If you happen to pick a PSP title from your local game retailer’s shelf, there’s a good chance you’ll come back with a racing game. It’s not a problem if there is a certain quality among them, and fortunately for the PSP there are quite a few.Ridge Racer, WipEout Pure, TOCA Race Driver 2, and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition all shone at the console’s launch, but Codemasters has a second PSP racer up its sleeve. Seemingly absent on launch day, Colin McRae Rally 2005 plus arrived a few days after, but can it compete with the best on mobile?
As expected, the game is pretty much a port of the game appeared on PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. You have the career mode, which offers a large number of stages (game levels, no rally) and takes you through the entire career of a rally driver; the Championship mode, which puts you in a single rally championship that takes place on multiple rallies and stages; time trials to compete against the clock; and unique rally events if you don’t feel like playing through career mode or a championship.
Career mode is clearly where you need to spend most of your time, and the developers have invested a lot, with many milestones for your development as a rally driver. Finally you will unlock the 4WD, Super 2WD, RWD, 4×4, Classic, Special and Group B cars and fahren.es however, there is one big problem that prevents you: the game is damn difficult. After many hours of playing, I’m still action the beginning of career mode and switched to the other game modes to get my rally solution.
Although I haven’t played a Colin McRae rally game in recent years, I expected to be able to progress regularly at the start of career mode. Doing the opposition so well from the start makes the game pretty demoralizing from the start and could well distract people before they’ve even seen a fraction of what the game has to offer. All of Colin McRae’s players, except the most experienced, will struggle to progress decently.
Away from the negative, Colin McRae Rally 2005 plus looks pretty awesome. Although the frame rate is not perfect, there is a good sense of speed in the most powerful cars, the car models are good (with damage modeling), the distances are excellent, and the roadside details are also great. The sound effects are solid and the co-pilot does a decent job of giving you information about the upcoming turns.
Driving itself is pretty fun. While the analog stick gets you pretty nervous in the beginning, things start to feel better a few steps after and your car drives down the hills and into the trees less frequently. The d-pad is a control option, but it seems quite slow, and sticking to analog is certainly the right decision.
There are also some exclusive PSP features that are nice bonuses. If you have a friend with the game, you can share ghost cars and send you replays of your best races and even race against each other. If you happen to meet seven people with PSPS and a copy of the game, you can indulge in 8-player action, which is probably great, but it’s not something we can test.
Unfortunately, loading deserves its own section in this review. They are not short and easily compete with the worst SUVs on the system. Loading only one stage is pretty bad, but if you’re participating in an entire rally, the game will need to load the service area (where you can change car settings and troubleshoot problems) and then load again to access the rally itself. It’s not great, but it’s something that many games from the PSP launch range suffer from.
The actual driving in Colin McRae Rally 2005 plus is fine, and once you get used to the contractions it becomes very enjoyable, but the extreme difficulty of the career mode makes the whole package much less attractive. With so many other racing games available for the PSP, we can only recommend you fork for it if you’re a hardcore rally fan.