Burnout Legends PSP Review

The fastest, most dangerous racer that was once exclusive to home consoles, is now breaking out of the bounds of you living room to grace the crisp, clear screen of Sony’s new hand-held, the PSP. Burnout Legends is set to take the series’ action and attitude literally on the road for the first time and hopes not to lose any of that award winning gameplay along the way.

Gameplay

Burnout Legends is not a fully new game, it basically builds on its predecessors; hand-picking all the good parts of Burnout 1, 2 & 3 mixing them all together and moulding them into what could be classed as a “greatest hits” collection of the series. The game plays like Burnout 3 but has aspects of 1 & 2 mixed in with it. Many tracks from the first two games now make a return but it looks like they have been slightly altered so they fit with “takedown” play mechanics. “Aftertouch” is another aspect that has been brought over from the third game. The cars however seem to be lifted from Burnout 2 as a lot of them are very similar to the selection that was available while playing through Point Of Impact (however there are some new cars as well). Another aspect that returns is Pursuit mode (once again lifted from the second game). This also means the cop car from the second game now makes a welcome return, in fact more than one cop car is included with a total of 7 different cop cars been available; one of them modelled after an F-1 car!

World Tour mode makes a welcome reappearance with 175 different modes to play though. Some slight sacrifices have been made to tone the game down to PSP standards; races now consist of cars instead of the 6 we are accustomed to. The only mode that suffers form this change is the eliminator mode (where a car is eliminated each lap) as it makes that mode slightly easy to place in a medal position, but the same trills are available in all the other racing modes, although 2 cars are missing from the equation.

What about the other modes? Well first off Crash mode is back (although it’s the crash mode from Burnout 3 which many fans did not like), Road Rage is back, Burning Laps and Faces Offs also make a return. There is really noting brand new here, if you want something new you can get Burnout Revenge when it is release in a week’s time (September 23rd).

As I said before Burnout Legends is more a mix bag or greatest hits of what came before, and there is nothing wrong with it been that as what came before was some of the best console racing games this generation, and you are now able to play them on the move! What could be better than that?

Graphics

It has to be said the graphics are fantastic and easily taking the crown from Ridge Racer for the PSP’s most beautiful racing game. All trademark effects from the console version are brought in tow onto the PSP with motion blur, explosions and those trademark sparks making an appearance. The car models are also well done and look great on the PSP screen. They are of course not as detailed as the console version but never the less look great. The graphics are Burnout in every sense of the word and very little sacrifices have been made to downgrade the graphics to a PSP standard. The only sacrifice to make it playable on the PSP is the cut in FPS. The game is locked at 30FPS, instead of the 60FPS we are familiar with after playing Burnout 3. When you first play the game this slight lack off speed is noticeable, but after you unlock some of the more powerful cars the worries you once had about speed should fade quickly way.

Sound

As always the music in Burnout Legends is top notch. Some may argue the music in recent games (since EA became publishers) is not the best but I disagree I think it fit the style of the game very well. Legends is full of the typical tracks you would expect in EA game as still uses the “EA Trax” selection of music with artist such as Finch, Goldfinger, OK Go, Junkie XL, The Dead 60s, and Yellowcard pumping out of the speakers (or head phones if you wait to actually hear them) to name just a few. In total there are 21 tracks on show and most of them are (or what I believe to be) good quality. One big emission is the lack of a DJ on the radio. I believe this is due to the fact of the UMD not been able to hold any more as it is literaly stuffed with everything legends has to offer, and to be honest this emission could be seen as a blessing in disguise and “DJ Stryker” did get more than a bit annoying during the course of Burnout 3.

Now onto sounds effects. Not much can really be said about them other than they are distinctly average and there is no diversity in the varying cars’ engine noises. All of them sound distinctly the same no matter how fast our slow they are, which is disappointing as this was an aspect the console version excelled at. Similarily crashes don’t have the same ‘oomph’ they had on console versions. A little more work could have been done in this area of the game, but even though a variety of sound effects are lacking it does not ruin the experience the game has to offer

Lifespan

There is a whole lot to do in Burnout Legends and that putting is lightly. There are 175 events to play through in total each challenging you to get gold (which is no easy task). The game is also highly addictive so you will find it hard to put down meaning hours will fly by, you will probably only stop playing when the PSP’s battery forces you to leave the console charging for a few hours. With loads of single and multiplayer modes, plus a whole load of things to do you should be playing Legends for a very long time, making it great value for money.

Overall

With just a few minor hiccups it is safe to say Burnout has made the transition to hand-held very well. With the UMD literally filled to breaking point with loads of different modes of play, Legends is a great game for long-term fans of the series as well as newcomers that have never touched the console version. Although Legends is up against a hell of a lot of classy opposition it comes out shining as the best PSP racer to date. Criterion Games have done it again!

9.4 out of 10

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