|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Virtuos, GameSource||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Philip Hanan
The racing game that has taken handhelds by storm is now reaching for current generation technology by using the power of the PSP. Asphalt: Urban GT 2, originally on cell phones and the Nintendo DS uses the PSP's strengths to deliver high quality graphics for the first time in the series along with a widescreen, instead of either one or two small screens. Other than that, the game developers haven't really used the PSP to add anything new, but for PSP-only owners, I'll give you the lowdown of one of my favorite racing games.
Asphalt: Urban GT 2 isn't a racing game that tries to be unique. Instead, it tries to be the best by combining every desire from a racing game. It features arcade-style racing from Ridge Racer, underground settings like in Need for Speed Underground, and car models from both Need for Speed and Burnout.
The physics have been ramped up from the prequel so you won't be sliding around as much as in RR1, but you'll still feel that crisp, precise, arcade style of gameplay. Although most of the cars you'll be driving are street legal, they've all been given a dose of nitrous to enhance their performance. This game demands nitrous if you want to score some serious cash, as it rewards players for bumping and grinding, but at least there's no annoying announcer screaming "NITROUS!!!!!!!!!"
There are over 50 completely tunable cars to unlock in the game, including motorcycles, so you'll want to earn money in all the modes as quickly as you can. Doing so isn't so difficult as the CPU can't keep pace very well, but cops do tend to get in the way. Fortunately, the CPU cars no longer phase through walls and will be knocked out of the race for a few seconds when you hit them toward curbs and such.
The two main modes of the game are Arcade and Evolution mode, which is pretty much a Career mode. Arcade mode features single races, time attacks, cop chases, bandit chases, and elimination events. Evolution mode features over 60 different championships, including normal races, duel races, elimination races, and radar events. There's a little something for every racing fan in Asphalt 2.
Although there's nothing physically new about the PSP version other than graphics and the lack of a map screen, Ubisoft did land a deal with Moby and the Pussycat Dolls. Both their music will be in the game along with an appearance by the Pussycat Dolls.
If there's a racing fan out there that only enjoys one style of gameplay, then don't buy this game, but if you love all the great racing games out there, then buy this one and you won't need another portable racing game for some time. I recommend gamers look for this PSP title in May 2007.
CCC Freelance Writer