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Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights

Got a need for Need for Speed? Not christmas yet? THQ can help out...

The original Juiced was a bit of a throwaway game that briefly scaled the summit of the Xbox charts way back in 2005 by hitching a ride on Need for Speed's coattails before falling away and largely being forgotten about. Not exactly the kind of pedigree that inspires ticker-tape parades and spontaneous Mary Poppins-esque songs, it's true, but in all fairness the original Juiced was a solid enough racer and Hot Import Nights (Worst. Game. Name. Ever.) as it's additionally entitled, should satisfy those gamers who for some reason feel that EA just don't release enough Need for Speed titles any more.

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Juicy Goosey
In Hot Import Nights it's out with the fictional Angel City and in with a series of tracks based on a predictable roster of real cities such as Paris, Sydney and 'San Fran'. That's short for 'San Francisco', if you were wondering. Unlike Project Gotham Racing 3, despite sharing the aesthetical qualities of the cities, each track is not based on real road layouts - which can only be a good thing in an arcade racer such as this. Powersliding our way down a narrow one-way sliproad? Deal us out of that. And coders Juice have indeed dealt us out.

The single-player structure remains largely the same, although drag races have been dropped because it's largely accepted that drag races are a load of dump. Instead there's a renewed focus on sprint, circuit and drift races, with three wins moving you up a level on the new tier system. And for those that thrive on the sheer thrill of putting your ride on the line, pink slip races make a welcome return. Ninety-three vehicles and a comprehensive character/car creation screen could make this a real monsterpiece of a racer.

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