**BTW, this review is ONLY for the PS Vita version of the game.
MY REVIEW V2.0 (FINAL update: 4/27/2013)
After several months of not updating this review, I am finally giving my final opinion of this game. Though, you can probably figure out my conclusion based on this: After initially writing this review, I have played the game maybe about TWICE and within a 2-week period. Since then, I have not touched the game.
The reason for this is not due to lack of time, but instead, due to the BADs as listed in my original review (below), as well as:
(1) The game is very difficult to play on the Vita. Imagine playing the PS3 version, in 1080p formatting, without any modifications, on a tiny handheld screen. That is this game. No modifications were done to the game in order to make it display better on the Vita. Most of the time, I am straining my eyes just trying to read text, or to see where my car is going. It makes playing the game very hard and... well... basically causes health issues. -_-
(2) The second reason why is simply because the game is boring. The gameplay was crudely designed and does not really offer the player much in terms of a single player mode. Most racing games make it so that you earn cars over time, and unlock races by meeting certain conditions. This game does none of that. Instead, most of the cars are just sitting around the world. Each race is tied solely to each car. You basically just race your car just to unlock a certain upgrade to improve your car. Once you switch to a new car, you must race similar races AGAIN to get THE SAME upgrade. Once your car is fully upgraded... to lock it up and leave it sitting in a parking lot!!!
It gets very repetitive super fast.
My suggestion for people who have not yet bought this game, but are interested:
Wait until it only costs like $5 in the bargain bin. Even then... pass it by.
Criterion did great with the Burnout series, but has completed dive bombed on the Need for Speed series (though Hot Pursuit was OK... not as good as Burnout, but OK... needed offline multiplayer though).
MY REVIEW V1.1 (last update: 10/31/2012)
- Game seems a little buggy. I have read of some people encountering several different types of bugs, but I myself have run into several bugs within the first 5 minutes of gameplay!
For example, I ran into a driveable car and then pressed the button to switch vehicles. After the switch, I was in the new car, but my old car was stacked on top of me! I was able to drive out from underneath it (scratching up my hood on the way out), but the old car remained in the air... and for some reason, its headlights turned on. WTF!?
Two more glitches are extremely irritating and they deal with racing. First, occasionally while racing, one of the following racers will suddenly spawn right next to you when they WERE left in the dust.
The second glitch is pretty much the same thing, except that it deals with pursuing cops instead. This makes escaping police chases very agitating, unfair, and nearly impossible to escape at times.
- TEXT SIZE! I don't care who you are or how great your eyesight is... you need a freaking magnifying glass to read the screen!! Admittedly, my eyesight is poor... been in glasses with a high prescription since I was about 6yrs old. But, even people with perfect eyesight will have trouble reading text in this game!
Luckily, the game is NOT an RPG, so the only reading required is subs (if enabled), the EasyDrive Menu, and the in-game manual. However, I RRRREEEEEAAAALLY hope that they make the text larger OR add an option to... because I am getting a headache trying to read things.
- POLICE CHASES: The police will pursue you RELENTLESSLY. This seems fun at first, but during almost every single race that you do, you end up trying to win 1st place, while ALSO escaping the cops' pit maneuvers and tailing. Even more annoying, once the race is over- whether you win or not- the cop chase continues. You end up spending hours at times just trying to get into what is called a "Cooldown Mode" where you are temporarily out of the police's vision. However, trying to stay hidden can be extremely difficult.
I have no doubt that you will begin doing what I am now doing: either cursing the heck out of the game, or simply turning yourself in to the police just so that you can run another race (you cannot enter races while being pursued by the police!).
- SCREEN RESOLUTION: Simply put, the screen resolution is too big (or is it too small?). Honestly, I am not sure which it is technically speaking, but let me describe it like this:
On the PS3, if you change the Video output to 480p, objects look larger, but quality is lower and the TV cuts some a lot of the outer sides of the picture off (text size is also larger). However, if you set the resolution to 1080p, you get a larger picture, with better quality and all of the sides visible; there is no cropping, which makes the main focus of the game (in this case, your car) seem smaller.
I hope this makes sense....
Anyways, the Vita's version of the game is like the equivalent of playing the 1080p version of the game on a teensy weensy screen. They really should've given the game a smaller resolution, because it makes driving very difficult. Objects/entrances/etc that are in the distance are too small to see until you are pretty much right on top of them.
So, expect a LOT of crashing which results in screaming.
- If you like(d) Burnout Paradise, then you will most likely enjoy this game; at least its game dynamics. Gameplay is pretty similar, but it has a number of notable differences.
- Graphics: For a Vita game or a portable handheld game, the graphics are pretty good. Obviously, they are not as good as the PS3 version. Honestly though, if you want great graphics, then you need the PS3 version of this game.
- Regarding bugs: At least Criterion/EA seems to be attempting to fix things. I bought the game the day after its release, and already, there was a patch released to fix some bugs. Whether or not the game will become bugless over time though is still unknown.
- That's really it... seriously.
- It's portable! That's right, you can take it with you when you leave the house.
-Controls: Some people are hating the controls, but some are liking them. This is because they are not customizable in the Vita version of the game.
Personally, I like them because they are how I would've set them up anyways. Basically, the controls are: L stick = steering, R stick = camera rotation, R = Drive, L = Brake/Reverse, Square = Handbrake/E-Brake (choose your word), Circle = Change view (either FP, or 3P), Triangle = Toggle engine ignition/switch cars, analog directional buttons = open and navigate the EasyDrive menu.
- Free Roam (with cop chases)
- 1 vs 1 Racing
- 1 vs 5 Racing
- Online (*tI really dont play online much, so I apologize for not being able to provide further details*)