THQ Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
- Responsive handling, online mode is loads of fun
- Specific tuning options would have add some depth to the game
Beyond its online career mode, there's not much that leads Juiced 2 to stand out from the pack. It's an unassuming street racer with few flaws, but at the same time, few outstanding qualities. Even the visuals don't inspire much, leaving Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights cold by morning.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
With more women than cars packed into Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, you can't help but wonder if it isn't adrenaline that the game is trying to get flowing. A straightforward street racer with far too much attitude and not nearly enough substance, the saucy sequel has plenty of action, even if it isn't as hot as it claims.
Juiced 2 attempts to straddle the line between arcade-style play and pure simulation, but it's most definitely an arcade racer.
Responsive handling and generally accurate physics make it easy to play, whereas more advanced drifting, spooking, and drafting techniques add a bit of depth. How you handle your car--from your use of nitrous to successful drifts to the number of opponents you've overtaken--is all recorded in your Driver DNA. Intended to reflect your individual driving style, this unique element just comes off as a novelty--an in-game list of achievements that has virtually no impact on your experience.
Exciting as a high-speed run through Rome or a drift at the base of the Eiffel Tower may sound, the venues featured in Juiced 2 just don't convey that adrenaline-pumping experience. Equally generic is the slate of events broken down into two basic types: circuit and drift competitions. There are a few hybrid events that do a great job of keeping things interesting such as Drift Obliterator, which requires earning a set number of drift points per lap while racing against other drivers. These are the most entertaining of the bunch, and it's no surprise that they're the most original.
As you'd expect, winning events nets you cash for souping up your car. Customisation options include limited performance tuning, although much of the focus is put on tweaking your ride's look with a slew of visual upgrades and a comprehensive decal editor. Although more specific tuning options would have added depth to the game, Juiced 2 maintains a good balance between customisation and accessibility.
Two careers--one standard and the other through Xbox Live--top a short list of modes that includes split-screen play and custom online matches. Developing an online career is without a doubt the best part of Juiced 2. Events remain consistent in both career modes, but the online element does a lot to ratchet up the energy. Aside from being wildly innovative, it's infinitely more competitive than the off-line career and, as a result, loads more fun.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
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