|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Activision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 26, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The game also gives you a great sense of speed via a blurring effect, which really kicks in when you pick up boost coins. There are pedestrian vehicles as well, and though the streets are never overly congested with traffic, these extra obstacles lend a nice balance and feel to races. Additionally, there are several alternate paths/shortcuts on each track, as well as stunts that, when executed properly, earn you extra scrilla (and a slow-mo cutscene).
Though its a fun street racer at a great price, it certainly isnt a perfect game. Occasionally there are invisible walls that arent clearly marked on the radar, and the radar itself is bland to the point of making it difficult to clearly see your adversaries. The A.I. also doesnt put up too much of a challenge, and laps can tend to be a bit on the long side. Additionally, though crashing into walls and other racers slows you down temporarily, damage to vehicles has no lasting effect throughout the duration of a race.
The other main issue with Street Racing though it has no real effect on gameplay is the visual quality. Theres a lot of great variety when it comes to tracks, and the way in which each track is modeled feels authentic. But, the actual fidelity here is pretty poor overall. Lots of shimmer and blocky/jaggy textures, and everything has a general lack of polish. The game also sports load times for just about everything starting a race, changing vehicles, pimping your ride and they can take upwards of 20 seconds or more. The framerate, however, holds up well, though it seems slightly sluggish overall. In the end, though, the visual-design elements go a long way to making the gameplay more enjoyable, and thats really where it counts the most.
The aural presentation is actually quite good, though the musical variety is a bit sparse. There are hip-hop tunes, as well as hard rock and techno, but you can hear everything the game has to offer within the duration of about three races. It is neat that you can switch songs on the fly using the directional buttons on the controller, but you cant mute the music during races. The sound effects, though, do a fine job of supporting the gameplay, and in addition to tasteful engine sounds and skids and crashes, pedestrian vehicles will beep at you if youre riding on the wrong side of the road just one more subtle element that adds to the excitement of races. The sights and sounds are never overloaded, but theres enough variety here to make for an enjoyable experience.
Pimp My Ride: Street Racing offers a fun racer at a budget price ($19.99). Its often easy to write off games based on TV properties, but we have to give this one its due. In the end, though, three main things hold this title back from being a true bargain gem: it does very little to expand on the Pimp My Ride experience, theres no multiplayer, and well, its all pretty much been done before. But, if youre still on PS2 and jonesing for some new streets to burn, youll get your moneys worth with this title.
CCC Freelance Writer