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Metareview: Full Auto 2

Regular PSP Fanboy reader Hashbrown Hunter commented, "It looks like Sega doesn't love the PSP enough to make a good game." At GDC, I played Full Auto 2 and noted that "Weapons don't feel damaging enough, and it simply doesn't feel like your car is taking damage." Well, looks like fears were warranted--Full Auto 2 sucks. Too bad it couldn't break away from the curse of its console counterpart.
  • IGN (61/100) thinks the game lacks depth: "An extremely shallow career mode, unbalanced vehicles and weaponry and simplistic tasks makes this a game that only the hardest of the hardcore racing fans would want to play."
  • GameSpy (60/100) notes that poor design choices litter the game: "All would not be lost if the level design and mission objectives worked to the game's strengths. Only, they don't."
  • Gamespot (41/100) thinks the game fails on almost every level: "One of the things that Full Auto got right on consoles was its explosions, and this version has none of that, either."
Looks like this franchise has crashed and burned. Let's hope that future PSP games from Sega actually show us some real love.

GDC 07: Full Auto 2 impressions


Full Auto 2 was available for play on the PSP, and it gave me some mixed feelings. The graphics are decent at times, featuring an incredible sense of speed and an incredible amount of destruction. However, collisions can feel awkward, as nothing seems to have any weight: the lack of physics is disappointing to say the least. The car models look decent, but there is no apparent damage model, which is surprising in a game all about destroying other cars. Even PS1's Destruction Derby had better ways of showing off damage.

The controls were also a mixed bag: turning was sharp, but the feeling of impact feels suspiciously absent. Weapons don't feel damaging enough, and it simply doesn't feel like your car is taking damage (even though it is!). The races are fast, and thanks to the amount of things being destroyed on screen, the game may be fun in short bursts, even if the game doesn't have the polish to make it an excellent game.

One of the most puzzling aspects of the game has to be the story of the single player mode (pictured). As you can see, there was a robot named Sage. That's why you're racing. You'll read pages upon pages of this incredibly unnecessary story. At least it's (unintentionally) funny.

Sega launches a new Full Auto trailer


What's better than cars? Cars with guns. So, does this new trailer of Full Auto 2 get you psyched? Or, will the upcoming Burnout Dominator provide you with the automotive destruction that you've been craving?

Sega loves your PSP: media round-up

Looks like Sega held an event (why wasn't I invited?), showcasing all of their PSP games (and there's a lot). There's been a ton of coverage of their games all over the interwebs. For your reading pleasure, here's an index of where to go:

After Burner: Black Falcon
1UP - "As it turns out, Mad Cow mode is not one of the multiplayer options -- it is the entire competitive multiplayer portion of the game."
1UP Video
IGN - "Mad Cow seems like an okay bit of fun, but we're not sure how much strategy is involved here so it may wind up getting old pretty quickly."
IGN Game Trailers

Alien Syndrome
1UP - "It would be nice to have a solid story that could logically explain why no one except Aileen Harding feels the need to fight this alien infestation. You could call her compulsion a syndrome -- maybe even an Alien Syndrome."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "The camera system looks to be quite intelligent."
Gamespot Video Interview
IGN - "While the game pays homage to the original title with gameplay elements like saving hostages and escaping a level before time runs out, the PSP version has definitely got a number of improved features."
IGN Game Trailer

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars
1UP - "If you played the original Crazy Taxi, it should be easy enough to pick up the PSP version. The controls carry over fine, so you'll be racking up fares in no time."
Gamespot - "Our cab seemed to suffer from some oversteer at times, but that's almost certainly still being tweaked."
IGN - "While the game was certainly playable, the unoptimized framerate meant that it was difficult to pull off some of the moves as we had to slow our finger movements down to match the game speed. We're told this won't be a problem in the final release however."

Crush
1UP - "The developers have been taking pains to make this a friendly game. If you should accidentally manage to crush Danny, don't worry, because it won't kill you. It is also impossible to walk off the edge of the world, although a jumping error will send you falling."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "It's a heady concept, and it forced us to think in ways we hadn't considered when we first got our hands on the game, and we think that's a pretty good sign for a puzzle game."
Gamespot Video Interview
IGN - "Crush has a very compulsory feel to it, and the idea that there's actually a story to tell (told Memento style as you regress further and further into your memories) is a nice extra touch."
IGN Game Trailer

Full Auto 2
1UP - "They've tried to cut down on frustrating 90 degree turns and added more super weapons which cause massive damage."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "All of the levels pack a surprising amount of detail to them, and even better, the frame rate held up admirably during our time with the game."
Gamespot Gameplay Video 1
Gamespot Gameplay Video 2
IGN Interview - "The result of this philosophy is Full Auto 2: Battlelines for the PSP was built from the ground up and is not a port of the PS3 version. We knew in order to create a great game we needed to start fresh and create our own take on what Full Auto on the PSP would be like."
IGN Gameplay Videos

Virtua Tennis 3
1UP Video
Gamespot - "For the PSP demo, we cranked up the difficulty to the maximum level and were pleased to find out that it's practically a whole new game. Instead of letting you chase them around the court, the AI opponents will mix up their shots brilliantly, hitting deadly accurate crosscourt shots with ease to turn the tables so you're the running monkey. It's a promising sign that the game will have a good amount of replayability."
IGN - "The PSP analog nub is a little stiff, but it isn't anything we haven't run into before and it seems to work pretty well with the couple of guys we tried it with."
IGN Gameplay Video

PSP version of Full Auto much better than next-gen counterparts


It looks like Sega's support of PSP is just starting. Their upcoming After Burner looks like it'll translate really well on the handheld. Interestingly, the upcoming PSP version of Full Auto 2 also looks good. Actually, it looks to be more fun than either its Xbox 360 or PLAYSTATION 3 brethren.

Gamespot focuses on the new content featured on the handheld. With ten new weapons and ten new cars, and more customization options, it appears the PSP version of the game will feature the most functionality.

IGN focuses on the destructible environments. Apparently, you can easily lock-on to destructible targets in the level. This simplified approach fares much better than the console original, and will most likely create far more explosive, and interesting, races.

Finally, 1UP takes note of one very peculiar advantage the PSP Full Auto seems to have: better graphics, or at the very least, better art direction. The next-gen versions take place in one city, and seem to made up of various shades of brown. The PSP version features tons more color and environmental variety, as the game spans locales all over the world, from Europe, Asia and North America.

It's clear that the development team behind the PSP version of the game simply cares more about gamers. The original Full Auto didn't get the best reviews, but looking at all the new content in the PSP version, it looks like the franchise's best will appear on the handheld.

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