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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: BigBig Studios / SCEE
Genre: Racing Action
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: March 7, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty










With an extensive library of movies, music videos, and songs to download to the PSP, the average gamer looks at the PSP for its multimedia features and not its gaming abilities. Sure there have been titles like Lumines, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Cities, and even Untold Legends, which have enticed gamers for hours, but there hasnít been anything relatively new to the genre to strike a cord with gamers around the world. With this, Sony and BigBig Studios combines elements found within the Need for Speed franchise, with the action pack missions found within True Crime/GTA. So how well does this title stand up against the competition?

After starting up the title, and viewing a cut-scene, you are introduced to a simplified, yet feasible main menu setup. Within the main menu, you will find options like Arcade, Race and Time Trail (which are locked in the beginning) to go along with the Career mode. You will also see a section for various unlockables, acquired while progressing through the Career mode (where you will spend most, if not all of your time until you beat the game).

Within the city known as Capital City, the crime rate has been escalading for several years. The situation has gotten so bad that the Police Chief decides to form a new crime task force to fort the criminals and restore balance to the city. With that, we have the team known as Pursuit Force. This team works as a collective unit. You have your boss, which hands down the orders, and you have fellow officers who run reconnaissance for you, like the helicopter pilot who helps you locate the criminal scum of the city.



The various missions with Pursuit Force are kept relatively short (around 10 minutes), which makes this title ideal for gaming spurts, and if you want, long ventures. Depending on the mission at hand, you may either be on foot (a la GTA), or pursuit your criminal in either a car or motorcycle. But for the most part, the action takes place on foot. There are initially 5 gangs that you must take down, but when you start the game, you only have access to two of them (Capelli family and the Warlords). Each task is broken down into 6 missions (30 missions total), and upon completing the various task, you move up in the ranking system. As you move up in the ranks, you gain access to other gangs. So by reaching the sergeant rank, you unlock yet another gang to do battle with.

What can make or break you during missions is the choice of vehicle you select. Each one has there own positive and negative traits. If you are competing within missions that require you to reach your goal within a certain time frame, a vehicle that has armor and bulk isnít the way to go. You would want to lean towards something faster, like a high power, low armor car and/or bike. But when you are trying to survive or get through an elimination mission, the latter will suit you better. So a little common sense and paying attention to your choices can help you go a long way within this game.

When you interact with the various citizens within the title, you can opt to be a good cop, or donít care for your surroundings or people. And this is where the ďJustice SystemĒ comes into play. When you do the right thing, your justice bar increases, which over time, will allow you access to bigger and better weapons. This system also ties into the affect your weapons have on the criminals, you ability to regain health quickly, and even being able to use the slow-down jumping feature, which you acquire within the title.



A few gripes that are noticeable within the title deal with the graphics and shooting. Not frequent like other titles, there are instances where cars would drive into walls of buildings, which has an amusing humor to it, but makes you feel that the game wasnít looked over once it was completed. As far as the shooting, the title uses an auto-aim setup (PSO Online anyone?), which at times can lock on the wrong enemy, thus putting you in sticking situations, and at times, lead you to fail a mission. Besides these flaws, the gameplay remain relatively solid and enjoyable.

When gamers say that cut scenes take away from the title, they never played a title like this before. The cut scenes help progress the enticing storyline. You will also notice that within the 4.3 inch TFT LCD screen the PSP sports; there is a lot of action and unique scenery around to keep your eye wandering. Each car looks very detailed and really shines when you drive within various weather conditions like snow, and even rain.

The game starts out rather well when it comes to sound effects and voice acting, but as you move forward within the title, it looses its quality due to repetitiveness. BigBig could of added more voice work to this title to keep it from being repetitive, especially when you fail a mission because you will here the same wise cracks and jokes over and over, which gets tiresome after awhile.



In regards to the controls, there arenít that difficult to learn, but there is quite a bit to learn. You learn about the different button configurations as you progress through the game, which is a nice addition. Once your each a certain rank, you are allowed to perform death-defying leaps from car to car (leap from vehicles too) in Matrix style motion. But unlike titles like Max Payne, or even Dead to Rights, itís seen as a added ability, not something that is required a lot to get the job done.

If you are gamers who like to find everything there is to collect within a particular title, will love Pursuit Force. In total, there are 42 items to unlock, ranging from new gangs, to videos and artwork. And seeing how this title is no walk in the park, you will spend countless hours playing through the career mode, often times repeating it until you unlock everything. But the biggest gripe against this title would have to be the lack of Wi-Fi capability. This was and is a feature gamers always love to explore, especially when you can game against others across the country and the world.

Though this title is very enjoyable, there are a few instances where BigBig could of taken a little bit more time to perfect this title. The game sports rather impressive graphics, but fall shorts within the frame rate department. Though not that serious, it can at times be a pain in your side. There are also problems with the handling of certain vehicles. You seem like you are battling the car more than the actually criminals within the game. Despite the few flaws here and there, Pursuit Force is a solid title, which is worthy or being played and even owned. So come March 7th, I suggest you go out and pick up one of the best gaming experiences you will find on the PSP.

8.5/10

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