Need for Speed II
|Need for Speed II|
Cover art featuring Ferrari F50
EA Canada (PS)|
EA Seattle (PC)
Jeff van Dyck
|Series||Need for Speed|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Microsoft Windows|
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Like its predecessor, Need for Speed II allows players to race exotic cars, either against computer-controlled opponents or human opponents via a LAN, modem, serial connection, or in split screen. There are three distinct gameplay modes: Single Race mode in which a player simply chooses a car and a course and completes a single race. In this mode, the player can customize both the number and type of opponents as well as the number of laps to be completed. Tournament Mode in which the player must complete a series of races successfully to unlock a bonus car. The Knockout Mode consists of a series of 2-lap races with 8 opponents; the last-place finisher at the end of each race is eliminated from the competition.
The game features eight real life high-end sports cars and concept cars which the player can drive and race against. The "Special Edition" release of the game added four additional cars. In addition, the game features a "showcase" which provides photos, videos, and technical information about the cars as well as the history of each company and background of each car's development.
The game also features several new elements compared to the previous game in the form of customizable car paint and components of their car including gear ratios, tires, and spoilers.
EA abandoned the Road & Track license used with the original game in favor of licensing with each automobile manufacturer individually. To ensure the physics of fast car handling and performance were as accurate as possible, the programmers collaborated with the manufactures of each vehicle. The sound effects were created by installing microphones in various positions on each car and recording onto eight track digital tape while the car was driven.
Need for Speed II was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation version 71.39% and 71/100 and the PC version 68.25%. A GameSpot reviewer liked the game but felt most of the roads were "outrageous" and that the cars would be unfamiliar to many. An Adrenaline Vault review described the game as a "good overall driving experience" with easy installation, realistic sound effects and both an excellent interface and music. Another review like the crisper graphics, smoother animation, rich colors and increased detail compared to the original.
Criticism of the game stemmed from its being easier to play and therefore less realistic than its predecessor. An IGN review felt the game was not as good as the original. Some reviewers felt the steering was a little "jerky," and one went as far as to describe the graphical details as poor. Another issue was that the game required a fast computer at the time, to display the graphics at the highest setting. A reviewer for Computer and Video Games didn't appreciate the combination of super realist cars being driven on fantasy tracks and thought that the crashes "look and feel wrong". The Official PlayStation Magazine said the game had "atrocious handling" and that it soon got boring.
Released on November 6, 1997 in the United States and February 2, 1998 in Japan and Europe, the special edition of Need for Speed II includes one extra race track, three extra cars, three bonus cars, a new driving style called "Wild", and 3dfx Glide hardware acceleration support.
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