GBA EXCLUSIVE: Interview Need for Speed Underground 2

A few weeks ago, we announced an interview with the producer of Need for Speed: Underground 2. An interview for which you could submit some questions... Head inside to see if your question was asked and for all the answers you ever hoped for..

A few weeks ago, we announced an interview with the producer of Need for Speed: Underground 2. An interview for which you could submit some questions...

In this first part, all questions for the GBA version of NFS:U2 are answered by Matt Tomporowski, producer of the GBA version. Due to NDA's (Non Disclosure Agreements), the questions for the Nintendo DS version couldn't be answered just yet but we were promised they'll hold the questions for future reference.

Q: In Need for Speed: Underground on GBA, one of the downsides was that players couldn't often see an upcoming curve coming due to texture problems. How did you try to solve this problem for NFS:U2? MT: The tracks are much more varied and colorful in Underground 2 GBA making it much easier to see down the road. The texture issues you mention from the original were addressed so sharp turns are clearly marked. Readers also asking this: shaunj66, Khan and Mr. O Unbound

Q: What sort of visual upgrades over the original have you implemented? Also, in what way do these upgrades affect the frame rate? MT: The biggest visual enhancement was made to the tracks. The tracks are now very distinct and each one is part of a unique neighborhood with its own landmarks and unique sky texture. Also to help visibility we put a lot of effort into making sure there was good contrast between the road, backdrop, and sky. We improved on our technology in Underground 2 so the enhancements caused no reductions in frame rate. In most cases, Underground 2 runs at a better frame rate than Underground 1. Readers also asking this: shaunj66, Mohammed, Rudy Luiten, Jeff and about 20 others

Q: In NFS:U1 all visible tuning parts were only other textures. Do you have 3D tuning parts in NFS:U2? If so, what parts are 3D? MT: We added upgradeable spoilers as well as special "body kit" versions of several of the most desired cars in the game. Readers also asking this: Olpus and OrR

Q: One of the biggest additions to the console versions of Need for Speed: Underground 2 is 'free roaming'. Will the GBA version also feature more free movement? MT: Although all the events take place on pre-defined courses, we tried to capture the spirit of a free roaming city by placing the courses in uniquely defined neighborhoods. Readers also asking this: shaunj66, Mr. O Unbound and OrR

Q: In the console versions of NFS:U2, the usage of NOS (Nitrous Oxide) is done differently compared to NFS:U. Players earn more NOS by increasing style points. Will this arcade-gameplay idea be implemented in NFS:U2 for the GBA as well? MT: We handled NOS the same way that we did in Underground 1. So upgrade your car to get NOS and use it wisely. Readers also asking this: none

Q: NFS:U1 was admired for the broad range of cars and tracks. How many of each of these can we expect in the final version of NFS:U2? MT: There are a total of 18 cars to unlock and 16 tracks. Readers also asking this: shaunj66 and OrR

Q: Are hills and small jumps planned for this version of NFS:U? MT: Definitely, not only do we have hills and big jumps, our tracks also have shortcuts to discover. Readers also asking this: none

Q: The inclusion of Drift and Drag racing modes in NFS:U was a great surprise to most gamers. Will we see more of the same, or even more? MT: Drag and Drift will be back. We?ve also added four new mini-games that you play to unlock bonus that help with tuning your car into an ultimate racing machine. Readers also asking this: Jeff

Q: Will the game feature licensed music like in the original gba version of Underground? And if so, can you tell us anything about the artist(s) and amount of tracks? MT: We had unique music composed for Underground 2. Readers also asking this: Mohammed, Mr. O Unbound, Micah and OrR

Q: Which feature of NFS:U2 is the most exciting to you, and why? MT: Definitely, the new and improved tracks are most exciting. Racing, jumping, and exploring on the new tracks makes every time you play the game fun and unique. Readers also asking this: none

Q: What size cart are you being allowed to use for NFS:U2? Do you think this size carts are a bottleneck for what could've been done with bigger carts? MT: We used the same size of cart as in Underground 1 (64 Mb x 4K EEPROM); however, we much improved our compression technology. Because of our improvements in compression, we don?t think we really gave anything up due to cart size. Readers also asking this: Mr. O Unbound and OrR

Q: Have the final releasedates (US/EU/Japan) been set yet? MT: We will release in November of 2004. Readers also asking this: about 20 people...

We'd like to thank Matt Tomporowski for answering the questions and all of our readers for submitting their questions (even though it became a little more than we expected). Finally, we'd like to thank Jonathan Long for making this all possible. Thank you all!

Posted on 06-10-2004 by Dennis


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