Reviewed: April 16, 2008
Released: February 18, 2008
Need for Speed: ProStreet returns on the Sony PlayStation Portable in this pretty decent track racing game with customizable cars, loadable music and plenty of racing action.
The Need for Speed franchise is pretty large and adding to it with Need for Speed ProStreet seems by the reviews to be a very open topic. It would seem that you either like what they have done with this latest Need for Speed title or it just doesnít measure up to their usual great standards and you should leave it by the wayside.
I think a little too much emphasis on gaming these days is put into a previous title and whether the current one is better or not. I think you have to take each game on its own merits if you want to perform an unbiased review. So without further ado, and with a great help in the fact that this is the first Need for Speed title I have reviewed, here goes.
Choose Career mode with loads of races to participate in or a single player quick race with grip or speed modes and using the four race varieties of time attack, speed trap, gate knockout and sprint for race types. The Career mode offers a wide variety of race tracks that unlock when you complete at least four of the race types on each track. Winning a race adds to your money available to purchase more of the 32 available cars as well as improvements to the ones you own.
The improvements may not be much for the first one to the next but from one to four for each area there is a noticeable difference. You can alter engines, handling, chassis, induction and nitrous to your cars as well as cheaper appearance boosts.
The tracks are varied and offer from pretty much open street designs to tight curves and smaller tracks for a huge range of racing types for the tracks. The cars come in four varieties that some tracks require to have before attempting to set your wheels on the pavement. You earn the money for these new cars by winning races using the first cars you buy with careful management of your money and deciding which cars and improvements youíll need.
Enough of the technical what you do and how you do it, how does the gameplay work for real? The Career starts you off with some money where you buy a car, one of two and win some races to earn money. Along the way you will also pick up points toward your abilities that add to how well you drive. The more races you win the more money and better driver you become as well as more attuned to the games finer points.
The Career mode will take awhile to play through if you want to brag about reaching the end as you need to complete a majority of races on each track before unlocking the next. You will also need to earn money for improvements but I would not waste the cash for the level two or three ones, go straight to the level four for the most improved in each class.
Reading other reviews has not tainted my impression of the game but I do see how the game has received such a wide range of ratings. Mostly the complaints are graphical but some are a veering from the Need for Speed staple while others applaud the game maker for this.
I think the game plays fine and offers enough of a variety in the Quick Race and the Career mode for a good racing game that plays very well. The realism in the driving is good and the ProStreet offers help to novice players with path guides and assists for braking and acceleration.
As far as gameplay and how the game works there are really only some minor complaints but they have done a great job of creating a good varied game and offering a wide variety of game types throughout the entire career. Itís not like youíre playing on the same track and playing the same race type game after game, unless you just canít win one.
Need for Speed: ProStreet has done another one of those lets be different in a big way and try something that gets us noticed, whether itís good or bad. The reviews here are equally as varied in graphics as the gameplay and I have to agree. ProStreet has this blurring effect that adds to the sense of speed in one respect but also makes it look odd.
Itís another of those you either hate it or love it type of things and I donít mind it all that much and it does lend more of a thrill to the game. You have this race track in the middle of a space and you need to get the driver to sense he is driving on a real one. So why not add something to help with this as well as blur the edges of the world to concentrate on the race instead of the non existent world beyond the stands and railings.
Other graphics look very good but changing the appearance of your car is really just an afterthought for the game. It does not cost much and it really does very little in the grand scheme of things. One addition that does make a world of difference and that will be included in future games as a staple is the working rear view mirror.
You have this foggy rear view mirror right where it should be and you can see the cars behind you, or at least their headlights. This gives you a great perspective if their trying to pass you and help you cut them off to avoid a leap to the front of the pack.
The cuts scenes and other pages are fine and easy to maneuver through so there really are no problems with the graphics other than that troublesome and controversial blurring effect. It really doesnít bother me but I can see how some may not like it.
Tires squealing and engines revving sound realistic and great while there are no fans cheering or other sounds that you would not hear in a car going a hundred miles per hour. Music is your own problem though, as you can load your own tracks and play what you want during the races. The variety of music that is provided works fine and sounds good but for racing games itís great to offer the chance to add your own.
This is another staple of race games and one I find pretty much a necessity as there is such a huge variety of music out there and everyone has their own tastes. Why not let them choose what they already have and use it?
The loading of your own music is easy and only takes a few minutes so there is no problem there. The other sound effects and noises are fine and work well so there is no problem at all in the sound area. There was just nothing very outstanding to brag about so it gets a working but not fantastic score from me.
With something like ten tracks to unlock for the Career mode and thirteen tracks to race on in the Quick Start mode there will be no one bragging they finished this in ten hours or so. ProStreet will take some time to get through as you need to win four races on each track before unlocking the next for a very long race career. It may not be the longest but certainly enough to keep someone racing for a few days and not get bored.
The multiplayer may not be all there as not many are playing online but if you do find someone that you agree to race with on a regular basis there is fun here too. The multiplayer adds to the gaming and value but you may have to be content with the single player area and race against the pretty good AI.
Need for Speed: ProStreet does a pretty good job of recreating street racing on a wide variety of tracks with a good customizable car variety. You need to race and win in order to advance in the Career mode as well as to purchase new vehicles so there is some reason to actually want to win other than a pixilated trophy to brag about.
ProStreet has a simple and no frills line to racing but does offer enough of a variety and change from one race to the next to keep you on your toes and feet to the pedals. Need for Speed: ProStreet is a pretty good race game and one that does contribute to the franchise well.