Developer: Criterion Games
Release Date: 10/30/2012
Rating: Everyone 10+
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Need for Speed has had a great comeback over the last few years and Most Wanted seems to have topped it. Being a remake of fof2005’s excellent Most Wanted; this version is a whole new beast. The streamlined menus, AutoLog, the massive amount of real-world cars, and the huge world to drive in are something to get excited about.
My favorite feature has to be the new navigation menu. Being able to select races, customize your car, and jump to various cards with just the D-pad is great. There’s not even a need for a map. Select the race you want and it will put the GPS line on your mini-map. Want to drive a different car? 3 D-pad clicks and you’re there. This just seems nearly revolutionary for the racing genre as they have been plagued with nasty menus for years. Outside of the menu are the excellent racing moments and various types of races to do.
Sprints, circuits, fastest speed, losing the cops the fastest; these are just a few types of races in Most Wanted. The whole goal is to find all the jump areas where cars are hidden through the entire world. Win first in each race for each car and you will win part upgrades to make your car faster and better to drive. Some parts are better for certain areas like offroad but will slow you down on the asphalt. There are also various parts to help the cops like re-inflating tires if you hit a spike strip or a stronger chassis for ramming through roadblocks. Like previous Need for Speed games (and any Criterion racer), you can take down vehicles for more points to work your way to the number one most wanted.
A fun feature here (and it threw me for a loop) was having to take down a most wanted car to win their car. Sure you can beat them in a race, but what about taking them down? It adds a greater challenge, but if you miss them you can always summon the car back via the navigation menu. It’s not hard to work your way up to the top if you try to get first in every race. Even long after you beat the most wanted vehicle you can earn parts and find every hidden vehicle in the city.
If that’s not enough try AutoLog recommended objectives or try to find and hit every billboard in the game. There’s a lot to do in this game, and even though it can feel repetitive after a while there’s just a great sense of accomplishment from getting first in every race. Let’s talk about graphics. Most Wanted is one of the best-looking games on Vita period. The sense of speed is great and the controls are amazing. It doesn’t look like the game took much of a hit from being downgraded graphically, but was hand-tailored to the system. The game even sounds great and I spent hours just racing around completing races without ever getting bored. Is there anything bad about Most Wanted? Mainly how repetitive the races can get overall, but the variety of cars keeps this played down a bit. Crashing every 5 seconds can get annoying, but that’s expected. Most Wanted is a must-have racer for any system you can own it on.