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Hands-On: Need for Speed Underground Rivals

Blisteringly fast-paced and intense were the words that popped into my head while I played EA's PSP title, Need for Speed Underground: Rivals. A pint-sized version of the company's popular console-racing series, NFSU Rivals allows you to tinker with and fine tune a speed machine and enter underground racing tournaments, but it also has some exclusive stuff you won't find anywhere else.

After the joy that is Ridge Racers, I've come to conclude that the PSP is a perfect system for racing titles because of its wide screen, something EA's game definitely takes advantage of. While Rivals features passable graphics (too many jaggies for my taste), the game has an intense sensation of speed. The tracks are nowhere near as open-ended as the ones in the console games, but the game's quickness more than makes up for it. I was zipping around corners and narrowly missing plowing into other cars right from the get-go, and everything looks pretty good. The cars are accurately modeled and the track that I raced on (there are 10 PSP exclusive tracks in all) was well-detailed, though not as slick-looking as Namco's Ridge Racers.

Of course, the whole idea behind the NFSU series isn't just racing. It's racing in style, and the only way you're going to do that is by selecting one of 20 cars and tricking it out with all sorts of cool stuff from new rims to nitrous to paint jobs. You're pretty much free to almost do what you want, which will result in some truly amazing creations.

At the game's main menu there are the following options: Race Now, Quick Play Battle, Circuit Race, Pocket Garage (where you can view all of your cars), My Underground, Head-to-Head (two player WiFi play), and Party Play (up to four players can compete using a single PSP system). There are also several game modes including Nitrous Run (get from point A to point B as fast as you can), Car Spec, Rally Relay, and Drift Attack (drift around numerous corners).

Personally I think the game's a lot of fun. It's super fast, and the controls are spot on, though you may need a few minutes to get adjusted to using the PSP's analog nub. I'm also excited about Pocket TRAX, EA's innovative music system where you can listen to the game's soundtrack independent from playing the game, so you're basically getting a collection of MP3s, some of which are accompanied with video, so not only are you receiving what promises to be a fantastic racing title, but you also have this other media at your disposal which you can use to show off the PSP's other functionalities.

I'm pretty impressed with Need for Speed for the PSP. EA has done a great job shoving tons of options into it as well as making it fast as hell. Now all the developers need to do is bring the game's visual quality up to the standards of Ridge Racers and I'll be good to go. Even if the graphics don't match up, I'm still going to buy the game this spring, as it offers a unique experience that Namco's title doesn't provide.

:) ~ :) ~ :) ~

Edited by Pure_Water
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Podes estar correcto, mas ainda nada é conclusivo, a consola só chega ao mercado nacional a partir de dia 28 de março, isto se não haver problemas, porque a consola estava previsto que saisses ao mesmo tempo cá, mas eles querem resolver o problema da bateria que tem pouca duraçao enquanto jogas!!

O bom disso é que quando ela chegar, ja vai ter suporte para browser e cliente de email :)

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