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Heat up the asphalt with 'Juiced'

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I don't drive a souped-up racing machine and chances are, not very many of you do either. But perhaps like me, you wish your car were capable of going 200 miles per hour. This is one reason why games like Juiced are so entertaining. It gives us that glimpse into a world that we don't have much contact with.

Race for money and pink slips and gain the respect of your peers as you leave them behind in the dust.

Unfortunately, a glimpse is all we really get. Juiced is entertaining, it's got nice graphics and it has a good concept. The problem, however, is the good concept stalls after second gear and spins out at 120 MPH.

You begin with enough money to buy some cars. Then you customize and modify them, adding mechanical features to boost your power and handling as well as adding exterior details like a shiny new coat of paint or deluxe wheels.

Once you're satisfied with your new ride — it's time to race it. In career mode, a calendar is displayed with events. Choose your race and go for the checkered flag and respect of fellow drivers. The respect feature of this game allows you to gain points from a group of fellow drivers from different crews. If impressed enough, these drivers will invite you to attend their events and their phone numbers will be entered into your cell phone so you may dial them at any time for a challenge. It's all about networking. You can also bet against other drivers, making the prize all the more sweet when you leave them in the dust and collect the winnings.

The most unique element of the game is the Showoff mode, where you race down a circuit in front of a crowd and perform tricks like 180-degree spins and boomerang turns for points. It's pretty fun listening to your tires squeal and watching big gusts of exhaust fly up. But that's the extent of it. It's only so long before you get tired of making endless spins. The set of available tricks is limited and though it's fun to master them, you're left wanting to try more without the resources to do so.

Overall, Juiced is worthy way to spend some time. Flaws aside, it'll provide a decent amount of amusement for a little while and if it doesn't, well you can just leave it on pause and enjoy the music.

Available for XBox, PS2, and PC (windows).

Full Review.

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