren F1, Ferrari F50, Ford GT90, and so on should get this game! It's worth it. It also has very detailed showcases with videos, the last NFS title to do so (excluding NFSII SE). This game is a must have!! And oh yeah, the music is also awesome!