When the original FlatOut hit Xbox in 2004, it took physics to new levels of awesomeness in racing games. Never before had we seen so many destructible objects nor piles of logs that fell apart so convincingly when you crashed into them. Fast-forward a few years and, incredibly, the full FlatOut experience has gone handheld on PSP.
Content-wise, despite featuring virtually all the content of the Xbox 360 threequel, the game has been given a shake-up and now features the Carnage Mode challenge series as the first option on the title screen. However, unlike TOCA RaceDriver 3 Challenge, the game hasn't really been cut-down into a selection of mini events at all. There are plenty of tracks and race series to take part in and the championship mode is comprehensive. And although you start with only a banger and a couple of races unlocked, the game soon opens up and rewards your success. The result is a game that's great for pick-up-and-play gaming, but also has the depth for prolonged sessions.
The racing itself is quite tricky, mainly due to the series' floaty car handling which hasn't really changed at all in four years. Fortunately, Triangle resets your car very swiftly, so the frequent trips to the dense foliage at the side of the track don't frustrate too much. Indeed, crashing is where the majority of fun is to be found, with convincingly solid collisions and wince-inducing crunches and shattered glass. We'd even go so far as to say the crashes feel more crash-like than those of Burnout Paradise. That's saying something. And, unlike Burnout, the cars have drivers in them and they fly through the windshield at every opportunity. It's sick in a fun kind of way.