Need for Speed has had a REALLY rocky road on the PSP. The first NFS game was in the same vain as Underground, called “Rivals”. This was a pretty good game, I played it through a couple times. After that, it went downhill and never recovered. each game, while not getting any worse, never got better than Need for Speed: 5-1-0. which was loosely based around Most Wanted. While Most Wanted on the Big Boy consoles was fantastic. 5-1-0 introduced laggy, erratic controls, a half baked “Most Wanted” system, in which doing EVERYTHING caused you to built heat, which made the cops chase you. And graphically, it never got any better than Rivals. After that there was “Own the City” (same crap as 5-1-0) ProStreet for PSP. (worst ) and finally Undercover…which, even on the Consoles was insulting…
Now we have Shift. why should you care about any version of Shift whether it be for the 360/PS3 or the PSP?. different developer. Black Box (AKA EA Montreal.) have been making the NFS series since Underground. and while I LOVE Underground.. ever since NFS:Carbon they have waned.. and then with Undercover. Completely lost the edge they had. SO, EA moved the series to “Slightly Mad” Studios. New name for BLIMEY! Studios who made the much talked about cult followed racer GTR2 and GT Legends.
I won’t get into the console versions (Which are getting rave reviews from other sites.) But I’ll give you my impressions of the PSP version. Saying that this is far better than the previous attempts on the PSP wouldn’t be saying much. Since previous attempts excluding the very first have been lackluster at best. But So far, this is a pretty good version. Controls are WAY better, but maybe a little too arcadey for my taste, even more so than Undergrounds controls. Graphics on the PSP so far seem pretty good, car models are good, textures on cars aren’t bad. Lighting is very good. Road textures are pretty detailed. Levels seem a bit bland.. well, some levels. Courses so far aren’t too bad, a little boring.
Drifting isn’t all that great. I really miss how Underground did drifting. that was fun. Carbon sucked hard, and ProStreets drifting wasn’t that much fun, but faired better. This games drifting doesn’t feel like drifting, the courses are NOT set up for long comboed drifts, it’s a little disappointing.
I won’t get too far into it until I finish and have a review up. but right now, it’s looking like a sigh of relief from everyone who has been hating the PSP deuces of the big boy versions.