Colin McRae 2005

This is an interesting review, as its for the same game, on 2 different consoles, and with different outcomes….Due to my interest in all things to do with Racing Cars I have been enjoying the WRC this season, thought thought it would be cool to get copies of Colin McRae for my PSP and Xbox. Despite living on a small island in the middle of the Caribbean it was easier to get the PSP version than the Xbox version. So i plugged it in and away I went.

Now the graphics are as you would expect for the PSP these days pretty damn good. Not much in the way of sound, just the cop-drivers voice and a tinny engine noise. I started off in career mode with the 2WD Shield championship, basically 6 stages from different rallies. You need to get some points and finish on the podium to unlock a new car and progress. I played through all 6 stages 4 times and finished dead last in every stage every time. I appreciate I am not the best games player in the world, but I am pretty hot when it comes to racing games. So I was slightly concerned, by this point the Xbox version had arrived, so I threw it in to see how I would get on.

Obviously graphics are better, sound is a bit better and there are no ridiculous load and save times as there are on the PSP. I played the same championship in the same care, and I won 3 stages, finished second in one other and won the overall championship on my first time through!!! OK so I knew the tracks pretty well, so I gave the PSP another try, and still finished dead last in every stage I tried….

Then I twigged what the problem was, the same as when I tried to play Tiger Woods, the analog nub. It was just way too twitchy, which you could kind of get used to or set the car up with heavier steering, but the main problem was that whenever you moved the stick even slightly in either direction the speed of the car dropped. It was possible to slightly waggle the stick and for the car to come to a dead stop in the road with the accelerator hard to the floor. No physically possible in a car, and also not possible on the Xbox version. This is a huge problem for a rallying game where the whole point is to get round corners, and have to make tiny adjustments on rough roads to go in a straight line. I tried with the D-pad, and it wasn’t much better the steering is incredibly slow to respond, even when the car is set up for light steering. So basically the game becomes unplayable, unless you enjoy only ever racing on 6 stages. I am sure its possible to get better at the game and overcome the fundamental floor n the steering, but I would rather just get on with the Xbox version and play something on my DS for my mobile gaming needs.

Yet again its another port of a PS2 game, which is crippled by the controls. There seem to be so many of these at the moment, I am not sure how the console can survive without some original content. Once the new iPod Video arrives I will have no use for my PSP…..

On the flipside though, get Colin McRae for Xbox, as it looks pretty good. I have only completed the first championship,. but the elation I felt for actually being able to control the car made me fall in love with it!!!