DEVELOPER: Criterion PUBLISHER: EA ESRB RATING: E10+
The PSP is quite a gaming machine, to say I’m excited about the new NGP is an understatement. Part of that excitement is because all the old games for the PSP 3000 should drop drastically in price to make way for their new iterations. This means there will be a lot of great games available at a fraction of the price as Sony tries to eliminate the UMD (Universal Media Disc) once and for all. One such game that I got at a drastic price drop ($10!) that really surprised me is Burn Out Legends.
Every portable gamer should add this game to their library. Racing games and portable gaming go hand in hand. All the fun and speed you expect from it’s major console counterpart but in the palm of your hands. You can still get those edge-of-your-seat gaming moments during the short spurts while you’re in transit. This game does not disappoint. There is just something natural about having your hands at 10 and 2.
Burn Out Legends falls a little short in the graphic details but they do get the most out of the little PSP screen. Really, the PSP makes all sorts of whizzing and chugging sounds as if it is really trying hard to run the UMD. This is not a pathetic mobile phone driving game. The graphic experience is equivalent to the early Burn Out games for N64 and PS2. The graphics look great but some of the cars are a little “boxy” and some of the depth of field fails in its intent. This is, being rather nit picky though because what Burn Out Legends is all about is speed and when your driving this fast the details don’t matter.
Racing is were this game shines. The steering is mapped to both the analog stick and the D-pad so you have your choice of which your most comfortable with. The R button is your gas with the L button being your brake/reverse. Nitros are accessed with the X button and in typical Burn Out fashion they build up/restore by driving into oncoming traffic, drifting and “taking out” other drivers. Racing is judged with a bronze, silver or gold medal awarded at the end of each race depending on how you score.
The cars themselves are not based on real makes or models but they are realistic enough for a Burn Out game. (Upcoming review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit features an amazing library of actual cars) The cars in Burn Out Legends are split into categories: Compact, Muscle, Coupe, Sport and Super. Each class requires you to finish the class before it before you can partake in that class of races. The increasing difficulty at each class level will have me returning to play Burn Out Legends for a long while.
One cannot review a Burn Out game without mentioning the Crash Events. This is different than the car crash take-downs you can perform during races. Basically you are set up with a crash scenario and you have to do your best to make it as big of a pile up as you can. You are judged by the estimated cost of the damage you have caused. These Crash Events have been a staple to the Burn Out franchise helping it stand out from the rest of the racing games.
This UMD has a lot to offer any racing fan. Multiple tracks and racing events. Many custom cars to unlock. An incredible soundtrack to get your blood pumping as you drift through oncoming traffic. Multiplayer is pretty deserted as this is an older game however you can play between two PSPs via “Game Sharing” over a local network. Unlock-able rewards: (in game) trophies, signature takedown photos, special event postcards and crash headlines which are all just for bragging rights but fun additions to the game.
Very impressive even when compared to it’s superior console versions