Jolly fun to play,though some glitches are there but they don't spoil the fun.
The Burnout series has been around for a while, but it didn't take off until Burnout 3: Takedown came out and blew away everyone with its intense "drive and destroy" gameplay. Now, for those of you who may have missed out on the previous Burnout entries, EA gives you the chance by stuffing all of their content into Burnout Legends for the PSP. Does it make the smooth transition from consoles to handheld? Read on to find out.
Burnout Legends brings the stages and cars from the first three iterations of the Burnout franchise though it doesn't come right out and tell you that. Of course, it also brings along all the modes as well: race, road rage, pursuit, and crash. Race is a typical race except that you'll want to drive like a maniac all while trying to take out your rivals. You don't necessarily have to do that and could just drive like a normal racing game trying to reach the finish line, but where's the fun in that? But, there is also an incentive to drive wild and take out others. The boost meter plays a vital role in where you'll finish and the only way to build it is to drive dangerously, like weaving through oncoming traffic. A more effective way to build boost while trying to gain a lead is to cause a rival to crash, or to initiate a "takedown". Not only does it build the boost meter up quickly, but it'll also add a section to the bar, extending it to insane proportions.
Takedowns vary from simply crushing another car against the wall to you actually crashing and then controlling yourself in mid-air, or what the game dubs as "aftertouching", to land on top of another racer. Performing one of these aftertouch takedowns not only slows your rivals down, but it also allows you to keep your boost meter filled, as crashing will reset your meter's length and completely drain it. There is a huge variety of takedowns in the game, and there are some called "signature takedowns" that can only be done in certain stages.
Two of the other modes are road rage and pursuit. Road rage is regarded by many as the best mode in the Burnout games and who can blame them. This mode is the perfect remedy for those for you sick of other drivers since your goal in here is to takedown as many racers as possible in a given time limit. It's easy at first but as you progress further, the harder it becomes and you'll have to think of new creative ways to eliminate them. Pursuit puts you in the role of the cop and you must eliminate a single target in either a set time limit or within a set distance.
The last mode is crash, which I personally loved the most because it's like a racing puzzler, if you can imagine that. In crash, you'll be given a set up of cars, intersections, etc. and it is up to you to wreck the most havoc possible in a quick single run. Scores are recorded in dollars, so you'll know how much damage you're inflicting. To help you out there are cash bonus icons as well as a crashbreaker icon. Hitting the crashbreaker icon will cause you to explode the instant you touch it, causing damage around you, but you'll also be able to aftertouch onto nearby icons or other cars. You can also initiate the crashbreaker without touching the icon. After a number of wrecks, you can hit triangle to initiate the crashbreaker.
Unlocking new cars and tracks requires progressing through World Tour. By beating races and such you'll unlock new tracks. To unlock new cars, you need to accrue takedowns points which are earned with every takedown you perform. The heavyweight division is a little different though as those are unlocked at set monetary values in crash mode (all the money you've incurred from "damages" is cumulative in crash mode).
On the technical side of things, Burnout Legends does it all quite well. The graphics look nice with well-detailed environments – buildings aren't flat globs of color, but are vibrant 3D giants. The cars may not be real, but their models definitely take a lot of cues from some real life counterparts and they look fantastic. The fact that they aren't real is a blessing since that allows the developers to go wild in creating mangled pieces of metal flying through the air and sliding across the pavement. Best of all, even with the high-quality graphics, the frame rate is consistently high.
To go along with the graphics, the sound effects are spot on. Screeching tires, explosions, and the sound of metal on metal added with the visual effects will bring a smile to your face as it adds to creating that sense of being in the middle of a huge pileup. Staying in the sound department, the soundtrack is a variety of rock and techno. It's not the best in the world, but most of the time you'll be so focused on the racing and destruction that you won't even notice that there is music playing.
Burnout's gameplay is set up perfectly for some multiplayer action. Co-op crash mode is fun beyond words, but so is trying to ram your buddy off the road or into an oncoming bus. Unfortunately, it only supports ad-hoc communications, so those looking to play it with someone across the country are out of luck. However, it does support Game Sharing, although you'll only be able to play race mode on a single track, and the download times will vary from 30 seconds to five whole minutes.
There is no doubt that Burnout Legends is an awesome game, but there are a few issues with it. First of all, while the graphics are great there are some instances where the game can get ugly. Throughout the game you'll see a number of blue dots along the road. These dots match the color of the sky, so it looks like you're looking through the road at times which detracts greatly from the 3D illusion. It's not a enormous problem, but it does get distracting sometimes and is a bit of a disappointment considering how well built the rest of the game is.
Also, in crash mode, the game suffers from what I call "moving ground syndrome". After the crash, the camera stays stationary focusing in on the last crash. Sometimes, a couple of the polygons on the ground will shake, as if that portion of the road is still in motion – in other words, it's what the road would look like if you were driving at a high speed. Again, this doesn't kill the gameplay at all since it occurs after you're done crash, but it is still a blemish on an otherwise great game.
Progressing through crash mode is rather easy since all you need is a bronze medal to unlock new events. Those who want to achieve all golds, however, will need a lot of patience as some of the stages require not only a lot of skill, but also a tad bit of luck. The best advice I can give to those stuck on a crash stage is to persevere and you will eventually get that gold.
The controls are rather good, but only when you use the D-pad. The analog nub feels way too sensitive. However, this could just be personal preference as I've yet to really adjust to playing with the analog nub.
Two last nitpicks is that when the game changes tracks in the middle of a race, the game will skip a bit. It won't mess you up – most of the time. And when it does you'll want to throw your PSP across the room, or at least think about it. The second is the load times – they aren't overly long but my goodness there are a ton of them, which definitely adds up. It seems like there's a load screen every time you go to a different menu.
Though it has been shrunk, Burnout Legends still retains all of the elements that made the other ones great even in a smaller form. The graphics are top-notch, despite some problems here and there, and the gameplay is still tight and fun as ever. Burnout Legends is the best racer available for the PSP and may be one of the top five best games for Sony's handheld. If you're a fan of the series, this is a must-buy; even if you aren't and you have a PSP, with the drought of new PSP games over the summer, this is as good a place as any to start with the Burnout series.
The balance between racing and destruction is almost perfect.
Some glitches here and there are a little bothersome, but otherwise the game looks great.
Soundtrack is hit-or-miss, mostly hit. Sound effects are excellent.
Causing crashes worth half a million dollars is fun as hell – and that's just one mode.
Plenty of cars to unlock and records to set.