PS2 | RPM Tuning Pre-Owned

In a week that sees the release of EA's sequel to Need For Speed Underground across all current platforms, what price the success of this offering from Wanadoo Edition for PS2 only? The reverse of RPM Tuning's sleeve boasts that it's the "...tuning game that has what it takes". Having played the new NFS game already - albeit on Nintendo GameCube, which made it look like a PSOne title - and having been completely underwhelmed by it, surely this humble, non-hyped pretender to the throne has a chance to shine...doesn't it? Weeeell, yes, thankfully. There is an option to choose something other than EA's all-conquering 'Racing for Herberts': RPM Tuning stands its ground alright. Granted, the cars don't have real manufacturer names and models, the music selection is a bit naff, the collisions could be more spectacular, and there seems to be no-one driving your car, but that's where our complaints end. The physics are solid enough, the number of tuning options is off the scale and - like EA's behemoth - the game's levels and environments are massive; there's plenty to explore in RPM Tuning, after you assume the role of the dynamically-named Vincent Riker. In Adventure mode - the heart of the game - your mission is to infiltrate the tuning community and get back the car that was stolen from you. Getting acquainted with the characters in RPM Tuning is a matter of merely racing against them and earning their respect...and some money. The Tune and Race option is pretty straightforward in that it allows you to concentrate on tournaments where you simply have to tune your car to the max in order to progress through the game. It all costs though, and you have to succeed in your races to earn the necessary moolah. There's a Quick race mode too, in which you can tear it up solo or in a two-player split screen race. Only one type of car, race and track is available when you start out. You can unlock the extras by clearing missions in Adventure mode. At less than £20, RPM Tuning is a viable alternative to Need For Speed Underground 2. Okay, it doesn't have Beemers and Toyotas (it does actually, but they're called things like Blue Murder and Silver Fish instead) and the music...well, you can turn it down. So, our advice is: don't turn your nose up at RPM Tuning, save yourself a tenner, 'cos it's actually quite good.


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