Burnout: Legends Reader Review
Take to the streets and take down your rivals as the Burnout series returns. Burnout Legends is the first instalment of the critically acclaimed franchise released for the Playstation Portable and it does not disappoint. All the favourite game modes are back and with the added feature of wireless multiplayer and also game sharing there is plenty within the game to keep you going for a good while.
World Tour is where you will be spending most of your time and it is here that you will take part in a series of events, unlocking new vehicles, rewards, events and courses as your progress. There are plenty of event styles to play through and odds are you will never find yourself bored as you will find yourself jumping from one event style to another quite frequently.
Race, as you might expect is pretty much the standard race event. Prepare to burn rubber against three other competitors as you all have one thing on your mind, 1st place. Of course, this is Burnout we are talking about, donít expect a casual drive in the country, but instead expect some fast pace, feverish action as you slam into your opponents causing them to crash, or in Burnout lingo, Takedown.
Next up is the Burning Lap event, which will see you compete against the clock to try and beat the fastest lap times. Youíre all alone in this one, no opponents, but try to avoid the traffic; every second is precious as you will find out soon enough.
The Legendary Road Rage returns much to everyoneís pleasure and will have you hooked right from the get go. For those of you not familiar with the Road Rage event then you are in for a real treat. Simply put the goal is to cause as many Takedowns as possible within your allotted time allowance. Road Rage is without question one of the most fun events the game has to offer and you will easily spend countless hours trying to beat course records.
Fancy some one on one action? If so, then Face Off will be what you are looking for. With only you and one opponent on the racing grid, both of you in legendary vehicles the rubber will burn and smell so very good as you take the last corner overtaking your opponent just before the finish line to take gold, and all the glory.
I am the Law and you have been judged, practice saying it in as mean a voice as you can put on. No I havenít gone completely mad, but for those of you that Ďreallyí like to get into your games then you may find being the law quite enjoyable in the Pursuit event. Behind the wheels of a cop car itís your job to rid the streets of a troublesome driver in the only way Burnout will allow, yep you guessed it, go on say it with me, Takedown! A single takedown will do the trick, but be prepared as some of these unlawful renegades are quite tricky and youíll require all your Burnout skills to take him down.
Four, Three, Two, OneÖ no itís not the Thunderbirds, but more importantly the Eliminator mode. As you progress around the race track at the end of the lap the car in last place will be eliminated and thus causing the field to get smaller and smaller until only two are left. Be one of the two left and finish first for the gold medal and true smug mode as you turn to see your opponents car explode as you cross the finish line, oh yes, Eliminator is great fun.
Towards the end of each racing class a Grand Prix will become available for you to take part in. Consisting of a series of races with points on offer at the end of each race, the higher your position, the more points youíll get. Once all races have been completed the entrant with the most points will be declared the winner.
Within the World Tour mode there is another section that you will no doubt have your thumbs eagerly twitching with excitement, Crash. The objective behind the Crash events is simple, cause as much damage as possible. With one hundred Crash events on offer you will be spending a great deal of time being a menace to society and causing some pretty horrific accidents, lovely stuff.
So youíre not in the mood for World Tour, stuck on a certain event, then fear not, for there is a Single Event option that is right up your alley. Single Event allows you to choose from any one of the game events and also includes a Time Attack event for you time obsessed amongst us. Another great point about Single Event which is worth mentioning is that, all Burnout points and Crash dollars you earn still go to your overall totals.
Burning Points are awarded for doing certain things within an event. They range from gaining points for a Takedown, gaining air and driving on the wrong side of the road. Gaining Burning Points isnít just there for the sake of it, by all means no. The are certain goals to meet, in the form of a pre defined amount of points. Meet these goals and a reward will be heading your way.
Itís worth taking the time to describe the Takedown feature, if for no other reason it gives me great pleasure reminiscing about the pain I have inflicted during my time with the game. You can Takedown an opponent in many ways, by knocking them into oncoming traffic, barriers, or even the Psyche Out, yep thatís right you can cause someone to crash by just being present. Once you acquire a Takedown you will find your boost bar grown significantly and also fill up to its new maximum level. There will be times when you crash yourself, but fear not as even with a smashed up engine and doors hanging off you can still wreak havoc onto the chasing pack. At the click of a button you can activate the Impact Time feature and with either the d-pad or analog stick you can steer your metal carcass into your opponents, gaining a Takedown for each one you plough into, like lambs to the slaughter as they say.
Once you begin playing you soon noticing yourself gaining a number of rewards, and quite rightly so. There are a number of rewards to unlock and these fall into five categories, Takedown Trophies which give you specific targets to achieve, complete the set of targets to win a trophy, with four trophies up for grabs in total. Crash Headlines are rewarded for those who cause that extra bit of carnage, a gold medal in a Special Event will get you a postcard, Signature Takedowns can be achieved by obtaining a Takedown in a specific way or place and last but not least, your Garage.
The game controls very well and caters for both gamers who prefer the d-pad and those who prefer the analog stick. The vehicles feel realistic as you drive them and the subtle differences between each vehicles handling is easily acknowledged. Itís worth mentioning just how fast you feel your going. Maybe not so noticeable in a little compact, but once you gain access to the super cars you can almost feel the wind rushing through your hair as you zoom down busy streets at blistering speeds. This is probably one of the best aesthetic features about the game, far too many games of the same genre have you clocked at 170Kph yet, only feel like youíre travelling at a measly 50Kph, not in Burnout. You feel every notch on your speedometer and it is great.
The Graphics are a pleasure to watch and you almost have to look twice in disbelieve that you are playing a handheld, it really is hard to believe that just a few years ago the mere mention of graphics of this quality on a handheld would have brought you nothing but ridicule. While there are some jagged edges on view in some parts, they are kept to a minimum and you do find it hard to notice. The backdrops look very nice and each course is unique and is easily distinguished from the next.
Cruising down the streets wouldnít be quite the same without the radio turned up and you will be pleased to know there is quite a good selection of music tracks on offer. The music blends in to the game quite well and really does add to the atmosphere as youíre zooming down a street at top speed. The audio is top quality and youíll never get tired of hearing the sound of metal on metal grinding. Sadly there could have been a few more musical tracks as you do find yourself listening to the same one over and over again, which can get you feeling quite repetitive.
I canít stress how much I like this game, even after youíve gained 100% complete you will still find yourself itching for a quick race which then turns into a two hour session. Itís quite easy to get very involved in the game, and its even easier to pick up and play, which is great news for those of you who donít normally go for the racing genre. Iíll easily recommend this game to any PSP owner and if you donít already own a PSP and are considering a purchase, then Burnout Legends would go great as one of your first games.