Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
It has been a while since I’ve had the chance (and time) to write a review for our beloved Fragland, but about a week ago a big white envelope containing a bright green disk case was delivered to my appartement : the Juiced 2 – Hot Import Nights – review copy.
Nice and juicy
Juiced 2 is the successor to the first part in this series that was released around mid-2005. I’ve never played the original Juiced … come to think of it, this is the first time I have ever reviewed a tuning game.
‘Hot Import Nights’ refers to an event that actually exists in the real world and which is pretty popular in the American tuning-scene. At regular dates the HIN-crew visits big cities where tuned rides, loud music, star performances and of course races are the main ingredients. If this sounds good to you, you can find more information at HotImportNights.com. (Warning: lots of babes & cars :p )
Before we can race and tune we need to crawl through the required avatar creation. For starters you can choose between some male and female people, all from different native origines. After your selection you can fiddle around a bit with outfit-combos and facial morphings. Personally I’ve given up after 15 minutes to create something sexy. Should you not be pleased with the results the game offers the possibility to change the details at any time.
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights evolves completely around leagues where you will need to prove yourself in order to gain access to the higher levels. Each league has a number of events and targets. Most targets are reasonably simple and vary from winning races, spooking racers and winning bets to achieving certain drift-scores or air-times.
The events are divided into 2 categories: streetracing and drifting. There are streetraces where you simply need to finish first, elemination races, nitro-races, muscle car races, … . Drifting races can be won by scoring drift-points or finishing first.
Both the streetraces and the drift races come with a pink-slip variant. Entering such a race requires the looser to hand over his current car to the winner of the race. Be warned : restarting pink-slip races to try again when you have lost the race is not allowed … as I experienced myself.
In case betting your ride is a bit overkill for your stresslevel, you can always fall back on normal bets where each player agrees to a certain amount of money. Bets can be set before each type of race (exept for pink-slip races) and in case you lose you can simply give it another shot.
No real tuning game without adjustable cars in your garage ! On one hand we have the visual mods, these are all the items that will change your John Doe car to a fat pimped ride. Painting, stickers, bumpers, windows, trims, everything you need. Visual mods have no effect at the performance of the car. On the other hand we have the performance mods. The selection for upgrades is rather limited in this area and more than often you don’t really notice any difference in car behavior.
The available cars include all the common brands including Honda, Mitsubishi, BMW, etc. Think you have a gift for design ? Then try to sell your custom pimped rides on the marketplace.
Playing single dude
Foregoing game description completely applies to the singleplayer part of Juiced 2. Racing, racing … and then some to earn money for new cars or updates and achieve targets. A certain number of targets gives access to a promotion event, winning this event unlocks the next league.
A small addition to the singleplayer is ‘spooking’ your opponents. Simple follow the same racer(s) closely until the spook-bar gets filled. Once this bar is maxed the racer will suddenly get scared (probably saw your ugly face in the mirror :p) and start driving so bad he ends up hitting the wall. It looks a bit silly to me given these racers manage to drive at incredible speeds. Hint: use spooking to quickly eleminate racers in ‘clean driving’ events.
Sadly the difficulty level for most races is way to easy for an experienced gamer, and on top of that is seems there is an invisible rubber band connected to your car … opponents appear from nowhere after a heavy crash and you will have no problem catching up with the gang if you manage to fall behind.
Multiplayer is by far the most fun in Juiced 2. Just like the singleplayer you need to race your way through different leagues with one big difference: the other drivers are real people. Now for the coolest part: it’s possible to make bets with other players, and it makes the races pretty intense when there is a lot of money to loose.
Sound great ? Indeed it does, were it not for the fact that I found myself more than often being the lone ranger in the game lobbies. Eight persons including myself is the biggest number of concurrent players I witnessed in a lobby. The solution to this problem is starting a multiplayer-race with AI-opponents, but this kinda defeats the purpose of multiplayer doesn’t it ?
Most of the achievements are divided in a linear fashion over the leagues, both sinlge- and multiplayer that is. Unlocking leagues gives you a few points, but most of the goodies are hidden behind the completion of all targets for every league. Not a easy task since this includes pink-slip races and gigantic scores for drifting events. Other achievements exist for trading cars, getting huge scores and money amounts. (For a full listing, please visit Xbox 360 Achievements.org)
Juiced 2 : Hot Import Nights is a fun game with average graphics, and good for many hours of fun … if this is your kind of game.
Kudos (pun intended) to the drifting part which is a lot of fun, sadly enough the street races lack a bit of challenge. There’s no doubt that the multiplayer will provide the most fun, but of course this wil require other people online playing this game …