The Fast & The Furious Review / Preview for PlayStation 2 (PS2)

The Fast & The Furious Review / Preview for PlayStation 2 (PS2)

Has the illegal street racing genre run its course?

Underground street racing which you was glorified in games such as the Midnight Club series has lost some of its sheen over the years. It’s not from lack of trying on the developers part as I can’t even imagine what could be added to freshen up the genre. While the perfect illegal racing game has yet to be created, that’s not the Holy Grail that we’re all waiting for. Fans of the genre have played enough versions of this style of games to the extent that they’ve experience the best of all worlds, albeit from a variety of different games. Having all of that in one game would be great but it wouldn’t shatter the world.

The Fast & The Furious screenshot

The Fast and the Furious is based on the movie (actually based on the recent Tokyo Drift) but doesn’t emulate it. It tries very hard to be the best that it can be but what we see is just more of the good stuff, in other words: an increase in quantity. While the quality isn’t bad, it wasn’t the focus of the developers. Fans of the genre will enjoy all the licensed vehicles and the myriad of upgrades. I suspect that the average gamer will show some interest in the racing aspect but hesitate to tackle the intricacies of customizing and tweaking vehicles. In this way The Fast and the Furious can function as an arcade-style game with optional user-friendly controls that will help you shift and drift your way around the city streets and mountainous roadways.

You start the game out with what could be best described as a beater, when compared to the superior cars that you can get your hands on later. It’s difficult to get it to perform properly since it doesn’t have the speed, steering, traction, acceleration and suspension that you require to execute drifting – a move which comprises a huge part of the gameplay. It can be rather discouraging for newbies to start off at such a disadvantage so the developers put in the option of a semi-automatic transmission as well as a kind of lock-on drifting system that lets you skid around corners like a seasoned vet. This is an essential skill that you will need to enhance in order to win. Winning is everything in this game. You will need it to obtain money which you can use to visit the showrooms to purchase new cars or upgrades for vehicles in your collection.

The Fast & The Furious screenshot

As a newbie you may want to turn off the auto-assists when you get finally your hands on a fully modified vehicle. Virtually everything can be upgraded from the tires to the engine. You can also make cosmetic changes to the colors, paint, body styles and decals. All the cars are licensed so they don’t take on any damage which is a bit of a disappointment in the multi-player mode as the worst that you can do to another player is nudge them and cause them to spin out of control.

The map is huge and you can drive virtually anywhere you want. There’s not much to do but look around since you have to enter into a race if you want some action. There are 70 Tokyo crew members with more than 40 racers to take on. There are two main racing styles: Wangan and Touge. Wangan is for the speedster that likes to put the pedal to the metal while Touge is for the driver that wants to exert more control and finesse over his vehicle while racing down dangerously winding roads with incredibly sharp turns. While there are similarities to the two racing styles, but if you want to specialize in either you will have to hone different skills and implement the appropriate upgrades for your vehicles. It may be a bit much for the average gamer to attempt but this amounts to a lot of replay value for the fanatic.

The Fast & The Furious screenshot

There are some framerate issues that keep the game from getting up to speed – literally. There are some hiccups that threaten to stop the game in its tracks. It’s just doesn’t feel as fast as it should, at least at first but you do get used to it. Graphically the environments and the vehicles are virtually photo-realistic. The cars are bright and shiny, as they reflect the sun during the day and the neon lights in the evening. They have a good sense of weight with tight and responsive controls. The music is average and the voiceacting and dialog tries so hard to be cool that it borders on camp.

F&F isn’t the world’s greatest street racer, nor is it the worst. Obviously geared for the same demographic who gobbled up the movie, this one will probably satiate their lust for speed on the small screen while racing purists will turn their noses up at it simply due to the license. F&F is fun, popcorn entertainment, exactly what it intended to be.


  • Revolutionary Drift Model: The first game to create an authentic, drift model system that is fun and approachable for players of all skill levels. Turn on the assists and feel like a pro, or turn them off and hone your drift skills.
  • An entirely authentic Drift racing experience: Focusing on the “next big thing” in underground street racing this video game utilizes Universal’s extensive sound library, an incredible context based camera code, a revolutionary context based rumble system that gives players the feeling of driving city streets at break neck speeds like no other.
  • Total Immersion! Immerse yourself in the world of the game. 10,000+ polygon model cars, cinematic camera angles straight from the movie, unique boss challenges, stunning visuals and over 100 JDM Tuner, Classic Muscle and Concept cars makes this the best looking, best playing racing game on PS2 and PSP.
  • Robust customization options – Enhance the feeling of being part of the underground street racing world. Tune your ride with a hundred licensed wheels, and over 300 body kits from real JDM companies. Tune your ride like never before from performance to appearance and for the first time on PS2 and PSP swap out your engine to truly push the limits of your vehicle.
  • Based on the blockbuster film franchise, The Fast and the Furious Is a nitrous-fueled drift racing game that captures the style, speed, and attitude of the underground street racing phenomenon.

    Rating out of 5 Rating Description


    Virtually photo-realistic vehicles and environments, but the framerate stutters and jerks.


    Good vehicle handling with responsive controls and a nice feel. Optional user-friendly features for beginners.


    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Average music, corny dialog and bad voiceacting will make you want to turn the sound down.


    Play Value
    If you’re into customizing you’ll find a lot to keep you interested. The multi-player mode will also keep the racing fan busy.


    Overall Rating Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
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