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Reviewed October 2005 by Marc Morgan
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Criterion Games
Release Date: September, 2005
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone 10+
Genre: Battle Racing
The Burnout series of games is known for its extreme gameplay,
which is combining intensive racing with a destruction derby.
There are two general objectives in each race: to go as fast
as you can, and slam any opponents who get in your way. With
Burnout Legends, EA brings the Burnout series to the Sony PSP.
In Burnout Legends, there are two general modes: World Tour
or Single Event. There are several different types of events
contained within each mode, most of which are in both modes.
World Tour contains Race, Road Rage, Face-Off, Eliminator,
Pursuit, Burning Lap, Crash, Grand Prix, and Legend Grand
Prix. Single Event mode contains Race, Time Attack, Road
Rage, Pursuit, and Crash. In World Tour mode, there are
five classes of cars: Compact, Muscle, Coupe, Sport, and
Super. Each class of cars is faster than the one before
it. One of the main features of World Tour mode is the
map. Events are scattered across several locations on the
map, and winning certain events will give you new levels,
cars, awards, etc. World Tour mode is where you can unlock
cars and tracks for use in Single Event mode.
Like most other racing games, the goal in Race mode is to
get to the finish line before your opponents do. In some games,
mainly street racing games, you get nitrous boost. In Burnout
Legends you can use boost to make your car go faster. How do
you get boost? You can easily get boost by doing things like
drifting, driving in the oncoming lane, and barely missing
civilian cars, among other things. If you manage to take out
an opponent, the boost bar will get filled to max, and will
also grow, so it takes longer for it to empty. However, if
you crash, not only do you get slowed down for a bit, your
boost bar will shrink if it has gotten larger than it was originally.
In the end, all that really matters in Race mode is that you
get to the finish line first to grab the gold medal. If you
get there second, you get silver, and if you get there third,
you get bronze.
Road Rage mode is where Burnout really starts to differ from
other racing games. The objective is to get as many takedowns
as possible in a set time limit (World Tour mode only) or before
you crash too many times (both modes). The boost works the
same way as it does in Race mode. In world tour mode, you have
to get a certain amount of takedowns to get a gold medal. The
idea is simple, but very fun.
Face-Off mode is only available in World Tour mode. In this
mode, only you and one opponent race together. If you win the
race, you win your opponent's car. Every other aspect of Face-Off
mode is the same as Race mode.
Eliminator mode is just like race mode, except that after
every lap, the car in last place is eliminated. This continues
until there is only one car left. If you win, you get a gold
medal. It's as simple as that. Also, Eliminator is only available
in World Tour mode.
In pursuit mode, you drive a cop car, and have to catch a
target car. To do this, you have to slam it until it runs out
of health. The boost works the same way it does in modes like
Race and Road Rage, except that you start out with a large
bar. In World Tour mode, there is a time limit, and there are
certain times you have to achieve to earn gold, silver, or
In Burning Lap mode, you are given a fast car, and have to
complete one lap around a track in a given time. You are awarded
medals based on how long it took you to get around the track.
The boost in Burning Lap mode works the same way that is does
in Race mode except you start with a large bar of boost instead
of a small bar of boost.
Crash mode is where you try to wreak as much havoc as possible.
The idea is to make as many vehicles crash as possible. You
get Crash dollars every time there is a crash and the larger
the vehicle, the more money you make. After a certain amount
of crashes, you can use Crashbreaker. Crashbreaker basically
makes your car explode so you can do even more damage. There
are also items to pick up while you are in Crash mode. The
boost icon will give you a speed boost, and there are cash
icons which give you extra cash. Bronze gives you $5000, Silver
gives you $10000, and Gold gives you $20000. In World Tour
mode, you get different medals depending on how much money
In Time Attack mode, it's just you vs. the clock. You get
to pick any track you have unlocked, and any car you have unlocked,
and race it around the track as many times as you want. The
main objective in this mode is just to break your own records,
and to practice. Think of it as Burning Lap in Single Event
mode, without the medals or a time limit.
Grand Prix mode is where you unlock the next class of cars
in World Tour mode. Everything is the same as Race mode, except
that there are three races, one right after the other. After
each of the three races, you get a certain amount of GP points
depending on what place you came in. After all three races,
the GP points are totaled up, and the driver with the most
points wins. Legend GP is the almost the exact same as Grand
Prix, except that you have to drive a Legend car that has been
The graphics in Burnout Legends are very impressive for a
PSP game. Not only are the cars well detailed, but there
are also reflection and shadow effects on the cars. All
of the cars have their own distinct look and the car geeks
should immediately recognize your favorite makers and models.
The tracks are also very well done, and there are plenty
of different items depending on what location you are in.
Some of the camera effects make the game extremely fun
to watch. When you crash your car, you can view it in slow
motion by pressing the R button. Also, when you take another
car down, the camera does a slow motion view of them crashing.
This can actually get a little annoying, as your car is
still moving, so you can crash while watching the crash.
However, there is an option to turn the camera showing
the opponent crash off. The camera angle can also get a
little annoying in crash mode, as after you crash, you
may want to navigate your car to a pickup, but the camera
may be focused on cars crashing rather than your car. Aside
from the camera problems, the graphics in the game are
very well done!
Burnout Legends features both soundtracks as well as plenty
of sound effects. The soundtrack of 21 songs is composed
mainly of Punk Rock and Metal genre music, and features
artists such as Billy Talent and OK Go. Burnout Legends
has a variety of in-game sound effects; most of them are
realistic. All of the cars have different engine sounds,
and the crashes, tires sound extremely satisfying.
Burnout Legends (like all the games in the Burnout
series) is not just another racer. It's not just about getting around
the track as fast as you can, but how many opponents you can take
out along the way. There are plenty of unique gameplay modes, as
well as the usual modes you would see in other racing games. Many
of the game modes are very addictive. The graphics are superb, especially
for a handheld game, and all of the tracks and cars are designed
well. Many games lose out on gameplay when the graphics get better
or vice-versa, but Burnout Legends is not one of them. Although the
game is a bit lacking in different genres of music, there are plenty
of well done sound effects to accompany the racing. Burnout Legends
is definitely one of those games you don't want to miss!
Playing Hints and Tips
- After you crash, use aftertouch to steer your crash. This can
be done in Crash mode by simply moving the D-Pad or analog stick
in the direction you want, and in all other modes by holding R and
steering the car. If you use it properly, you may be able to get
an aftertouch takedown by crashing your car into an opponent.
- Use the traffic to your advantage! If you want to take out an opponent,
push them into an oncoming car.
- In Pursuit mode, if you want to quickly take down the target, try
to crash in front of them and get an aftertouch takedown. This should
almost finish their health off if it is the first time you strike
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
The graphics in Burnout Legends are excellent
for a handheld game. The reflection and shadow effects make
the cars look very realistic. The tracks are also designed
very well. The camera angles can pose slight problems in certain
Burnout Legends contains both music and
sound effects, but there isn't much of a variety of music genres
in the game, although it falls into the usual racing heavy
metal category. The sound effects are where the game shines:
there is large variety of FX and they sound very realistic.
The large variety of modes, cars, and
tracks makes Burnout Legends a must-have game. There are plenty
of modes, and they aren't all the same either. All the modes
are fun to play, and they are easy to learn how to play as
Lots of racing games get boring as soon
as they get repetitive, or as soon as they become too challenging
and frustrating. This is not true of Burnout Legends. All of
the different modes can be very addictive, especially Crash
and Road Rage mode. Burnout Legends does get challenging, and
can be a little frustrating at times, but it is still very