Ford has a long tradition of making desirable vehicles, and was even the number one manufacturer in the states until just recently. So it would make sense to release a racing game based on Ford’s own great stable of vehicles and history. Based on its older big console brothers, Bold Moves attempts some interesting things while delivering one surprisingly attractive PSP game. Unfortunately decent looks can’t save shoddy game play, and that holds true here as well. One of the first things that struck me about Bold Moves was how pretty most of the game was. So much so that I had to compare it to the home console versions. The PSP versions is actually a better looking and running game versus its bigger console brothers. Of course that’s not saying too much as those games were fairly ugly to begin with. When standing still the game looks good. The car models are sharp and you tend to not notice the rest of the gameworld. When you start driving, things are so sluggish that you can help but see how much the environments lack any life. All of this is hampered by a choppiness that pops its head up occaisionally. Usually when you think everything is good and moving smoothly the slowdown rears its head. You would think in this day and age that we would be beyond things like this. I would definitely recommend not listening to any of the music coming from this UMD. Seriously, the entire game is full of dull, bland, uninspired music that screams the music designer just wanted paycheck. Add on top of the poorly executed music disapointing engine sounds. I’ve heard go-karts with more powerful sounding engines than some of these vehicles. It’s a shame that these great Ford trucks and cars can’t be enjoyed in their full glory because of piss-poor sound capture. There’s something to be said about a guttural and throaty engine sound, and something that could’ve really added to the overall feel of the title is completely gunked up by very wimpy sounding engines. It says a lot about a game when you barely need to control the cars you’re driving. Regardless of the fact that all the cars control like 20-ton dump trucks in quicksand, Bold Moves controls surprisingly easily. Because of Empire’s “revolutionary team control” that allows you to switch between your car and a teammate’s, you can simply control on the straight away and let the computer control all of the turns. So you can easily avoid having to worry about the sloppy controls and essentially just let the game play itself.

You get to choose from 18 official Ford cars and trucks. Including concept cars here’s what you can choose from:

1968 Mustang GT, 1969 Mustang Boss 302, 1970 Capri Mk I RS2600, 1970 Mustang Boss 429, 1973 Escort RS2000, 1975 Torino Sport, 1985 RS200, 1987 Sierra RS500, 1992 Escort RS Cosworth, 1995 GT90 Concept, 2000 Ford SVT Cobra R, 2002 Focus RS, 2004 Fiesta ST, 2004 Mustang GT-R Concept, 2004 SVT F-150 Lightning, 2006 Ford GT, 2006 Mustang GT, 2007 Shelby Ford GT500

These cars really are the main attraction of the title, and they really lose their appeal because the controls and game play is severely lacking. As you can see, the control functions in Bold Moves pretty much make the game unplayable. Even if you forgo the nifty teammate trick what you’ll find is a formulaic racer with some odd quirks. For instance in most racing games, the championship mode progresses on a point system. That way you can finish in second or third and still have a shot at winning. In Bold Moves not only does each car finish in the same place in each championship race, you are pretty much knocked out of the championship by not winning every race. This is because Bold Moves uses gold, silver, and bronze ranking system that renders the point system useless. So even if you come to grips with the controls, you can’t enjoy the 24 tracks because the progression system is busted to the point of useless. Lastly what is the point of having a teammate if you can’t use them to win? Your teammate is rarely in a position to help you win a race, and you can’t do things like drafting without them. So besides the nifty game play trick, the function doesn’t add anything to game.

With a broken single player mode, and some shoddy controls there isn’t too much to recommend. The title offers ad-hoc game play, but it’s just as broken as the single player. Why would you want to subject 5 buddies to this? The only redeeming value would be for big Ford buffs that absolutely must play with their favorite vehicles. If you fall into this category just make sure you find this game at bargain bin pricing.

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