Please note that this rewards website is completely legit. Need for Speed: Carbon, also known as NFS Carbon or NFSC, is an Electronic Arts video game belonging to the Need for Speed series. After days of coding and testing our team is ready to present you an amazing cheat to Need for Speed World game. This car replaces the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLK500 that features in the game.
I decided to play through all the Need for Speed Titles released on the PSP and to give my thoughts on them. Specifically, Underground Rivals, Most Wanted 510, Carbon Own the City, ProStreet, Shift and Undercover. Initially, I planned to cover all 6 games in one post but as my word count went past 4000, I feel sticking to the first 4 for now is probably better
Before I begin. I feel I should give my history with the franchise as a whole. I would not consider myself an expert on racing as a whole. I've played Underground 1, Most Wanted on PS2, PSP and NDS. Carbon Own the City on PSP. A bit of Hot Pursuit and Undercover on PS3. Played all of Most Wanted (2012 and that game was good, fight me) and Rivals and Payback.
First up is Underground Rivals as a launch title for the PSP. I'll be honest, this game didn't really click for me. While the graphics and presentation are really great for the time, the visual customization cool and the interesting open-ended progression for events (you're given a bunch of events like races, drag, drift, Nitrous runs etc). I didn't really enjoy this game. Car performance is weak, the handling and physics are too loose for the tracks. Enemy AI is much to difficult. The tracks are repeated a lot. There is no story. This last one is subjective but I'm not a fan of hip hop, rap and the songs that are associated with underground racing. I did put on a playlist of songs from 2000 - 2009 to get In the mood.
But I can't really recommend this game. I expect there are many who would enjoy this game and I can see its appeal. I'll give it a "somewhat recommended".
Let's talk a little about Physics in racing games. As the Youtuber Whitelight puts it, your physics need to match the environment. If you take a Not Ferrari from GTA V and put it into Hot Pursuit, you'd get bored as you'd be able to take every corner and weave through traffic with ease. If you took a Lambo from Hot Pursuit and put in GTA V, you'd be frustrated as it would be much more difficult to weave through traffic and take hard turns. Underground Rivals has physics closer to Hot Pursuit's style so ideally turns would not be at right angles or even acute angles yet there are often many of them. This is a problem throughout the series on PSP.
- Most Wanted 510.
Next up is my first NFS game and the one I spent the most time on as a wee lad. 510 (police sign for a street race) was released a year after Underground Rivals. I remember a YouTube video praising UR over this due to the greater variety of events and presentation. And while I don't dispute that, I did massively enjoy 510 more.
510 doesn't have an open world, it has no voice calls or cutscenes, no Mia aside from 1 loading screen. It only has races (circuit, sprint and Lap Knockouts), and time trials and heat trials. Upgrades are handed out at an anemic rate. So it's like a really stripped down version of the main console game. That still works. The driving is fun and using the slow-mo power of speedbreaker is a nice addition though it does feel too necessary. The cars are cool. Customization is cool and varied with lots of options. (The physics of crashes at high speeds must be seen) I do like the flavour text written for races and blacklist drivers. It makes it feel there is a man on the inside helping you out. It's a bit of personality in an otherwise straightforward game. There is one new exclusive event for the PSP Version, Tuner Takedown, where you play as a cop car and ram racers until their health reaches 0. It's fun for a bit.
I have criticisms of the races. Many of the tracks are used so much they start to feel repetitive despite the high number of tracks and their backwards variation (when I beat the game. I looked over my lap records. I found there were many backwards versions of tracks I never raced. Yet the game reuses the same 4 tracks in its final 2/3s). In addition, I feel races go on for too long. The game loves its 3 lap races that can take you over 7 minutes. I feel needing to focus on one event for that long, especially when 1 mistake often means a restart, is too much for a handheld racer (tournaments, where you must race 3 of these races back to back and need to place first pretty much in all 3 with no restarts, feel the worst). I feel the next game, Carbon Own the City, manages this better with the normal races taking 3-5 minutes while boss races take 7+.
I'm not opposed to long races, but I feel that for a handheld game, needing to have to focus so intensely for so long and so frequently goes the design of games like this and the nature of the platform.
NPC AI is inconsistent. Enemy racers alternate from being competent to experts. Traffic and police roadblocks may appear in unpredictable places that may cost you the race. It's very hard to recover from mistakes in the latter half.
Speaking of Police, they will always target the racer in first place. So they can spin you out and be able to arrest you right there but immediately abandon you when someone overtakes you. In first place, they'll attack you to get you spin out in unpredictable patterns and gang up. The setup isn't as favourable for escapes and tight maneuvering. In fact, these cops would be better suited for a GTA game than a racer. I've noticed that when I get spun out and then get overtaken, the cops suddenly become less aggressive towards AI Drivers and even get left far behind them. AI drivers can get arrested but only due to crashing into a roadblock. It is possible for all your opponents to arrested so all you have to deal with are the aggressive cops.
Regarding the music, it's really subjective here but aside from Do Ya Thang and Static X, I disliked the soundtrack. I guess this kind of music really isn't for me. To get into the mood though, I put on multiple playlists of popular early 2000s Music. I've learned I have a thing for cheesy love songs though.
Now back to the tracks, one of my biggest problems, especially with later tracks is how windy and how much curves they have. Many of the tracks are also filled with turns that are at right angles, u shaped and even V-shaped. The game's physics are really heavy so even with max handling and low speed, I was still crashing all over the place. Seriously, If I had to judge the game in its last 7 members, it would easily be a 3/10. It's really really bad.
The upgrade system is simple but anemic. As you win races, especially Blacklist Races, you'll get a notification telling you performance upgrades are available. You go into a menu for the car and find the available upgrades and you can purchase them. The problem is often how rare new upgrades are available. Newer cars you unlock won't have anything beyond stock for a while, so you'll stick with your older car for longer than you should because it's a better option than technically better cars. This becomes a problem later on because you need to guess which car to unlock which will have enough upgrades available to be useful but not so old as to be useless even with upgrades. As an example, I had to use the Cobalt S, the starter car, until Blacklist 8 because by then, The Eclipse from 11 is finally viable. I bought the Corvette after number 6 because I needed a faster car than the Eclipse but still had to use the Eclipse on certain tracks because the Corvette, though faster, lacked nitrous and had worse handling so those curvy tracks were impossible with it. The Eclipse was still a better option than the Audi Quattro and Ford Mustangs that all the AI drivers were using because my Quattro and Mustang would be lacking the upgrades that made them superior to the Eclipse for me. The Corvette and later the Lamborghini Gallardo, weren't fully upgraded until you beat many Blacklist drivers later. Yet, the AI are naturally faster than you with the same cars. I dislike this style of upgrades and prefer ProStreet PSP's approach of just letting you buy whatever upgrades you want for any car you have unlocked. This system is good because it rewards players for investing more into the game without artificially locking them out for a padded challenge.
This is a weird point but Razor's BMW GTR2 has a racing car livery. I don't mind this but it is weird.
So despite my greater enjoyment, I'd rank this game a 5/10 with a "somewhat recommended". If you have the console version, no reason to get this. Compared to other PSP racers of the time, it's a decent choice. It appears the short development time limited the potential of this game.
So we're 2 games in and already the games aren't inspiring much confidence. It's a shame. Burnout, Ridge Racer, Wipeout are all running laps around a series whose console versions are killing it. Are short development times doomed to keep NFS only above mediocre on the PSP?
Enter Carbon Own the City- THE Need for Speed game the PSP deserved. The game franchise needs to stand on its own against the competition.
OTC is unique thus far in that it's open-world (Based on Rockport from MW) and has dynamic cop chases. However, with regards to exploring the world, it's not as fine. It's not intuitive to set waypoints to events (you can only set viewpoints to events for the current area in the story. And the GPS doesn't tell you if you did the event before. All in all, you'll find yourself using the Event Select in the pause menu to warp to events and play the game like 510 rather than as an open world game). You can find collectibles scattered about and they give small amount of money or concept art. Cop chases are rare but they function as you'd expect (but without MWs pursuit Breakers). During my first playthrough 10+ years back, I easily warped between races and never got in a pursuit. There is only 1 event type that makes full use of the open world, Takedowns, as you can go anywhere and enemy cars will spawn (The mode isn't that fun to play due to RNG). Other events that are listed as open-world like escape and deliveries still require you to follow an arrow but there aren't barriers. However, to the game's credit, the open-world still adds some benefits. Just driving around is fun. And events and tracks can be more varied now as they have more of a world to incorporate. The city itself looks kinda detailed and distinct. The city and its environments generally compliment the physics well (except for those really narrow and curved areas) and races tend to be 3-5 minutes tops, another check against 510.
The game unfolds by having you race to gain territory known as Turf (by the way, as a kid, I thought Turf was the fuel used in Ireland, so I was confused af for a while). Each territory has a series of events that can include sprints, circuits, lap knockouts, escapes, deliveries and takedowns. After completing a set amount of events, you can challenge the leader to 1-2 events to take over the territory from them permanently. Only Sprints, Circuits and Deliveries let you bring your own crew members along (I imagine if they included your crew in lap knockouts, the laps would be 6 long and if you survived the first 3, you'd pretty much win as it would just be you and your crew). It's pretty much The Blacklist system but with a bit more flexibility. I do feel Takedowns are a bit too hard early on and you need a better car for them. The events do start to feel repetitive as despite being an open world, many key areas are reused for race tracks. I feel a few "Police Chase" type events would have been a nice addition to vary things up. Escapes could also have a variant where there is no arrow and set destination, you just have to get x KM away from your starting position to win. Both these ideas use more of the open world to vary the experience.
Speaking of which, you have a crew that can race with you. You can bring up to 2 members with you (and visually customize their cars if you want) in races that allow it. Crew members can have 1 or 2 classes. The 3 main classes are: Brawler, which has the member target a car ahead of you and smash into them which has them stop for a while. Assassin, which drops a spike strip which puts anyone in hits (including you) out of action. By the way, you can change targets for these 2 guys by tapping the button which activates them before they hit. You also have Drafters. They pull ahead of you and give you a slipstream which adjusts your handling and gives you a speed boost. In addition to this, some crew members can have a secondary class as well, like Fixer who "fix the race so you earn a little more cash every time you win" and Mechanics who can give you a slight performance boost.
I really like the crew system. You have a fair bit of freedom with how you use them, they can help when the AI gets extra good so you can do something rather than just keep racing and hope they make a mistake. The speedbreaker is removed from MW but it isn't needed this time around due to the lack of cops and traffic and sharp turns. And from what I've seen, OTC's crew system seems more reliable and responsive than the main console versions. I like that crew members have a short bio in the menu and some of them are enemy drivers of rival leaders who will call you to tell you they will join you once you beat their leader. It adds a lot of personality to what were just enemy cars in prior games. There are some problems though. Firstly, sometimes your AI partners aren't the most reliable. Your Brawler may land a perfect hit or be so ridiculously inept that they never pass you to hit their target. Drafters can sometimes hit from behind giving you a bigger speed boost than the draft itself. But they can also slow down in front of you hurting your speed or make turns or racing lines that are not optimal. But by the end, Brawlers and Assassins become outclassed by enemy drivers so the best and only solution is to take 2 drafters and alternate as necessary. The speed boosts are more effective than the alternatives. Also, the performance boost from Mechanics seems negligible. All in all, it's a good system, it just needs some improvements and polish. I also feel cops could interfere in races. Maybe some of your wingmen could have an ability to help during police chases during races.
The car selection is pretty similar to MW and 510. Customization has 1 new addition in that you can add Crew paintings to your cars (also they show up as graffiti in the open world). Upgrades is the same anemic system from 510 which makes it hard to upgrade. Especially as money is rarer in this game.
Traffic is really rare. And crashes don't slow you down as much but bring AI to a complete stop.
I'm not going to summarize the story, but here is the Wiki if you want that. https://nfs.fandom.com/wiki/Need_for_Speed_Carbon:_Own_The_City
I am going to discuss it so Spoiler Warning.
I love the presentation of the story. The Comic Book Style art is much more appealing than the FMV like approach of the main console games. The voice acting is also much more on point. It's all great. If I had to rank this, this is probably in the best racing game stories I've ever played (not that it's a tough list).
The story also does serve as a nice way to keep the player keep on playing when they might have given up otherwise. I was willing to play more to get the nice voice message and cutscene so it was doing something right. Now, sadly, the Negatives. I'm going to divide this into 3 sections, main issues, plot holes and nitpicks. I know it's a bit unfair due to the type of game but I feel if racing games want better stories, they gotta be more open to stuff like this. --Main Issues: I have 2 main issues with the story. First is that the actions of the game, namely conquering territory which progresses the story, has nothing to do with the story. Aside from a few mentions early on, conquering territory has no correlation with finding out the truth. Characters don't acknowledge your progress or your actions. This is especially evident if you just go through the cutscenes and text messages. The game could have been a short film, comic or even a Blacklist style racing game and the end result would be the same. As a result, your progress feels arbitrary. You conquer territory until the game decides to play a cutscene that doles out more details. The Second is the ending. Sara casts judgement on the player character, saying they are a good person now. If we treat the player character as an actual character, this lacks impact because our protagonist has no personality or many distinct actions for us to judge him by to make Sara's point. If we treat him as a player avatar, that also has problems because we the player never got the chance to express our character. The game is telling the player they are a good person without the player doing anything to earn that. If the game had a karma system then maybe you could make do with just the latter and not the former. As it stands, it rings hollow either way. --Plot Holes The story feels like they thought up the final twist first, wrote a first draft based on it and then just made the story out of that. For example, Why Doesn't Ex just tell the Player they hired him? He's already pretty high up and has no reason keep the secret. What was his plan then if the accident never happened and the player accomplished his plan and knew the details? We aren't given any indications of why he changed his mind. Why does Sara stick around for as long as she does anyway at first? She was able to fake her death later so why doesn't she do that when she was with Mick? Or just after the accident? She would have been able to avoid the plot. What makes her decide the player is a good person right after the final race and not at any point before? Why does she care if the player learns the truth from Ex if she's not even there? The Protagonist is amnesiac and is trying to find out about who killed Mick. But apparently doesn't seem to care about Mick or even himself. Sara telling him about how monstrous Mick and the player was is what triggered his memory but that means he never tried to find out about Mick or himself despite that one cutscene showing him obsessing over the accident. Even characters like Ex are vague on what he knew about the brothers before the accident. He could have dropped a "Wow, you're not a dick anymore" which would have triggered his memory. Did he not speak with anybody who knew him and Mick before the accident about what they were like? --Nitpicks (these are "issues" that are probably too small to even matter) How is the player able to manage the territory of an entire city with only 5 other members? Does nobody else try to take some territory? Why does nobody care how much territory the player has? Why are the police so absent? Wouldn't they step in when they find out one of the most notorious illegal street racers of the city is currently in the hospital for a coma and amnesia? How is the player able to race with Carter when he was kidnapped? (ok, that's a bit of a joke) Why is the final race a massive circuit that circumnavigates the city with 6 racers total but ends with just Sara and the player? How is MX able to keep contacts with the police, even being able to send them against Ex without himself getting implicated? After beating MX, he offers to trace Buddy's phone and says that once he finds out who sent it, gives the player 24 hours to get his revenge before he send in the cops. Either MX took a long time to trace that text or the player conquers a 3rd of the city really quick.
I wasn't a fan of the music this time as well except for one song Electric. According to a Youtube comment about the song: "The lyrics came from short stories I'd written about what London would be like in 30 years. These machines – "friends" – come to the door. They supply services of various kinds, but your neighbours never know what they really are since they look human. The one in the song is a prostitute, hence the inverted commas. It was released in May 1979 and sold a million copies. I had a No 1 single with a song about a robot prostitute and no one knew."
So yeah, OTC is the closest to a early 2000s Street Racing console NFS on a handheld and it's pretty good. If I had to rate it, It'd give it a 7.5/10 with a "recommended" rating. The game is really fun and the story is enough to keep you playing but the limited use of the open world and repetitive events bring it down. I'd love to see a current-gen successor to this game that improves and expands on this game. Maybe you can conquer Territory in any order and enemy cars will try and hunt you down while you're doing it. Maybe you need to defend conquered territory. You can combine it with a more general respect system that governs it. I feel there is some serious potential here for something truly spectacular here.
Things would take a turn for our next entry, ProStreet.
From a Real World Perspective, ProStreet makes sense. Illegal Street racing was having some parts of it make way for legally sanctioned racing. As a game series based on an evolving culture, it makes sense to explore other parts of that culture. Bringing the arcade-y physics, customization etc to real-world venues is cool.
From a gameplay/business perspective from the outside, ProStreet makes no sense. The Underground and Most Wanted Games were their best selling entries with MW alone selling 15+ million units. ProStreet takes away the open world, the cops, the Fast and the Furious influences in favour of a more realistic style. It would be if the next mainline Elder Scrolls game was purely a dungeon crawler. Still, I am impressed with the desire to mix it up and keep it varied and cannot deny that. It would have been really easy for EA to continue what Call of Duty does and just keep trying to remix their "greatest hit" for several years until finally moving on.
For the PSP however, ProStreet doesn't feel as much of a divergence. The PSP is used to racing games in general set on tracks and not open world or cop focused. The PSP version of the game is different from its main console versions.
For what it's Worth, ProStreet PSP is a pretty good game. I've heard online many people disregard this due to a lack of customization (a fair complaint) but the game is pretty solid.
Let's talk tracks and progression and racing. When you first boot up the career mode, you're presented with 3 difficulty options, Weekend Warriour, Adrenaline Junkie and Speed King. The choice of difficulty affects how much the game assists you with braking and navigation as well as how much money you earn. Easy mode obviously gives you the most help with the fewest money. Some races don't even allow easier difficulties.
The tracks themselves are based on real-world locations from race tracks in California, Texas, Ireland, Portland, Japan and even the Autobahn in Germany (don't think it has this many curves in real life but I've never been to Germany.) with a cool video explaining them (the UI and presentation in this game is really cool even if some sound effects are taken from prior games). You race in these locations until you complete them and/or unlock what you need in future cars and locations.
Each location has 6-9 races which changes the layout and orientation of the track. Some are really straight like Portland's where you only need to make shallow turns and is really easy, Some are snake-like which I feel is the best fit for physics like this. Some are full of bad curves which gave me 510 flashbacks. The races themselves have restrictions like "sports/Tuners/Muscle cars only", or specific only cars or only use part of a track or multiple laps. Once again, in another check against 510, races tend to take less than a minute to complete with longer ones taking 3 minutes at most. I like that you can have multiple locations and races available at once. I also love that certain races will reward you with a car. It keeps grinding low and your cash more free and lets you participate in more kinds of events and experience more of the game. Especially since different cars can have different wheel drives and axels. On top of that, for every car, all the upgrades are available to purchase from the beginning. So any new car you either win or buy can instantly be brought up to viable levels. This fixes a big problem I had with prior games and deserves to be celebrated. No more having to race with your cheap Nissan or Cobalt against Sports cars because your own Sports car can't have all the upgrades yet.
I feel now is a good time to discuss gameplay. It's good (when the tracks support it). It's the same physics as before so I'm pretty used to it by now. Nitros seems more powerful. Different cars have different wheel drives. What's really new is now damage to cars. Strong impacts can damage your wheels, lowering your speed and acceleration and even causing your car to trail off in the damaged direction needing constant correction and even if you win, repair fees come out of your winnings. I like a system like this in more arcade-y games because aside from being a way to measure skill, it can result in some risky choices like choosing to ram your car into an opponent about to overtake you. Like if you miss you may crash into a barrier and thus take damage which effects your performance. But if you hit, you may get them out of your hair for a while but take damage. You could choose to ignore it and drive clean. I prefer to be more aggressive so this does add a bit more tension during races. Car damage is pretty localized and visually doesn't look that much even for serious damages. Longer races with lots of turns make this system a nightmare though.
Events include sprints and laps, time trials, but no drift or drag (thank God). There is one sorta new event and one really new event. Instead of lap knockouts, you have checkpoints that act as laps. The really new event is one where there are lots of checkpoints but each one records your speed. The winner is the one with highest sum of speeds after going through all the checkpoints. Meaning it is possible to win even if you are physically behind the pack. Between the events, locations and cars PS does have a fair bit of variety even if the environments can start to blend in like Sonoma and Texas.
There is no story, which seems to actually be an improvement over the console versions. The graphics are pretty blurry and I'm not sure if this is due to the game being rushed or if it's secretly running at 60 FPS or something.
Overall, I'd give the game a 7.5/10 with a "recommended score". It lacks customization and the curvey tracks hurt a lot but the overall racing experience is pretty good.
And that ends part 1 of the PSP NFS analysis.
So what have we learned so far from these 4 games? Well, Most are linear games likely due to the fast development cycles. The physics are on the heavy side so more wide tracks are preferred. The upgrade system is anemic and is exponentially more fun with more availability and options.
If I had to rank these games, I'd recommend OTC and PS for sure. With a Maybe for 510 and UR. I'm excited to give Shift and Undercover a shot. I don't know much about the PSP versions so it could be fun.
So there you have it. If you read this whole thing I'm interested in your thoughts. I also have a blog where I write about games. I've written in-depth critiques of AC2, Bro Middle Earth Shadow of MordoWar, as well as more specific things like sailing in AC4 and bombs in Rev. https://mieckfram.blogspot.com/