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View Full Version : NFSHP2 XBOX vs. NFSHP PC (what you need to know)



Innotech
10-14-2002, 01:46 PM
Need for Speed hot Pursuit 2
WARNING. THIS IS VERY LONG

OK, I am a "cubitE" but I will honestly tell you that the XBOX version of this game is nothing at all as its supposed to be. Im not so sure about NFSHP2, but in the original NFSHP on computer, (I have all 5 nfs games in the series) I can tell you right now that the XBOX version as well as GCN version are totally missing out.

Heres IGN's review, and following it, I will tell you what it left out, judging by my experiences with NfsHP. Comparisons to the PC version will follow each paragraph with parenthesis.

If the Xbox has one thing, it's quality racing games. You've got sim-heavy racing (Sega GT 2002), your rally racing (Rallisport Challenge), arcade racers (Burnout), and even racing games that don't really fit in a traditional category (Project Gotham Racing). EA's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is an arcade racer that needs little introduction. The Need for Speed has spawned a number of racing titles, including High Stakes, Porsche Unleashed, and, of course, Hot Pursuit. The games, Hot Pursuit 2 included, typically involve driving at unhealthy speeds in exotic sports cars while being pursued by the police. Is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 worth your time and money, or should you avoid like the new O-town single? Well, that probably depends on what you're looking for.

((first off, if you must get this game, buy the PC version. I highly recommend NFS2SE, NFSHP, and NFSPorsche))

Gameplay
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 has several game modes, including Hot Pursuit, Championship, and Single Challenge. Within the Single Challenge mode, there are other sub-modes such as Free Run, Tournament, and Be the Cop. Hot Pursuit and Championship are almost identical, and consist of thirty-three races divided into two tree structures each. Receiving a medal in a race will unlock the branch/races below it, and so on and so on. Each race is set in a controlled environment where the cars, number of laps, and track are all predetermined. Examples of the kinds of races you'll face in these modes are Convertible Cruise Race, where you and five opponents will all race different types of convertible sports cars, or Ferrari 360 Spider Delivery, in which you will have to complete the race under a specified amount of time. Receiving medals will also award you NFS points, which can then be used to unlock cars and tracks for the Single Challenge mode.

The fact that all racing factors in the Hot Pursuit and Championship modes are chosen for you leads to my first complaint. You always have to choose one of the up to four or five cars that have been pre-selected for the event. Now I know each race has it's own theme choosing any car would defeat the whole purpose, but this results in some very unrealistic races. For example, two of the cars you can choose from in the previously mentioned Convertible Cruise Race are a BMW Z8 and a Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pinifarina. I don't know much about cars, but there's no way the BMW has a chance against a high-end Ferrari. Yet in the game, I won the race using the Z8 without any problems, first try.

((First off, the complaint is a problem ,but only on this version. On PC in NFSHP, you could drive ANY car during hot pursuit or championship, but in NFSHigh Stakes, the career mode allowed for special races involving a certain CLASS of vehicle, perhaps htis is what the XBOx version was doing. But in NFSHP, the races are open to any car. Apparently, now Ferrari and Porsche have allowed their vehiclesto be chased. Before, they were actually locked out of hot pursuit mode! (Nothing a little hacking couldnt fix though, and now I can drive any car I want in the game) Also, about the BMW. That particular bimmer is a beast, top[ping out at a rev limited 155 mph, compared to the Barchettas 186, BUT 400 BHP and 0-60 of 4.2 seconds is actually comparitive to the Ferraris 485 BHP and 4.6 second 0-60. a very worthy comparison, and meaning that XBOX IGN needs to get knowledgeable CAR enthusiasts to review its driving games )

Also thrown into the mix of races will be events where you are the police, and must give out a certain number of tickets within a time limit. To give out a ticket, you must first find target and turn on your siren by pushing in on the right stick. The car in question will then have an energy bar appear above them. To empty this bar, all you have to do is continuously ram them, very much like in Wreckless. Once their energy has depleted, you will have given them a ticket. You typically have a five-minute time limit to give out as many tickets as you can, the greater the number resulting in a better medal.

((this energy bar is new, and in NFSHP you had to keep ramming the car until it stopped, sometimes not waiting long enough to back off and stop, and the car would break loose again. I reallyl ike this new energy meter feature))

My main complaint about this mode is how shallow it is. Every time you are the cops you will do exactly the same things. While fun the first few times, it grows old fast. You start out racing down the road for a speeder. The first car you see will always be the one you target. You can't risk passing them up for any reason due to your time limit. You don't even know if they were really speeding. You then proceed to ram them until you have given them a ticket. Repeat as necessary. Granted, you can call for backup (more police, helicopters that drop bombs, or road-blocks with spike strips) using the directional pad, but you won't need to most of time, and sometimes they just get in your way.

((I agree, this mode needs work, but it is the only racing game that allows you to do these things. This mode is actually VERY hard to beat normally )

Controlling the cars in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is, thankfully, not a chore. While the control is not perfect, the cars have a decent sense of weight and handling, albeit a hair floaty. Most of the cars feel similar, with only minute differences in handling characteristics. When selecting your car, you can press the Y button to hear a showcase on the car, which is pretty much a cheesy announcer reciting a few specs about the car. Unfortunately, it is not very helpful in the decision making. I would've liked it more if there were bars or numbers displayed for each of the cars stats, as this helps when comparing which car you want to drive. I pretty much went into each race blindly, picking the car I thought looked coolest. It didn't seem to matter much anyways, as each car feels very similar, and I got first place in almost every race on the first try.

((control has always been very very good, if a little loose in the NFS series. no problems at all with them using NFSPorsches 4 point physics though! I was really waiting for htis and my dream has come true. Most cars in this league of exotica actually DO handle simlarly, being they are all SUPERCARS. again, they needed to pick a car enthusiast to review this game))

The AI in the game is decent most of the time. The police use different tactics to try and stop your bad driving habits. They will call for backup, setup roadblocks, and even call in helicopters to drop explosives to slow you down. And that's all that they will really do. Slow you down. To actually get busted, they must stop you dead in your tracks for what seems like a few seconds. You can almost always avoid this. Want to drive right through the roadblock? Go for it. If you crash or spin, just press the black button to reset the car and speed away.

((The AI seem more ruthless this time around, but when they are after you in a slower car like the Opel (or Merc SLK in NFSHP), if you manage to get the Murcie cop on your tail, you better drive perfectly or God help you. Roadblocks in NFSHP were VERY heavy, and they slowed you down a LOT, oftentimes actually allowing enough time for the Lambo SV cop to catch up to you. This has hopefully NOT been changed. If you reset your car too close to the cop chasing you, you are caught with no chance of escape.))

When the police are chasing you, there is meter that slowly starts draining. As long as the police are not right on your tail, the meter will continue to drain until empty, at which point they will say over the radio that you are too dangerous to chase, so they're going to stop following you. Imagine if that's what real-life policemen did...

((This "meter" is a distance radar, and indicates how far away the cop is from your location. Once the meter drops to nothing, the cop loses sight of you and aborts the chase. (in NFSHP, when YOU are cop, the same happens. You must keep up with the speeders, or your radar will lose them, and your siren turns off. You have to then reacquire a reasonable distance from the speeder to chase them again. also, he does not mention that the cops do not just quit, they drive slowly until either called upon for backup or until they get you in sight again. Usually there are about 5 cops and 1 to 2 supercops out on the road, spaced out roughly evenly.))

On a side note, even if you are not speeding, the police will chase you. I went a casual 35 mph down the track until I saw a copper, only to have him call for backup and bust me. Silly police.

((I have seen that in NFSHP, there are 3 different hot pursuit modes. one is called classic, where you are one of 2 cars trying to go through a set # of laps and you can get one more ticket than the # of laps, secondly, a time trial, where you have a set time to catch or run, and 3 getaway, which uses time trial, but they are ALWAYS on you even if you slow down. I think maybe he was set on getaway. In classic mode, you can drive the whole race at below 50 mph and no cop will chase you, they will drive right by. However, you WILL lose the race unless the other car gets arrested (not often)))

Innotech
10-14-2002, 01:46 PM
A feature included in the game is the 360 camera, which turns on whenever you hit a roadblock, catch some air, or hit an explosive. When catching air, the camera will switch to a slow-mo side-view of your car making the jump. Not only do the graphics look horrible during this cut, but it's also very disorienting and can disrupt the flow of the game. It is also problematic because you cannot steer while this is going on, so whatever direction you were facing when making the jump at is the direction you will land in. This sucks when you didn't mean to catch air and by the time you regain control of the car, you're an inch away from a head on collision with a tree. Hitting a roadblock or explosive results in a Matrix-style 360 degree pan of the camera which is also disorienting, and nothing sucks more than having your flow broken, especially in the heat of a race. You can turn this feature off though, so you can decide for yourself whether to keep it on or not.

((This is a new feature thus I know nothing about it))

The physics in the game definitely lean heavily on the arcade side, almost to the point of absurdity. While driving a BMW M5, I hit a full-sized bus head on. This caused the bus to spin in circles at light speed for what seemed like forever. It's a lot like those old kung-fu movies where someone gets hit and they spin in the air like a top. There were also times where I would hit a road sign and it would remain hovering in the air for the remainder of the race.

((This is what makes NFS definitely ARCADE. however, in NFSHP and the games after, you hit something small, and it would flip and catch fire. you hit something big, and it stopped you absolutely DEAD or flipped YOU. Maybe they changed it because what he did is impossible in NFSHP (unless you edit ))

The overall sense of speed in the game leaves a bit to be desired. Even when driving a McLaren F1 at over 150 mph, it still felt like I was only going around 75 mph. Switching to first-person mode helps, but if you like seeing the car when driving, you'll either have to make a sacrifice or be out of luck

((I think this is a XBOx port problem, because the whole series has ALWAYS appeared that you are driving at scarily fast speeds. Trust me, doing 180 in the Mcercedes CLK GTR in NFSHP on the comp was scary if you didnt know the track. First person view is VERY fast))

Depending on what you're looking at in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, the graphics can range from good to just plain ugly. The car models generally look great. While not quite as good as say Sega GT 2002's, they are nothing to scoff at either, and can hold their own in the arena of Xbox racing games. The driver in the car is also animated. You can see him turning, shifting, and giving the birdie to the 5-0. Well, maybe I just made that last part up, but with a big emphasis on police rebellion, I'm surprised the feature wasn't thrown in. I mean, if you're gonna thrown in little features like being able to honk your horn, give us some of the little features we'll really have fun with. The framerate tends to stay above 30 fps, but there are dips and moments of slowdown, though it doesn't really affect gameplay.

((Graphics have always been beautiful on the NFS series. Id venture to say they have always kept up with current trends, and were always the most awesome looking racing games of their time. Todays games are very good however, and I have to say that in order to accomplish the crazy stunts and cop pursuits in this game, graphical sacrifices were made. The drivers shifting was introduced in NFSPorsche, and head turning was fron NFSHigh Stakes. Car models were usually better than competition at the time, but todays very accurate models are leaving something to be desired in NFS. HOWEVER if you have PC version, the sheer amount of skilled personal edited cars available for NFS3 and 4 is absolutely IMMENSE. I myself am working on a scratchmade Ferrari enzo, very close in shape and proportion to the real one. If accuracy is what you want, youre going to have to get it throgh something like nfscars.com or other enthusiasts sites. I suggest cars by 5Speed, CPD, Dodge boy, Manutius, Marcel Hennersdorf, Martin Leps, and Thomas Egelkraut.))

The lighting in the game is also admirable. Instead of giving us the tried-and-true lens flare effect, the developers have implemented a soft lighting algorithm where light bleeds over the edges of objects, not unlike Halo 2 and Splinter Cell. The brake lights, siren lights, and sunlight all use this and the effect is eerily realistic. There are also real-time reflections on the cars and water puddles, although subtle, and basic water and smoke effects that more or less get the job done. Actually the water can go both ways: The waterfalls look adequate, but when you look at a body of water, like a lake, it is just another blurry blue texture. Not even a transparent texture. Actually very comparable to a blue conveyor belt in a N64 game. Yuck.

((lighting has always been one of NFS's strong graphical points. I hope the lens flare is the same on the PC version. In NFSHS and HP, the effect has been edited to make a much softer more realistic light flare. reflections seem to be getting better and better, but they were always beautifully done. Water was never a strong point of NFS, and its not going to be. you dont interract with it, so little is done to make it look good. however, I think it looks better than the previous games.))

The tracks all have a soft feel to them, a lot like daytime soap operas. Muted colors are the key words here. Minus the cars and the autumn tracks, the colors all seem very neutral with very little intensity. Strangely, it gives it somewhat of a painterly quality. The road and environment textures are blurry, and the trees suck, but you don't really notice it while speeding past them with three cops and a helicopter chasing you. When you do notice it is when you first start a race, and more notably, when get busted. The game will go into what must be one of the worst cutscenes I've ever seen in a game. The character models and textures are simply horrendous. I think the only way I knew what was going on was out of context. The animation is also revolting, with the character movement resembling disabled insects trying to cross a valley of PB&J. There were first generation PS1 games that looked better, and this is supposed to be an Xbox game. There's simply no excuse.

((The series has always been full of vibrant colors and settings. Some of the tracks like Schwarzwald (forest) and Normandie (French countryside) in NFSPorsche made your mouth drop open in awe of the beauty. I guess this is another bad port. Sad really. I wish you guys could experience the true NFS experience. The cutscened have always had ****ty characters, the cops always looked wooden and lifeless. Definitely NOT GTA3 material I agree. But still they look even better than the ones in NFSHP))

Sound
The engine sounds are to have been recorded from the real things, and that is almost always a good thing. Each car has it's own distinct engine sound, though I found them to be relatively high in pitch. Not high for the car (I don't really know what a McLaren F1 sounds like), just high in general. Honestly, I would've preferred a meatier engine sound that gave me a better sense of power, even if that meant unauthentic engine sounds. This game is by no means a sim, and the physics are already on the arcade side of things...

((This is a definite plus for the series. each and every car in every single game (ESPECIALLY NFS2SE) had quite realistic sounds of actual recordings of engines. The Mclaren has a very odd engine sound, very awesome, but very odd. you cant really describe how it sounds in words. That or an Isdera. You can tell they are very exotic. BTW, "meaty" engine sounds are usually made by V8s. Ferrari, and Mclarens have a sort of screaming banshee sound, but the Mclaren has an extra something to it. Youd have to hear it. The Lamborghini Murcielago though does have that sound, and cominmg from a thraoty V12 no less.))

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 supports Dolby Digital 5.1, and the results are excellent. With accurate positioning, you really do feel the cars whizzing by you on either side. If you drive in circles near a sound source, the spinning effect of the sound is almost dizzying. There are also some small details that I was glad to see thrown in, like the way the sound echoes when driving through a tunnel, or how you can hear the ocean waves if you stop on the side of the road by the beach (though only in certain spots).

((Yes you do. the surround sound feature has always been awesome in the series Also, going through tunnels and catching air makes your engine sound echo and fluctuate RPMS respectively. Also, the background sounds ARE location oriented. as you near an ocean you can hear waves. Going through a forest you hear trees falling birds chirping, or a fire raging. Sound effects add a LOT to the NFS experience))

Innotech
10-14-2002, 01:47 PM
The soundtrack to the game consists mainly of rock and techno songs. Besides Bush, Rush, and Uncle Kracker, I have not heard of the other bands, though I can't say I benefited from hearing them either. Generic radio-rock and dance songs that don't really go anywhere are not really not my cup of tea, though I admit I do have a soft place in my heart for Rush (don't ask). The good news is that you can listen to your own soundtracks ripped onto your Xbox hard drive. The only problem with this is that you have to make sure you either have a pre-made driving music soundtrack made, or you don't mind listening to one album at a time, as you cannot pick and choose the specific songs you want to hear from your hard drive like in Project Gotham Racing. It's either pick an album/soundtrack and wait until you finish the track, exit to the main menu, and choose another soundtrack, or nothing at all. Best to pre-make your soundtrack before, especially considering the length of some of the races.

((Oh now the music. well since NFS2SE, it has been very plain jane techno. I think having actual bands is a fresh remake of the hideous euro trance of NFS3,4,Porsche. In NFSHS, you could actually stop the game, put in a CD, and resume, playing the tunes of your choice, but in order))

Closing Comments
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is a decent, but flawed arcade racer. The problem any developer will have when making a racing game for the Xbox is how to make it stand out in an already crowded genre full of excellent racing games. Neither the police-chasing aspect nor the brand name are enough to help elevate this game into the upper-echelon of Xbox racing games. This game could use really use an update in graphics, a more in-depth Be the Cop mode, and online support. A greater sense of speed should also be at the top of the list. As is, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 would make a good rental for racing fans who've already played through all other quality Xbox racing games, or for those looking for a weekend of mindless, police-trashing fun.

((As Ive said before, the XBOx version is highly lacking. I very VERY much suggest buying the PC version, and in fact, I also recommend trying out the game that started it, NFSHP )

IM TERRIBLY SORRY THIS IS SO DAMNED LONG. I couldnt htink of any other way to post it along with my comments

Crash2k2
10-16-2002, 04:47 PM
pc version is not much different than the xbox...i played the demo...on my athlon xp 1900 and radeon 9700 setup it ran ok, but wasn't mind blowing compared to the xbox...colors were a little sharper and far less jaggies cause of resolution, but didn't feel very fast in any camera mode other than 1st person...still cool though...i was expecting better performance, and maybe that will show in the final release...i don't recommend buying it for both systems....as far as I am concerned, if I bought the game for one platform, I should have a right to run it on my pc too ;) without having to pay for it again...

Innotech
10-29-2002, 09:57 AM
Actually, noew that the demo is out I dont recommend getting ANY of them....buy the Ps2 version if you want the game. the other 3 are not NFS game IMO. they are crap. NFS1-5 were very high quality, almost AAA titles IMO. This HP2 game spits in the face of the NFS series and its supporters. In short, we are really ****ed off about it.