Need for Speed: Underground

aka: Jipin Feiche: Dixia Chehui, NFSU1
Moby ID: 11175
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Need For Speed: Underground is the seventh game in the long running Need For Speed racing series.

The game revolves around illegal night time street racing with heavily modified import cars and has been greatly influenced by the movie the Fast And The Furious and its sequel. Players get the chance to build their own racing machine almost from the ground up, with hundreds of real licensed parts and lots of licensed cars, including the Mazda RX-7 and the Nissan Skyline GT-R. The game also features over 100 single player races and a hip hop/hard rock soundtrack including artists such as Mystikal, Rob Zombie, and the Crystal Method.

Spellings

  • 极品飞车:地下车会 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

328 People (318 developers, 10 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 52 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 133 ratings with 7 reviews)

Too much fuss for so little... Need For Speed

The Good
I've lost the counting in the Need 4 Speed series!! Here NFS goes deeply urban and illegal street races cultured. If you've watched the Fast and Furious series of movies you'll know what I'm talking about. It's all about having your average everyday car tuned and turned into a sports car with all sorts of expensive goodies, having all kinds of silly stickers and paintwork full of stripes and flames and tribal shapes and colourful stuff that basically makes you want to puke (sorry, it's just a personal opinion - I just prefer my RX-7 in plain glossy black or red! - no Sparco or KYB stickers on my paintwork!!!). Basically NFS-Underground is all about being the king of the city racers, driving to the edge of your abilities and being respected. A nice fairy tale for modern kids.

That aside, here we're talking about a racing-arcade type of game that packs a lot of special effects potential, offers a great deal of exciting (and somehow affordable) cars for you to enjoy.

You can either have a free run or play in campaign mode where you can race in these modes: free run, circuit, sprint, drift (which is the most fun and requires some skill too), drag and elimination.

The graphics are superb, if a tad too colorful and cartoony for my tastes. The sound is exceptional too as well. But the best part of the graphics department is the modeling of the actual cars. Now considering all the modifications and extra body styling parts we're talking about a massive modeling project here.

One thing that I've loved in this game is doing drift type races in a RX-7. We're talking about huge fun here, although highly unrealistic. Combine it with a steering wheel controller and you have some hours of rubber burning fun here.

The Bad
The fact that hits you like a 10 ton block in your face is that this game is highly unrealistic! Even for an arcade type racing the game is disregarding some basic facts.

First of all, it's about illegal street races and there's not a hint of a police authority in the game. It's like living in a city where the police is a concept unknown and the poor civilian drivers are in the mercy of the racers expertise not to hit them! Maybe street racing is legal in the part of the world that NFS-U takes part, who knows... It lacks the feeling that you're doing something dangerous and forbidden - therefore enjoying hehe! - though.

The physics have gone down the drain as well. You can fly and wizz around, hit other objects and bump like your car is made from rubber, which actually seems to be the case, cause you don't get any damage at all. What you'd expect the real effects to be if you crashed a 2 by 2m concrete column support at 120mph? Instant death... Well not in this game. Not a single scratch! You'll just put reverse and continue your course.

While boasting the high customisation factor, the plot doesn't let you choose freely, or according to your financial abilities, to customise your car as you wish. You have to go through an awful lot of racing before the game allows you to gain access to more choices for your visual and mechanical modifications. And as mechanics are involved, I really do not see any difference in choosing a certain brand of a turbo kit than from other that are on offer. To cut it short, most of the brands that are on offer in the game are for advertisement purposes only, without having a crucial point to your car's performance. So as far as the customisation is concerned you'll have to invest to a lot of time and nerves in order to gain access to some good extreme stuff.

Also the tracks look all the same, way too repetitive and single themed. The tarmac looks wet as if the rain has just ceased, something that has a very negative effect in a racer's psychology: wet surface - less vital grip, of course you can fix that by going in the settings and set the road reflection setting to a very low value.

Finally, a fact I do not like is all that stupendous plastic wings and trims and stickers that are beginning to appear in real cars on the street. I see quite a lot of cars everyday that look as if they came out of NFS U... I mean what's the point of having your car looking so stupid like that??!!!

The Bottom Line
Hmmm... Well ok, it's not a classic Need for Speed representative, it's a straight forward arcade that tries to capture the Fast and Furious kind of thing, while advertising a lot of brands to boost your car.

Basically we have a Hollywood driving game here, with all the marketing (y'know - buy our brand of brakes and buy that brand of tires) that accompanies it, only it's a whole lot worse than that... And if you're one of those -like me- who have long awaited the arrival of this game to say: WOW, expect to be highly disappointed.

If you loved The Fast and The Furious culture though, chances are that you'll like this one aswell, although bear in mind that it lacks the personality and character the F'n'F had.

Another guy wrote that The Need For Speed series is going downhill after the Porsche Unleashed title... I couldn't agree more! NFS Underground is a total miss, suitable only to matchbox drivers and nutters who have their car looking so stupid as in that game, while having a top speed of 100mph LOL

Windows · by SifouNaS (1309) · 2004

Make your car look great, then show everyone who owns the roads

The Good
First of all, I like the ability to really customize your car. There are so many combinations you can have for your car's looks that it would be very difficult to ever find someone with a car just like yours. You have the ability to not only customize various performance parts on your car (engine/exhaust, turbo, nitrous, tires, etc), but also how your car looks visually.

After choosing your car, you can change the hood, the front and rear bumpers, the spoiler, the roof scoop, and the ground effects along the doors. You can also change the head lights and tail lights, the muffler, and rims. After all that, you get to paint your car from a wide choice of colors, tint the glass, add neon ground effects, and add vinyls and logos. The vinyls can be four layers deep... and there are many different styles of vinyls, such as flames, lightning, "wild", logos such as HP Racing, and Unique vinyls such as a purple rose, a racing skeleton, and more. Within those styles, there can be up to around 20-30 different kinds of vinyls. Overall, there are way over 100 different vinyls to choose from to make your car unique.

After customizing your car, you get to race. This is where you get even more choices. Rather than a single kind of race that you see in many racing games, you have many choices. You get to choose from circuit (multiple lap races), drag racing (shift at the right times to win), sprint (start to finish; no laps), drifting (slide your car around the track to get points... don't hit the walls), and knockout (be the last standing). You are also able to take part in tournaments in the campaign mode as you work your way up. In this campaign mode, you are able to get your car pictured on the covers of tons of magazines. So get your car looking great and then get on those magazines!

Besides single player modes, which include the campaign (underground) and the quick race, you can also race online with your friends. However, you'll need to unlock the cars and tracks in the single player mode first or you'll be limited on what you can do.

The game tracks also your stats, which lets you keep track of how well you do in the different types of races you enter.

One other thing I really enjoyed with the game was the graphics. The reflections were well done and the cars just look great. The only bad thing is that you appear to always be racing on roads that were just rained on.

The Bad
The game is completely arcade-style racing. There is no damage to your car in the game. The closest thing to damage is if you're in drag racing -- if you crash, your car is said to be totaled. Other than that, you can flip, roll, crash, and still have a perfect-looking car. Although this can be fun, I enjoy having damage affect the car's performance... and seeing pieces flying off your broken car would be great.

Also, the cars tend to handle more like you would expect in arcade... at least whenever you hit anything. For one, you really can't land on your roof (at least I've not been able to...), also you tend to bounce off things when you hit them. You might end up flying through the air, but it's still unrealistic. Besides those, you will be very hard-pressed to spin out an opponent. You can slam into the back corner of their cars and it won't spin them out. You are left to run them into objects that will stop them.

Another bad part is that the opponents appear to cheat. You can slam the opponents into stuff causing them to stop until they get going again, and run a close to perfect race, yet very often the car(s) you crash into stuff are right on your bumper, or ahead of you, when you finish the race. Yet if they are ahead of you, their cars are not any faster than yours.

Finally, you are racing in the streets... where are the cops? I have never heard of people racing 120mph and higher down city streets, jumping drawbridges, jumping over cars on hills, and more without a cop noticing. There should have been cops in the game, in my opinion... even if they were optional.

The Bottom Line
This game is a great addition to the Need For Speed series of games. The Need For Speed series really has not been that great since the first Hot Pursuit. That was a great game, and then the rest of the series that came out were good, but nothing really special. This game lives up to the series name.

Although the game is arcade-style racing, with no cops, everything else about the games is great. If you enjoy racing games, and especially if you enjoyed the 2Fast 2Furious movies, this is a must-have game.

Windows · by Riamus (8480) · 2003

One of the best NFS games so far

The Good
Almost everything.

The game's graphics are very nice, and the cars look "hot". A tuned up car looks absolutely impressive. The environment (the city) looks okay, and I liked the idea of night driving.

The user interface is simple, and easy to use. I liked the event selection, and career advancement system, which is simple, and "user-friendly". To advance in your career you must win some races. After you win those races, you will be "transported" to a new tier. Where, again you must win other races. This may sound boring at first, but it is one of the most fun career advancement ways i've ever seen.

The game's soundtrack is, as usual, PERFECT. Most of the ST's singles are to my liking.

The actor's voice-acting is OK. Maybe a little bit too much ghetto talk... but still OK.

The Nitrous Oxide car addon helps alot, but there are no graphical effects for it... .

The Bad
The storyline is kind of boring... nothing special about it.

The Motion Blur display option isn't that cool. If you like driving while drunk, then you should use this :)

The car control is a little to simple, but I suppose it's ok that way. Underground was never supposed to be a perfect sim.

The opponent's AI is mediocre. They usually crash near most difficult turns, and they can be easily taken out from the road.

The Bottom Line
Almost a masterpiece.

Windows · by Hypercake (1310) · 2007

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

Multiplayer

EA astonished the entire gaming world by supporting online gameplay in the Windows version of Need for Speed UndergroundNFSU, but leaving out LAN play. Often, games only get LAN play because developers don't want to deal with latency issues and different networks. EA on the other hand, developed a "Cross Platform Online Gaming" feature, which allows gamers to compete online on different platforms (e.g. PS2 vs PC), but there's a catch: no LAN play on PC. This means that players have go through an external network connection just to join a server sitting right next to them.

Soon after the game's release,a tool making LAN play possible appeared on various fansites. It also features an option to play over the Internet without using EA's server.

Server shutdown

As of 13th January 2006, The EA servers for the game are no longer in service. Of course this does not effect peer-to-peer games. The PS2 servers were closed on 1st November 2007.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2003 – Best PC Racing Game of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2004 (Issue #236) – Racing Game of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 13, 2004 - Best PC Sports Game in 2003 (Readers' Vote)
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2004– Best Sports/Racing Game in 2003 (Readers' Vote)
  • Shacknews
    • 2003 - WTF!? Award (more details in "Multiplayer" section)

Information also contributed by Mr._Sefe.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Mattias Kreku.

Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2 added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, tarmo888, Sciere, Aaron A., Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added December 2, 2003. Last modified January 22, 2024.