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Need for Speed Underground 2 Official Strategy Guide Review

A Comprehensive Look at Prima's Guide to Mastering the Underground Racing Scene

The Need for Speed Underground 2 Official Strategy Guide published by Prima is an indispensable companion for anyone looking to master Underground 2. With its wealth of tips, tricks, and strategies, this guide will help you dominate the streets of Bayview. I found the guide to be well-designed, clearly written, and packed with useful information that veteran racers and newcomers alike will appreciate. Keep reading for my full review



Publication Date9th Nov. 2004
AuthorDan Irish
PublisherPrima Games
Price (RRP)USA $14.99 | CAN $21.95 | UK £9.99

Key Features

  • Complete track maps and shortcuts for all stages
  • Detailed car customization guide with tuning tips
  • Strategies for winning drift, drag, street X, and circuit races
  • Info on unlocking bonus cars and special vinyls
  • Full stats for all vehicles
  • Quick reference data tables and checklists

The Game

Need for Speed Underground 2 is a street racing video game developed by EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts in 2004. It is the seventh installment in the Need for Speed series. The game was widely praised for its expansive open world, customisation options, and improved gameplay over its predecessor. It received an 8.3 rating on IGN and 82% on Metacritic. Underground 2 was a commercial success selling over 11 million copies.


The Need for Speed Underground 2 strategy guide features a slick, glossy cover that immediately grabs your attention. This high-energy cover captures the adrenaline-fueled street racing vibe perfectly.

Cracking open the guide reveals a visually striking interior as well. The pages pop with color thanks to vibrant screenshots and callouts highlighting key info. You’ll find inspiring images of customized rides outfitted with bold body kits, decals, neon underglows, and massive spoilers. Interspersed throughout are stylized depictions of races, drift competitions, and high-stakes driving maneuvers.

These flashy graphics mirror the chaotic, high-speed races of the game itself. The images don’t just look exciting – they also help convey crucial details like track overviews, optimal racing lines, and car customization options. The guide could have easily relied on cluttered text to present information. Instead, the creative visual design ensures even dense technical data like tuning settings and performance specs are easy to digest.

Design Score: 9/10

The guide is adorned with vibrant visuals, which adds colour and interest to the content.

Organisation and Structure

I found the guide to be logically organized with features easy to find. The table of contents is clear and detailed, allowing you to pinpoint the exact info you need. Track maps are conveniently placed near the corresponding course strategies. My only gripe is the lack of an index, but overall it is a well-structured guide.

The guide is split into the following sections:

  • Gameplay – Hitting the Streets – Tips and advice to get you started in the game
  • Career Mode – Details on the Underground racing scene
  • Pimp Your Ride – Details on the cars available in the game
  • Details on the different race types: Circuit Racing, Sprint Racing, Drag Racing, Drift Racing, Street X Racing
  • Underground Racing League – Details on the exclusive events
  • Multiplayer and Online Strategies – Different strategies and tips for the online racing mode
  • Behind Need for Speed Underground 2 with Marc De Vellis
  • Behind Need for Speed Underground 2 with Brooke Burke

Organisation and Structure Score: 7/10

Sections are logically organised, although there is no index.

Clarity and Explanation

One area where this guide truly excels is the clarity of its writing. Racing terminology and mechanics are thoroughly explained in an easy to understand manner. Strategies for winning each event are laid out in a step-by-step manner. I was impressed by the depth and precision of the tips for tuning cars.

Clarity and Explanation Score: 10/10

The guide is well detailed with plenty of relevant images added throughout.

Additional Features and Extras

The Underground 2 guide packs in bonus content that extends beyond just walkthroughs for the core game. It contains a comprehensive car stats table listing performance specs like drive type, torque, HP for all vehicles.

While it covers the basics thoroughly, a strategy guide lives or dies by its supplemental content. The extras provide practical, detailed resources that the main game content lacks. However, more profiles of the Bayview racing scene and its key underground icons would have added even more value.

Additional Features and Extras Score: 7/10

An interview with Brooke Burke is included in the guide.

Overall Score and Recommendation

Taking all aspects of this guide into account, I give the Need for Speed Underground 2 Official Strategy Guide a 8.3/10 overall. With its great visual design, logical layout, crystal clear writing, and useful extras, it’s a must-have for fans of the game. I highly recommend picking up a copy to conquer Bayview and rise to underground racing

Overall Score: 8.3/10

Buy Need for Speed Underground 2 Strategy Guide on eBay


Our Summary

Need for Speed Underground 2 Official Strategy Guide Review

The Need for Speed Underground 2 Official Strategy Guide is an indispensable tool for dominating the illegal street racing scene of Bayview.…
Organisation and Structure
Clarity and Explanation
Additional Features and Extras

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