Midnight Club: LA Remix Preview

From Los Angeles to Tokyo, we check out the handheld version of Rockstar's latest racing series.

If anything, the developers at Rockstar London are ambitious about the PSP version of their latest arcade racing game, Midnight Club: LA Remix. No, the game won't feature the sprawling Los Angeles that will be found in the console versions of the game, but you'll still have plenty of SoCal streets to drive on, as we found out during a recent visit by Rockstar reps and our hands-on time with LA Remix.

In LA Remix, practically everything is customizable on your car, all the way down to the license plate.

LA Remix follows a fairly standard plot: You play as an up-and-coming driver establishing a reputation as a force to be reckoned with after arriving in Los Angeles. To do so, you'll need to--what else?--race every living thing you can in the hottest car you can muster. That's the premise, but the execution on the PSP looks to be impressive, with nice graphics and a ton of options you can use to customize your rides in the game. While the game's version of LA won't be as large as the console versions, the different versions will share the exact same roster of cars and customizable parts.

As you make your way around the open-world version of LA, you'll receive missions from your mobile phone; early on in the game, you'll get a call from local hero Booke. He happens to be the guy you're looking to ultimately beat in the game, but before you can take him on, you'll need to work up your reputation. To do so, you'll enter races that will earn you both rep points and cash, the latter of which you can use to purchase new parts for your cars. The mission structure in LA Remix is such that you can have multiple missions open at any given time and, consequently, complete missions at any time. Mission examples in the game include everything, from winning a pink slip race against an opponent to winning a muscle-car-only event or earning a certain amount of reputation points in a single race.

The simplest way to enter a challenge in the game is to drive by a potential opponent on the road and flash your lights at him (by pressing up on the D pad). You can either skip directly to the race start or enter a miniature race to the start line. If you win the race to the start line, you'll earn a small rep boost before the race begins.

The controls in LA Remix are straightforward: Press X for gas, R1 for handbrake, and triangle for brake or reverse. The square will let loose with the nitrous for a boost of speed, and you can perform special maneuvers by pressing the circle button. Special maneuvers change depending on the class of car you're driving and come in three variations: move (which slows down time), agro (which boosts your car's strength), and roar (which sends a shockwave that clears your path).

Tired of hte City of Angels? Then why not take a scenic tour of Tokyo?

Race events in LA Remix will include standard racing game event types, such as circuit races, checkpoint racing, time trials, and tournaments, as well as a number of special events, such as red light races, where you have to get to a landmark on the other side of the city as quickly as possible, choosing your own path along the way. There will also be delivery races, where you must bring cars to clients without damaging them, as well as "payback," where you go out and try to inflict as much damage as possible on target vehicles.

While the heart of the LA Remix is the racing, its soul is found in the game's extensive customization features, specifically those that deal with how your car looks. Yes, you can change the way your ride handles with upgrades to such things as acceleration, speed, and handling. But if you've got the time, you can also spend an egregious amount of time focusing on the exterior of your car, customizing your hood, doors, rims, and so on. You can even go so far as to customize your license plate (why don't all racing games do this?). We especially appreciated the classic California license plates available--that yellow lettering on blue background is fantastic.

And while the entirety of this fictionalized version of Los Angeles is available to you right away in Remix, the game will also have one advantage over its console brethren, an entirely new city to roam and race in: Tokyo. We had a chance to check out one Tokyo track during our time with the game, and its narrow passages and sometimes tight turns felt like a refreshing challenge from the wide open streets of LA. You'll be able to see it all when Remix ships on October 20.

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45 comments
Gtgamer13fresh
Gtgamer13fresh

Just got it. One word ''amazing''. You're the best Rockstar.

iboo01
iboo01

good but kinda hard

william623
william623

Rockstar is the best for violence!!! i like it!!!

Zaruna_44
Zaruna_44

this is going to be a great game for rockstars franchise...

djhipihopisdead
djhipihopisdead

Sort of like Burnout Paradise...without the easy controls lol. This looks promising to fans of Midnight Club, but i'm a Burnout Legends fan, so i don't think i'll convert.

StarStunna
StarStunna

I think nfs and midnight club are both good

wld007
wld007

its unarguely the best psp racing game there is !!!! its far much better than any NFS edition

w00tsicles
w00tsicles

if you have ever played nfs 2 you would realize the total flaw in your comment

Satish13
Satish13

NFS sucks suck, I mean yeah it EA using real people and made it liek a real racing sim but even still ur sectioned off, the whole purpose of street racing was how u can drive to the check points u need to get to in more than one path. NFS is two linear based u just follow or lead everyone else. Midnight Club has open road no matter what. Ramps, and power ups, some ppl say its unrealistic but hence the reason its VIDEO GAME, if ur gonna race a linear path and have it like a real racing sim then get Gran Turismo. (which is also bad ass)

Rocky_Rock_
Rocky_Rock_

Are you retarded..? Midnight club better than NFS? Have you even played NFS???

aarun27
aarun27

Much more better quality than Dub edition. It looks more realisitic, the cities and vehicles. There is also a new range of vehicles like Audi's for example it's a great game packed with lots of new and cool races. The game is worth getting!

parth0007
parth0007

Rockstar is known for making quality games i'll perhaps get this one

-ROFLZ-
-ROFLZ-

Its really good..i never thought any racing game would come close to burnout legends but this is great.

aarun27
aarun27

Great game! 98% on LA and 70% on Tokyo

wr12c
wr12c

cool game amezing AWESOME!

13449
13449

great game, guys. by the way, how do i unlock tokyo? how do i earn enough money to buy the lamborghinis? i need like more than hundred thousand

xyboink
xyboink

now, there is a better graphic mode than the previous midnight club 3. It means: a better racing game !!!

daishi5571
daishi5571

Picked this up today, really enjoying it. Graphics are awesome, Music great. Load times are a little long.

jazzyrider
jazzyrider

I'm definitely getting this game - Wow!!

BradHummr
BradHummr

Wow. This looks a like it's going to be a lot more fun that I was expecting. Can't wait to see how it is, I'll probably buy it.

hussain1994
hussain1994

i wonder why isnt it released yet, i looked everywhere for it today!!!!!!!!!!!!

bbfn
bbfn

the cars are good i hope they fast

jazzyrider
jazzyrider

graphics look good i might pick this up

coolrunner56
coolrunner56

games looks quite dam good nice graphics new city (kinda)and i think i see an audi r8 in there

pairunoyd
pairunoyd

Brian, I don't agree w/ your use of the word 'egregious'.

brooklyn_616
brooklyn_616

im probly gonna get this game...looks good

MontyPython4-r
MontyPython4-r

I think I'll buy this game-Rockstar never made a bad one.

Teknboi912
Teknboi912

Well NFSUndercover looks like Most wanter, Midnight club looks like somthing i havent seen before, well on the ps3, I think i may just check em both out.

Anayalator408
Anayalator408

get both!! thats wat im doin. hope this ones got online!

hell4444
hell4444

This game is gonna rock the world of racing games! Can't Decide which one to buy,Need For Speed Undercover or Midnight Club LA Remix! Help!

xyboink
xyboink

sweet. Rockstar is kicking again with a good racing game. In my eyes, is rockstar the best developper of virtual game, above EA !

siLVURcross
siLVURcross

Sweet, MC3 was awesome on the PSP and even better on the PS2. Remix will look better.

atrofiado
atrofiado

hope this midnight club gets better than the other racing games for psp...Love the MC games and i want to try this one too

nakasa5
nakasa5

I hope the load times aren't even half as long as MC3 Dub Edition. It was ridiculous!

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

What is with Rockstar and Tokyo in this series, i swear its like in almost all versions of the series u can find this city. Tokyo is fun and a really nice city to blaze through and rip up but please for my sake, start tossing in some new areas, then again i guess this was just tossed in since it was already built for Dub Edtion remix and part 2 so it's sorta like a port. The game looks cool so far though and its bigger brother version should be a killer!! :)

LarkAnderson
LarkAnderson moderator staff

That was a mistake, RainOfTerror. I've got it fixed now. Thanks!

RainOfTerror
RainOfTerror

I'm sure this is meant to say preview since it's still 2 weeks out, nor does it have a score.

metalkid9
metalkid9

definitely getting this along with the 360 version