Ford Street Racing: The Duel is another Arcade racing game for the PSP, and as the name suggests, it focuses only on the cars in Ford’s Garage. With many game modes, multiplayer support, stunning graphics and strict controls, this is not a horrible PSP game, but a pretty horrible AI and a repetitive track design leave the game completely leaved.

The game modes are divided into individual races and team races, and you have the option of playing individual races, Arcade races or main career mode. The career mode doesn’t do anything that you haven’t seen before, like earning money for concerts and buying new cars, but it is quite enjoyable and shows you the progress on a map of racing events and challenges. Solo races have very little depth, because the damage caused by the cars is purely aesthetic and does not affect the handling and performance of the cars.

Team races are more interesting, another Option in career mode. Here you actually take control of a two-car racing team and switch from one car to the other at each race. This is quite an original idea and works surprisingly well, so you can help any car if necessary. Special block and Boost movements can also be performed to allow you to move around the field, but all this is leaved by the bad artificial intelligence of the competing runners and your own teammate.

It’s bad enough that other riders like to hit you and usually ride as badly as possible, but your own teammate, who is supposed to help you, also intervenes, often hitting you from behind and hurting your chances of success. The AI problem also ruins single-player races, and since the game uses an elastic AI system, it is almost impossible to break away from the pack, which means that you are constantly involved in small quarrels on the road.

It offers great graphics for a PSP racer

The other big problem with L.A. Duel is a general lack of spark. The track designs are a bit boring and too long ago the races start to mix and any excitement you might have is lost. Racing in something other than high-performance vehicles is also quite uninspired, because the feeling of speed that you get is not that great. It’s a shame, because the basic driving model is not at all bad for an Arcade racer.

Visually, L. A. Duel is surprisingly polished, with impressive car models, detailed tracks, excellent lighting and a nice smooth frame rate. However, the same applies to the Audio used during the game. The music on the menu quickly becomes irritating, and during the races you only hear the sound of engines and cars colliding with each other – there is no music in the game at all. The loading times are not bad for a PSP game, but overall, the presentation is rather uneven.

Ford Street Racing: L. A. Duel is both a surprise and a disappointment. The graphics of the game have far exceeded my expectations, but the Arcade racing soon becomes quite boring and repetitive. Online multiplayer would have eliminated AI issues, but with local wireless-only support, multiplayer races probably won’t happen as often. Ford fans will undoubtedly appreciate the collection, which includes cars ranging from the simple Fiesta to the Ford GT, but racing fans better stick to Ridge Racer.

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