Zoom Zoom! by J.D.Keifer
16, 2005 - EA
has always been known for its great racing games,
particularly its Need For Speed series. They always
seemed to throw out better and more faster paced racing
games each time. However, only recently, with there
Need For Speed: Underground series, have there games
had a set story line and cut scenes. They were not
the first to do this though, Rockstars Midnight Club,
was one of the first racing games to come with a story
line. So with the release of Need For Speed: Most
Wanted 5-1-0, everyone was expecting an improvement
on the Underground series, and they got what they
wanted...except for the portable version.
For Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 doesn't have what you
could call a legitimate story line. In fact it doesn't
have a story included with it at all. The only idea
that could incorporate it to having the smallest smudge
of story is that each chapter has a boss and that
boss has a bio. Other then that, all you do is just
drive around in circles and try to be the best of
the best. Yet who doesn't do that now a day? While
every racing game released has you trying to be the
most kick ass racer on the street, at least they incorporate
some story to make the game more interesting and get
the player more involved.
to say the least, EA was able to release another fast
paced racing game for yet another handheld system.
And in true EA fashion, the game has many different
ways to play it, like everything from Career mode
to several different ways to play multiplayer.
mode is pretty disappointing however. It starts you
out at the bottom of a list of chapters, or what they
cleverly disguised as something called the "Black
List". The "Black List" is like the
FBI's most wanted list, except for the fact that it's
the cops and your not wanted for mass murder of a
thousand Iraqi citizens, just speeding and reckless
driving. As expected from EA, you are able to fully
customize your car and purchase upgrades for you vehicle
by unlocking them by racing. All you have to do to
get your ranking in the "Black List" to
increase is to beat those in front of you. Each boss
has a number of races for you to compete in, and after
completing each race in first you get your share of
cash and respect points. Each boss has a respect limit
you have to surpass before your able to take him on.
During each race, you have a heat level that can increase
to the max amount of ten by driving aggressively,
which there is no way to avoid driving aggressively
in this game. As your heat level increases the cops
get more aggravated and start pressing on you harder.
If your heat level is high at the end of a race, then
you can engage in Outrun, which is were you have to
outrun the cops and, if you succeed, you get more
cash and higher respect points. It's sad that the
cops provide more of a challenge then your actual
reaching the respect limit, you have the option to
race the boss. This proves to be quite the challenge,
for a third grader with ADD. Each boss race has you
up against the boss and only the boss. If you have
been unlocking and buying the upgrades for you car,
your car is much faster then the bosses. Also the
cops aren't there to try and stop you.
multiplayer and Quick Play mode is where the game
shines. The Quick Play mode allows you to just pick
up the game and play it right off the back, but only
with the car you have and the tracks you have unlocked.
A new feature to this game is the Tuner Takedown races.
Tuner Takedown allows you to be the cop, however you
don't get the super cars that never seem to be able
to be outrun like the ones in career mode. The multiplayer
mode allows for two different ways to play the game.
AD HOC, or wireless game play between up to 4 PSP's,
and the Infrastructure mode. Infrastructure mode allows
for you to take your car online to the EA servers
and race against PSP's connected to access points.
However, when I played the game the EA servers were
not available at that time.
cars in the game range from a small list of rare and
well-known sports cars and exotics. Controls are easy
to use but sluggish and unresponsive at the times
when you need them the most. Graphics for Need For
Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 is done well. The tracks
and buildings around the track have great texture,
however the cars in the game are done a little to
well. What I mean is that if you use the metallic
paint set for your car, it almost seems transparent
at times. The music choice in the game is poor, compared
to the last Need For Speed titles. Most of the bands
featured in this game I haven't even heard of, and
they aren't that great. However, the cars sound effects
are great, the engine tone changes when shifting from
one gear to another.
For Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 has to be the sorriest
excuse for a racing game that EA has ever released.
With the PSP's capabilities, they could have done
so much more, and made it a much better game.