Need for Speed Underground: Rivals takes you to the neon-lit streets of the big cities, for super-fast racing action. You're after control of the "tuner" scene by taking on all the major racers and beating the best. Build a racing machine that can beat the rest, then put it to the test on the streets for dangerous, exciting street racing action. Players will be able to customise and take on the pinnacle Japanese and American tuner cars in a pursuit of total ownership of the street racing scene. A uniquely designed racing game based on the legacy of the hugely successful Underground series. All new tracks and environments have been added so players can now compete against rivals in 10 all-new and visually distinct tracks. Each one has been specially designed to maximize the experience on the handheld PSP platform.
Since this is a racing game, there are various racing modes that you can enter which of course includes the undying multitap lap race, which is the most common race ever. There are knockout races where, in every lap, the last racer that comes in gets eliminated until only one racer is left. Then there are relay races that give you the option to change cars between races. And if you think that all those are enough to satisfy your hunger for speed, there are still four more game modes for you to discover.
The graphics are not far from reality and small details like neon lights and the reflection of the surroundings on your windshield are all well detailed. But NFS is not about the sights and the lights; as a matter of fact, these details are not noticed that much as when you step on the gas you need to focus on the road. The shaking camera whenever you bump and whenever you reach top speed is a great detail to the game that made NFS popular to racing fans.
The sound effect of squealing tires complements the game play and so does the sound of crashing cars into the surroundings. The music really fits the game play. Hard and heavy music fits the streets of NFS as different songs from great artists comprises the playlist of the game.
If you are ever looking for specific cars, there are more than 20 cars inside the game and more cars to unlock to add more to the thrill. But of course you still need to upgrade them as they come with their stock parts.
But hold it, NFSU rivals is not released to the market without fault. First of all the newly featured EA pocket trax is of little or no use at all. This feature allows you to play the music that the game plays while you are racing and nothing else. Although some tracks feature the music video that is all up for it. Instead of this feature, why don’t they just allow access to these songs through the PSP mp3 player?
Whenever a song changes while you are racing, a box appears containing the name of the artist and the album. Pretty nice for recognition, but the fact that the PSP has a small screen, this feature is more of a distraction as it blocks the map vital for winning.
The brands are gone. Whenever you are going to customize your car, you will not find the brand name of the parts anymore. In a way is pretty lame because it is the nature of NFS to reveal the brand name of parts ever since the franchise started.
The visual customization is gone. Adding vinyls, spoilers, rims, and neon lights and the like, are not found in game. Although they have little or nothing to do with your performance, they do a pretty good job in placing your signature on your car.
But overall the game is still a great purchase if you are looking for street races in the middle of the night. The night lights and the tall buildings is where the cars race until they drop are home to NFS fans and they will find NFSU rivals a new and exciting racing game as it welcomes them back to the streets.