|System: PS3, X360, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Juice 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: Oct. 22, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
A Spook meter allows for you to unnerve a competitor. Whether you buzz-by, tailgate, or swerve aggressively in his direction, you're bound to make him nervous. When the Spook meter fills, he'll make some kind of error that will give you an advantage. This is a fun feature that definitely makes a statement that Juiced 2 is not a NASCAR sim. This is an arcade game that seems to be proud of its heritage. But it's ego may just be a little unjustified.
There is definitely a fun factor to Juiced 2. There are more things to do than just win a race. Challenges are presented that will not only make you a better driver, but ensure that you won't get bored too quickly. In some races, you will not be allowed to touch the perimeters, such as walls and guardrails. Other challenges require you to earn a specified amount of money or catch a few seconds of airtime. Just completing some of these challenges is usually enough to move on. So you don't always have to win every race. That's a refreshing change. Not to mention that you'll always seem to have plenty of money on hand, if you're a half-decent driver.
The single-player mode can be played online against another player. It's a lot more fun to take on a human competitor simply because it feels so good to kick his or her butt. You can also chat with them, but I prefer to call it taunting. I find early evening busier than any other time of day. Late, late in the evening, the track is like a ghost town, which indicates that this game may be popular with a much younger demographic - the ones that need a note from mom explaining why they didn't make it in the next day. All of the online games I played displayed responsive commands and solid gameplay mechanics.
Juiced 2 seems more like an expansion pack to the original than a true sequel. However, it's by far the best of the two. So if you don't own the original, this may be the one to get. For the rest of you, consider this a rental.
CCC Senior Writer