I forgot to mention the invisible walls that irk me in these games, too, and hope they're gone. There was one shortcut in Underground 2 that always resulted in me getting air, then creating sparks off an invisible wall. Bad level design.
Like I said, Underground 2 was the last I played, and it's a year older than Burnout on the 360, but it's amazing how much more "balls to the wall" Burnout 360 managed to be, while keeping you feeling more like you're driving a car (and not a block of wood.) It also had more and more subtle shortcuts.
What really kept me interested in the Underground games were drift mode and the very novel drag mode. The big races themselves felt too outdated in the face of more recent games.
Then there was the SUV part, haha. Screw blocks of wood, now you were driving full-out logs. I was just waiting for NEED FOR SPEED 8: LUMBER 2006!
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