'Most Wanted' on Vita is a 30-frames-per-second wonder

Criterion's plan was to develop the Vita version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted in house and make it nearly identical to the console version of the EA racer.

And with few exceptions, that appears to be what the developers have done.

"Everything is the same," said executive producer Matt Webster. "It's the same size, open world, has the same cars, same features. That's why we wanted to make this version internally."

While the game's frame rate is floating at just under 30 frames a second, the same as the console version, Webster is sure they'll nail the rate and eliminate any slow down issues before the game hits.

The two major differences on the Vita are the 4-person multiplayer cap, and the game's graphics, which required some "shortcuts" to land at the frame rate they were shooting for, Webster said.

"The (Vita) isn't quite as powerful as we were led to believe, but you only get to know that when you get down and dirty with it," he said.

An early build of the game I tried showed an impressive range of options, the same sizable world, and tight controls, the latter helped a great deal by the Vita's dual thumbsticks.

The game did chug a few times when the speeds increased and the screen started to fill with vehicles and buildings, but Webster said those issues were set to be fixed pre launch.

The game's Autolog is also identical, allowing players to rack up high scores on everything from high speeds to races to jump distances. Those scores will then be shared out among a player's friend list on the Vita.

The game's Most Wanted high score list is the only Autolog feature that jumps across platforms to find the best scores on any platform.

As with the home console versions, all 40 or so cars will be unlocked when the game starts, though players will still have to find them to drive around in them. The one exception, both for home console and Vita, are the ten additional cars driven by the game's Most Wanted. Those cars can only be unlocked by winning a challenge race.

Webster says the plan is for Need for Speed: Most Wanted for Vita to hit around the same time as the other versions, which come out on October 30th.

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