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Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0 Review

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Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 15, 2005 Also On: None

The PlayStation Portable launched in March with a commendable effort by Electronic Arts with Need for Speed Rivals. The game lacked any sense of openness and was more or less a condensed version of Need for Speed Underground. Now that the PlayStation Portable is in its first holiday season, Electronic Arts releases their banner racing franchise in the form of Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0.

Problems with the first attempt are not solved and more arise in this effort. The one thing I hated about the first game, the controls, are now manageable with the analog nub. If you are going to have the technology, you might as well use it and use it properly. Besides from the tweaked controls that make things tighter, not much else has improved. You still have the sub-par graphics of which the consoles put to shame and other problems have arisen.

Part of having Most Wanted in the title means that there are cops chasing you. Unfortunately, it does not come even close to the console experience on the PlayStation Portable. Whereas you could disable cops by damaging their cruisers or using Pursuit Breakers in the console version, all you can do to get the cops off you in this game is ram them and hope their car spins out. The roadblocks are pathetic – basically the cops box themselves in a small part of the road and you easily avoid them.

The gameplay modes include a single-player career with the 15-person Blacklist that you will need to climb. As you complete races, earn cash and gain respect, you can challenge people on the Blacklist, ascending your racer on the list. Race types include Circuit, Lap Knockout, Time Trial, etc. then you face a boss before you move up the ladder. Other game modes include a Quick Play feature and both Ad Hoc and Infrastructure multi-player.

Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0 has some of the worst graphics for a racing game on the PlayStation Portable. All of the vehicles are generic looking with primary colors and shiny reflections off the surface. My real impression is that you are playing Hot Wheels because these cars look like they might as well be toy cars. The courses are long, but they lack variation in environment and there are not enough of them.

I do not know how Electronic Arts can get away with charging $50 for this title. It lacks a compelling single-player foundation and I couldn’t imagine people wanting to play the multi-player. The race events are playable, unlike the Nintendo DS version of Need for Speed Most Wanted, but they restrict you to racing and that is about it. What happened to avoiding the cops? Yeah, you can try to evade them after a race, but all you are doing is lapping around the same course you just raced on. If you have to take EA’s pink slip, make it Burnout Legends, not Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 7
Written by Kyle Review Guide