I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a preview build of FlatOut: Head On for the PSP. I have to say that I was genuinely impressed with how this racer is shaping up for it’s March 11th release date.
Racing games can basically be distilled down into two key types; the Arcade Racer and the Simulation. FlatOut thankfully has always accepted that it was the former and pushes that envelope. Any game with a driver high jump event as a challenge can’t be taking itself too seriously after all.
Head On is the latest in the series of games that started out on the previous console generation and most recently made an appearance on the Xbox 360 as FlatOut: Carnage. FlatOut: Head On was based on that 360 version and places heavy focus on its predecessor’s Carnage mode. Carnage is a perfect fit for the quick pick up and play gaming habits that us portable gamers tend to develop. Instead of trying to finish first in a race your goal is to cause as much damage as possible while running the race. Think of it as a cross between Burnout’s crash mode and a smash up derby and you’ll have a good idea what I’m talking about.
I personally loved the heck out of this mode and spent most of my time trying to bash, crash, flip and total everything in my path. It is indeed a perfect game to play after a long and stressful commute home.
When you finally need a break from the intense action in Carnage mode you can take on the game’s huge career mode. You start out with just enough cash to buy a clunker of a car, but by placing well in races, events, derbies and mini-games you earn cash that can be spent to soup up your ride or to buy a bigger and badder machine. This adds a level of depth to this title that will no doubt add hours upon hours of replayability. Even more so when you are a completionist like I am and simply must unlock and buy every car and upgrade in the game.
Making an appearance Head On is of course the mini-games. The mini-games are probably the most recognizable parts of the FlatOut series, as it’s quite hard to forget the joy of launching your first hapless driver hundreds of feet through the air into a large net. Thankfully these mini-games are every bit as fun on the go as they were on the games’ bigger cousins. Your driver still flies out of the car flopping away with the ragdoll physics, and the landings are as bone-cruncingly satisfying as ever. Human bowling FTW.
You can’t have a racing title without multiplayer and Head On will include all the multiplayer options that you would expect. Unfortunately since this was a preview build I was not able to mess around with any of these. I’ll be sure to cover all of the multi-player modes in my review once the retail game hits.
I have to say that I am very impressed with how Six By Nine was able to squeeze all of the fun of the big console versions into my PSP. The graphics are gorgeous with particle effects and debris flying everywhere, and the controls are spot on.
FlatOut: Head On is shaping up to be a killer title for the PSP. If Six By Nine can keep things as quick and brutal as they are in this preview build, this will be a must own for any arcade racing fan with a PSP and a few spare months to waste. I’ve included some more screenshots and a preview trailer below.
Reblogged from our sister site Nukoda.com