If you think you have been hearing about the game Juiced for a long time, there is actually a good explanation for that. The game’s rights were first owned by the now-bankrupted Acclaim, who had it for quite a while. Once Acclaim kicked the bucket, THQ purchased the license for the game and then spent a year or so of their own time making the necessary adjustments they saw fit. So with so much time in the pit, did Juiced turn out to be the great street racer that everyone thought it would be? Read our full review to find out!
Is it just me or are street racing games starting to get a little too mainstream for their own good? When you start seeing all of these main stream television stations showing street racing, and all of these movies that are trying to rip off the success of Fast and the Furious, you just wonder when is it going to catch up with itself. I have to say though as sick as I am of hearing about street racing in real life, I love the video games. I am not exactly what you would call a racing guy, but this genre is one I just have come to take a liking of. So does Juiced enter into the realm of games that I like as well?
I will be honest I was one of the few people when Acclaim had the game that was truly adamant that this game could compete with the big boys. Now that the game has somewhat slipped under the radar, it’s been really hard to judge what this game was going to produce. Well now that I have played Juiced I must say that the time spent on this game can been seen but then you also wonder why some of the problems in the game weren’t fixed already. First off, this game is much more of an arcade racer that makes you feel ever mile per hour you’re going as you can see the game spent a lot of time working on making you feel like your going fast. This however can get kind of awkward as the game at other times tries to be more a simulation style racer and herein lies one of the game’s problems.
Juiced has a pretty nice array of vehicles to choose from, consisting of around fifty vehicles separated into different classes. This is a great amount of cars, which is backed up by a lot of customization options, which is by far my favorite part of the game. I think the developers of Juiced did an excellent job of making the customization easy to pick up, which will thrill novices and experts alike.
One thing we heard a lot about in the long Juiced development process was crew racing, which was one of the few options that was different from other street racers. The crew racing is kind of like a team battle sort of thing, which happens throughout the career mode. The idea is a stellar one, but unfortunately the game has a lot of downtime of you watching your teammates and this to be honest is really not all that exciting of a feature that could have been done much better then it was.
The game also brings into the picture gambling elements, which is something I think more and more racing games are going to incorporate into both single and multiplayer as this really helped my overall experience of the game. You can wager money as well as your pink slips online and offline before a race. This of course makes the whole race even more exciting, and let me tell you when I won a car on Live that was probably one of the most memorable experiences I have had on Xbox Live since it came out a few years ago. On the subject of the Live support, besides being able to gamble your cars away, the game really doesn’t offer up a lot of options online. But it is still a worthwhile adventure to make a great car and then race it online and that is really a great part of Juiced.
When you look at the gameplay of Juiced as a whole, you realize that the game is definitely good but it’s unfortunately not great. Juiced gameplay mechanics just seem sort of confused, and the racing tracks are very uninspired. This game does a lot right it just can’t stand up as high as the other street racing games already out for the Xbox.
Visually Juiced is a game that succeeds in many areas, but unfortunately falters in some too. We will start with the bad to get it out of the way. That comes mainly from the environments, that for my taste, could have used a lot more detail. The game really never got its tires moving in this area and you can see that they went more for quantity rather then quality.
The vehicles in the game are absolutely gorgeous and nicely detailed. What impresses me more then the vehicles are the upgrades, which for me really made the visual aspect of the game. The game really allows you to customize quite nicely and the visuals really complimented this feature. Overall the visuals are not picture perfect but they are still quite good.
I know Juiced had its problems but for some reason this game just was a lot of fun to play. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the game just seems not try to be more then it is and that was just refreshing while playing. I had fun with the gambling aspect of the game, and I enjoyed all of the vehicles and customization options as well. The racing could have been better but even that was still quite a bit of fun.
Juiced is a game that I have a feeling is going to get overlooked because of the large number of street racing games already out. But if you are reading this review chances are you like racing games, and I would definitely recommend trying this game. It is a lot of fun, and although it is not a perfect game, is still an enjoyable one.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.