The Fast and the Furious Hands-On Preview

GamerNode recently got our grubby little mitts on the upcoming PSP game, The Fast and the Furious. Due for release later this month, the game is essentially a port of last year’s Playstation 2 game of the same name. Developer Eutechnyx made a few small additions here and there, but nothing to really change the overall experience.

The Fast and the Furious features a career mode, which is the main single player offering. It follows the same formula as its predecessor, and most other street racing games. One must purchase and upgrade cars in order to win races in a variety of formats. Success is measured in cash prizes, which then go toward newer and better cars and parts. In addition to making your vehicles perform better, there are numerous ways to make your car look purdy, as well. New to the PSP version of the game is the ability to…wait for it…change your oil. Although it’s easy to be critical of this seemingly mundane maintenance, just like in real life, it actually does improve vehicle performance.

Races in career mode are either grip races or drift races. A grip event is a normal race to the finish line, whereas drift events are won by accruing the most points within a certain time limit. Points are earned for the duration and depth of your drift, and there is a meter to guide you (read: keep you from spinning out). Additionally, the game features "roll-up" races which are straight drags with rival cars that roam around the city map. These are initiated by a few flashes of the headlights, and won by leaving your opponent in the dust.

As for multiplayer, The Fast and the Furious includes a handful of new ad-hoc options on the PSP. There are drift races, where up to 4 players try to earn the highest drift score on each turn on the course. It’s much like skins play in golf, but instead of winning holes you win corners, and the player winning the most corners wins the race. There’s also the new Tag Run, where teams of two racers compete in a relay race, with the second team member beginning upon the arrival of the first.

Lastly, the game features a new mode called Swap Meet, where players link up wirelessly and trade or give away decals and designs. Even entire vehicles are swappable, so your friend’s totally pimped ride could very well be your own one day.

The Fast and the Furious is the type of game that wants to get right down into the subculture of car tuning and street racing, and for the most part, it looks to do a good job. The PSP game is merely a port of the original PS2 version, so even though there is a slew of licensing from various car manufacturers, there isn’t a whole lot of new content available. The biggest changes come in the form of multiplayer options, and slightly downgraded visuals to match the hardware. As a portable option for a street racing fan, though, it will serve its purpose.

Look for The Fast and the Furious on PSP April 24th.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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