|System: DS, X360, PS2, PSP, PC, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Juiced Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 17, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TEEN||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Completing objectives will unlock new cars, and it's possible to get behind the wheel of some pretty awesome speed machines. A slew of major brand automakers are included: Audi, BMW, Dodge, Ford, GM, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Lotus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Plymouth, Renault, Subaru, Toyota, Lexus, TVR, Vauxhall, and VW.
As the challenge increases, a straight-up ride won't be enough to bury the competition. That's when it's time to hit the garage for some custom modifications. HIN's simple interface allows for a wide range of combinations without making things too overwhelming for new players. In the garage screen, you can hand pick your car's color, draw a logo decal, change its appearance, or beef up your engine, all by using the touch screen. Each car can be pimped out with different hoods, front and rear bumpers, or side skirts. Under the hood, you can increase your nitro refresh rate, boost engine power, and increase speed or acceleration. Paint jobs, accessories, and mods don't come cheap, and you'll have to win plenty of races to rack up some necessary dough.
For those who love to gamble, betting a portion of your winnings against individual opponents is a surefire way to make some fast money or end up in the poor house. Pink slip races were promised, though they don't seem to be available in the DS version. Unlike most of the console versions of the title, the DS version does not include online play. Instead, you can connect wirelessly with up to three other players and test your mettle in head-to-head competition.
Though fancy, unnecessarily fast cars, curvy maidens, and hip DJs will no-doubt be appealing to the majority of male gamers, HIN would do just as fine if it stuck to the racing without pandering to the testosterone poisoned masses. It's an excellent racing experience beneath the shallow exterior, with plenty of unlockables and lots of crazy tracks to burn up.
CCC Freelance Writer