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There are five controller configurations to choose from, but the basic one has the thumbsticks as your gas and steering. You get a horn button to blast at whomever you feel and the R2 button will give you a reverse angle view to see where that pesky cop or competitor may be. The game gives you three options of Easy, Medium and Hard to allow you to increase the difficulty as you get better and of course, automatic or manual transmission.
You'll find when you start one of the races you'll encounter traffic, including some crossing your path at intersections. Cops will keep a careful eye on your driving and will give chase and attempt to stop you if they think you have overstepped the mark. If all of this interference proves annoying, the options screen allows you to eliminate both the police and other road users who are not in the race.
This game also gives you the option to turn on a map to see what's coming up ahead. The map also has some added features such as the position of your competitors in relation to you and you'll see where the checkpoints and finish line are. It helps tremendously to know where that curve is, so you can slow down enough to get through without crashing. It is also handy to know where the little shortcuts are here and there to reduce the time.
OK, I know you want to know more. The game starts off with you having a choice of cars. They are only from level one, but as you improve and gain points, you can trade up. There are four cars to choose from and they range from an old Dodge Charger to a new Ferrari (gee, I wonder which one I should choose). Each car has ride and handling that is characteristic of that car and of that era.
So now you've chosen your car. It's on to the races. The most basic is the SINGLE RACE, which allows you to get to know the tracks one by one.
To make things interesting the whole game uses a points system. Before every race you gamble some of your points and providing you finish in the top 3 places, you get a share of the winnings.
The best way to win points is to play some of the other options. In addition to the single race, there is a TOURNAMENT Race series that you bet points over a 3-race series. Two ways to win a lot of points are COP CHASE and CHALLENGES. The cop chase isn't quite as it seems. In this scenario, you're the cop and your job is to stop the racers and give them citations. These racers are like you, they just won't stop when you pull behind them (pretend you're in L.A.); you have to run them off the road or cut them off then you'll be able to issue your 'citation.' Each citation wins you points depending on the violations the driver is cited for. You have the duration of the course to try to catch all of the drivers.
The Challenge series is worth the big points. You get to race on one of the tracks and you have to beat the record time for that track. Once you beat that time, you get the points for that and your time is the new time to beat. You can either run that course again, or the new course that opened up after you won. Each new track gets more and more difficult.
So what do you do with all of these points? At any time during the game, you can go to the options menu and purchase upgrades for your car. Once you've opened up enough tracks and gained enough points, you can upgrade to the next level of car, which allows you to race on new tracks.
The pattern here become obvious rather quickly, you continue collecting points, upgrading the car or equipment and then improving your abilities by racing on new and more difficult tracks.then start collecting more points. The good news is that it's actually fun to do this, which keeps you coming back for more.
Number of Disks: 1
Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 1
Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 2
Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
Link-cable compatible (max players): No
Split screen multi-player option (max players): Yes
Other accessories: Steering Wheel
Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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