FlatOut: Head On Review

FlatOut: Head On can be thought of as Burnoutís country cousin. Itís less sophisticated, but it doesnít seem to care and in fact has a lot of fun with its more simple-minded pursuits. FlatOut brings you destruction derbies, races in which bumping the competition into a wall is as legitimate a way to win as driving the fastest, and twisted mini games that all rely on ejecting your driver through the windshield of your car. Thereís a lot of redneck racing packed into this game, and a lot of fun as well.

The game is divided into two main modes: Carnage and FlatOut. Carnage mode provides a series of events that are a mix of all the different types of races and mini games available in the game. As you compete in the events you earn career points that will eventually unlock additional events in which to compete. The nice thing about this mode is that itís not necessary to medal in all of the open events to unlock additional events. You can also go back and redo any event to build up some additional points to help unlock new events. The FlatOut mode is more like a traditional career mode. As you compete in events you earn money which can be used to purchase new cars or upgrades for your existing cars.

The races are enjoyable enough; you race through a variety of urban and country tracks earning points for driving through obstacles, catching air on jumps, and knocking out your competitors. The car control is spot on, a good blend of sim and arcade that makes each car handle differently without forcing you to concentrate on perfect lines on the bends in the tracks. I had more fun with the destruction derbies, though, driving in an enclosed arena with the singular goal of taking out as many of your fellow drivers as possible. The addition of various power-ups to the arena adds an additional arcade element to the derbies that make them a lot of fun to play. For a most unusual experience, though, itís hard to top the mini games.

Each mini game is built around the same basic mechanic: drive your car as fast as possible down a straight stretch of track while avoiding obstacles and then when you reach the end launch your driver through the windshield, choosing the moment heís ejected and the angle at which he flies out the windshield. Thereís a bowling game in which your driver hits the pins instead of a ball, a game of darts, and one in which you try to build poker hands by hitting cards on a big board. There are twelve of these games in all, and while not all of them are compelling the ones that are do have a certain addictive quality to them.

FlatOut: Head On is a nice little addition to your PSP library. Thereís a lot of gameplay packed into this game, and all of it can be enjoyed in short bursts or longer play sessions. Itís a fun racer with the addition of a collection of rather unique mini games that youíll actually want to go back and play again. Try a little more lowbrow form of racing and youíll find yourself having a good olí time.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 85%. FlatOut: Head On gives you a lot of enjoyable racing for a portable game.


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