This is EA's first shot at making a portable version of Burnout for the PSP. This review will tell you all you need to know about the title and let you know if this game is right for you.
Burnout Legends for PSP
Have you ever gotten the urge to drive at insanely high speeds through traffic, with reckless abandon? Have you ever wanted to cause huge crashes and pileups, while sitting comfortably in a car, or bus, or while waiting in traffic? Now you can feed that urge with the first portable installment in the Burnout series for the PSP. How well does Burnout do on its first portable installment? Let's find out!
There really isn't much story to be found here because this is a racing game. Burnout Legends offers a fun and challenging World Tour mode. In this mode there are 5 total classes to compete in: Compact (available right away), Muscle, Coupe, Sport, and Super. The remaining four classes become available once a certain amount of medals are obtained in the previous classes. In World Tour mode you compete in a selection of events: Race, Face-off. Road Rage, Pursuit, Eliminator, Burning Lap, and Grand Prix. As with any Burnout game you unlock things by winning Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals in each event and by performing special tasks during the races, such as achieving 5 takedowns in a race. The other available modes are Single Event and Multiplayer. Single Event mode lets you play in any of the events found in World Tour mode, as well as in any unlocked levels you have obtained. Multiplayer mode allows you to play wirelessly with a friend. One of the great advantages this game has is you can play multiplayer with a single UMD! You do this by downloading a demo onto your friends PSP, which then allows you to play a Race Event together. If your friend has the game as well, you can play the Single Event, Tournament, Collector Challenge, Double Impact, and Party crash modes.
The graphics in this game are very well done considering it's on a portable system. When you get into a crash you can see the parts of the car fly and break off into little pieces. The cars paint shines as light hits it, and there are realistic shadows underneath the cars. The backgrounds and the courses are also very nicely done. There are a lot of nice additions, such as little stands and tables on the sides of the road. You can see some jagged polygons here and there but overall everything is pretty smooth. The driver in the driver's seat is also a great touch. There is also a good motion blur when you go whipping through the levels at insane speeds. These are some of the best graphics I have seen come from a racing game on the PSP.
The songs used in this game are the same ones from the new Burnout Revenge game for the PS2. The hard rock soundtrack used fits this title's fast, intense gameplay well. Songs from such bands as Pennywise, Yellowcard, Goldfinger, The Black Velvets, Junkie XL, Morningwood and more are included. When you crash you can hear the tires screeching, engine roaring, and metal flying off and shattering when you crash, as well as the thuds if you hit things like a sign.
The overall gameplay for Burnout Legends is pretty much as good as it can be on the PSP given the nub you have to use to control the car. The D-pad can also be used instead; but I prefer the nub because it helps with drifting. The tasks and levels are fairly short, but what brought this title's gameplay down from 4.5 to 4.0 are its load times; they are about 30 seconds per race. It can get especially annoying if you're playing the 20 second long crash mode. There are hints and tips about the game that show up during the loading screens.
Replay Value (4.5)
This game offers a lot of replay value. All the extra cars that can be unlocked for getting all the gold medals in a single event makes you want to keep playing and keep trying harder. Even if you complete everything there is to do; and unlock EVERYTHING, this game still remains a blast to play. The multiplayer also adds a lot of replay value. The sheer fun of destroying tons of cars in crash mode is unbelievable. Once you pick this game up... expect to not want to put it down.
This title offers all the fast, intense, and insane races and crashes that you would expect to come from a Burnout game. The challenges offer a good amount of difficulty and the action never stops. The joy of being able to race at extremely fast speeds and to cause thousands of dollars in damage to cars never gets old. The many events to complete, the unlockable cars, the easy to use controls, and the addicting gameplay that is commonly found in the Burnout series will keep you playing for hours on end. EA did a great job of bringing Burnout to the PSP.