|System: PSP, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: BigBig Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.29, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are a lot of other modes of play besides the Story that are worth your while. Bounty Mode allows you to repeat levels from the Story that you've already passed in order to win stars. These stars can then be used in the Shop to open up artwork, characters, movies, and cheats. You can accumulate these stars quickly by selecting the level of difficulty, and then completing the level quickly and stylishly. There is also a Challenges mode that helps to hone your skills. You will have to meet all of the requirements of the challenge in order to pass. Challenge sets are unlocked as you progress through the story.
Disappointingly, the online mode was unavailable for me to play. However, I was able to access the menu, and the modes of play are extensive and sound intriguing. There are four multiplayer modes from which to choose. Ram Jam has the cops chasing the criminals in an attempt to ram their vehicles into submission. Survivor has players work together in the Off-Roader in order to survive enemy pursuit. Cops 'n' Robbers is basically the opposite of Survivor. This time it's the criminals that are on the run and the cops need to stop them before they can reach their goal. The final multiplayer mode is Rampage which takes players out of the vehicles and puts them on foot for multiplayer gun battles. Up to four players are supported.
The controls are very smooth, but tend to cramp your hand. Fortunately, you can configure the controls to your playing style, but I found it uncomfortable after long periods of play no matter what I did. On a brighter note, driving at high speeds is arcade easy. This allows you to concentrate on the beat down you need to give to the hordes of armed adversaries that are intent on your destruction. Hopping from car to car at triple digit speeds is as easy as pressing the circle button. When you need to riddle a thug with high caliber ammunition, merely hold down the R shoulder button; aiming is not necessary. You can also dodge bullets quite easily. If you hold down the square button, you'll be safe from enemy fire by hiding on the other side of the car or tank, etc. Then it's just a matter of popping up again and unloading while they change clips or magazines. Everything is very simple, intuitive, and quite fun.
The graphics are as good as they need to be, but they are nothing special. I liked the ability to focus in on targets with heavy weapons and thought the transition was very smooth. The sense of speed is represented very well, and the overall setting and environments do a fine job of bringing you into the game. As far as the sounds are concerned, they are crisp and professional. The soundtrack is standard arcade fare, but it captures the feel of the title very well. The voiceover work is also very professional. There are a ton of characters both good and bad that have a lot of lines. Consequently, there are a lot of actors doing a nice job with the cheesy yet funny writing. I especially liked the silly one-liners from both the commissioner and the level bosses. If you do find yourself repeating a specific section multiple times the one-liners can become a nuisance. Nevertheless, I found the in-game sounds, music, voiceover work, and effects to be enjoyable.
I don't expect this game to be a smash hit because it is a simple cops and robbers chase arcade that's off the commercial radar. However, the game is a lot of mindless fun. I think anyone who likes to have a varied gaming library will want to pick up this title. The amount of content combined with solid gameplay and an extensive multiplayer online component makes this game worth the price of admission. If you've got limited dollars to spend on games, you may want to hold off. However, if you are waiting for it to go to the bargain bin, think again! I've got a feeling this will be a sleeper title that will become increasingly rare.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director