Racing Games That Rock

You thought it was dead and you were happy about it. But TWISTED METAL: HEAD-ON surprisingly revives a franchise that towards the end really sucked mooseballs. The PSP version, however, is as addicting as Red Bull after midnight. The idea? Souped-up futuristic cars and motorcycles equipped with wild weapons battle it out on intricate and graphically beautiful tracks. The chaotic Los Angeles Freeway arena, for instance, is a joy to behold, with lots of lurid, funhouse-like nooks and crannies to explore. Head-On is the demolition derby/horror fantasy you've yearned for when you've broken into the codeine and finished American Purgatorio, and there's nothing to do but play games. Sure, you blast these complexly rendered vehicles to oblivion (so viscerally satisfying) with the guns on your car. But there's more fun. Each time your car runs into a power-up that hangs enticingly in the air, you have a different way to blow things up. Tip: Load up on homing missiles. Yeh, mascot Sweet Tooth is back, but the game's so good, you don't even mind his leering skull clown face.

Remember when you were a small kid and spinning in a circle was so much dizzying fun? WIPEOUT PURE gives you that feeling again. The game is based on the anti-gravity racing franchise that's been around for almost 10 years, beginning with the original PlayStation. In Pure, it's the year 2197 and 8 teams of physics-defying racecraft are vying to be the best in the world. Each sleek futuristic craft has its own wild personality of sorts. Some are fast, but don't maneuver that well. Your airbrakes will help, but they take some getting used to. Some vehicles are slower, but take turns like a charm. As you race, you'll be running over special pads on the track which let you pick up 10 different kinds of weapons and powerups. Sci-fi billboards have little videos on them as you pass, which is a nice touch of detail. It'll all give you motion sickness, but with 19 tracks of dance music as you race, what a way to go.

Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.

Details

Twisted Metal: Head-On
For: PSP
Publisher: Sony
Developer: Incog

WipEout Pure
For: PSP
Publisher: Sony
Developer: SCE Studios Liverpool

  • Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.
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