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Although Need for Speed Most Wanted is yet another installment of the long running Need for Speed series this is its first outing on the PS Vita system and the designers have done their utmost to make such a transition worthwhile.

The first question that players are almost certain to ask concerns the graphics. Rest assured that although the graphics are not as good as those on the console versions they are still quite effective and players will not be disappointed. The system puts up quite a spectacular visual show when the game is first powered up showing just what the Vita is capable of. There are some minor problems such as pixelation in the oncoming car headlight beams and a similar problem in some of the poorly lit areas, but this sort of problem is also encountered in other games and does nothing to detract from the overall quality.

Another problem with the relatively small Vita displays, though not really a graphics quality problem, is that too much needs to be crammed into a small space limited by resolution. The maps for navigating the large game world are a little too small to read easily while trying to drive at the same time. That is a shame because there is so much to see in the games arena that lots of time can be spent just looking around and becoming familiar with the different areas and the racing possibilities and the map is useful here. Another aspect of the lack of screen resolution is that some fine detail that would be visible on a larger screen is lacking here, bur overall there is more than enough detail on the vehicles to make them interesting.

No matter how good or poor the graphics, within reason, it is the game which matters. The mechanics of the game itself is pretty much what you would expect from Need for Speed. The cars handle well and give a good feeling of realism but some might find the controls a little touchy. There are all the expected no holds barred competitions where you can write off other cars, or anything else that gets in your way, while breaking every traffic law, except parking in a restricted area, on your way to achieving the epithet of most wanted.

The menus are sensibly thought out and items on the menus can be accessed via the touch screen facility. The basic ideas of the game are just variations on a racing theme with competitors to beat and the law to stay one step ahead of, and it would be a disaster if a racing game presented poor racing action. The developers have been in the game long enough to have got the racing fundamentals pretty much sewn up.

The multiplayer mode provides the most competitive excitement in a racing game, as nothing compares with a competitor with a brain instead of an AI. There is only provision for 4 players compared with 8 on the consoles but that is enough to put an edge on the races. Between races the players can roam around at will but when the next race starts there is then another sort of race by default to get to the start point quickly. There are the usual trophies to be had and upgrades to be earned but this stuff is the staple of any competitive game. There is of course an autolog which keeps track of your racing achievements and broadcasts them inviting suitable matches.

The list of available cars is impressive and includes Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, Ford Mustang Boss 302, and Subaru Cosworth Impreza STI CS400, Porsche 911 Carrera S, BMW M3 Coupe and many more. Some top rated cars for a top rated game.