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1 or 2 Players Analog Control Compatible High Stakes Mode Hotter Hot Pursuit 19 Cars to Collect and CustomizeAmazon.com The Need for Speed series is already established as one of the best racing game series on the PlayStation. Need for Speed: High Stakes continues the tradition in fine style by adding several new elements to the gameplay, and offering a wide variety of tracks and cars. Where the previous game in the series had you running from the law, this one has you racing for pink slips. Sure, you can still play cops and robbers (this time even playing the role of John Q. Law), but the real fun in this game comes from racing to win so that you can buy a better car. Once equipped with faster wheels, you can hook up with a friend to race for titles in the two-player mode.High Stakes boasts the best graphics in the series, but they come at a price: slowdown. All too frequently, we found ourselves hitting a wall or an opponent's vehicle because the game stuttered as we drove into a graphics-intensive portion of the track. Good visuals are nice, but they should never come at the expense of gameplay. Still, when else will you get a chance to blow away a buddy's shiny new McLaren F1 in your "lowly" Corvette? --T. Byrl BakerPros:Fun tracks and a variety of high-performance vehiclesPlaying as the cops can be funExcellent sound effectsCons:Suffers from slowdown too often Review Need for Speed: High Stakes is a good example of how to do a sequel. It doesn't really mess with the formula of the last game, but adds enough new features and options to keep its fans excited. For starters, the game is more cohesive than other NFS games. In High Stakes, you must purchase cars before you can drive them in the game's main mode, the tournament mode. There are several different tournaments, each one having different car requirements and track variations. Also, there are special events, which cost money to enter, but frequently have larger payoffs than the tournaments. Some events are geared toward specific cars, while others put you on the open road, complete with traffic. NFS3's knockout mode has been confined to the special events section. Technically, all the tracks are available for one-player play right at the beginning of the game. However, since each tournament requires a different two or three cars, you'll have to own the proper car to see each of the later tracks. Suffice it to say, you'll be springing for new rides pretty frequently. Placing first in a tournament unlocks the final track of the tourney for two-player and hot pursuit mode use. The track design is fairly varied, and each track can be raced backward, in mirror mode, at night, in the rain, or any combination thereof. Hot pursuit mode is roughly the same, except you can now drive the police car, much like in the PC version of NFS3. As the cop, you're given a set amount of time to stop ten speeding cars. The first few pull off the road without much of a fight, but the later cars won't pull over unless you smash them into the side of the track, forcing them to stop. You're also given the option to call occasionally for backup, set up a roadblock, or set up a tack strip, which pops the tires of the speeder if he fails to avoid it. There's also a two-player version of hot pursuit, but when you play cop vs. speeder in two-player, the cop is on his own. And without being able to call for assistance, the cop is put at an extreme disadvantage. All the speeder has to do is, well, not stop moving. As the speeder in a two-player match, you simply must remain on the lam until time runs out, so you can just get ahead of the cop, flip around, and drive back the other way. As long as you can play a decent game of chicken, you'll never, ever get caught. The graphics in High Stakes are better than NFS3's graphics, but the jump isn't terribly dramatic. The lighting effects, including the sparks that fly after most collisions, are the real stars of the visual portion of the game. The tracks do look very, very nice, and there isn't a lot of pop-up, but as time goes on, the blockiness of
UPC Number: 01463307974
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