Pimp My Ride
begins with you choosing one of a number of hapless people and their rundown rides. You job is to pimp their rides out by giving them new paint, body modifications and other accessories. The catch is that your improvements need to match the personalities and desires of the owners.
On the surface, this is a novel idea. Problems begin to crop up once you actually get into the game. In order to purchase upgrades, you first need to earn money by completing events around the city. For quick, easy cash you can ram through other cars, billboards and parking meters. While these elements helped to make Burnout so much fun, it doesnít work with Pimp My Ride. The mechanics, especially control, are not there and it is easy to see that the game wasnít designed with destruction in mind.
The big money comes from participating in three major events: Ghost Ride the Whip, Hot Steppiní and Cruisiní. All three are built on the same basic mechanic of pressing buttons before time runs out. In the case of Ghost Ride the Whip and Hotsteppiní, button presses are based around rhythm-based mini-games, only without much rhythm. Although the concept lends itself well to a basic rhythm game, the music never matches up with the music. Instead, you're just pressing buttons before time runs out. Hotsteppiní tries to change things up in the way the button presses are input, but even then it doesnít work.
Cruisiní uses the same timed button presses, only without as much complexity.
Once you reach a minimum budget, its shop time. Customizing cars is just a matter of driving to shops and choosing the right parts. You are given a short amount of time in which to do this. While it does add a sense of urgency, the floaty driving mechanics donít help. Also, shops are scattered across time, so you have to prioritize the modifications. The paint shop might be right around the corner, but your customer really wants new rims and that store is halfway across town. I liked the idea of having to keep your customerís desires into account and the illusion of strategy that it creates, but the time limit kills the fun.
This sequence of events repeats until the game ends. The formula doesnít change much over the course of the game other than button presses becoming more complex. There are no multiplayer options and there isnít much reason to go back and play, though the chances are you will probably want to stop playing halfway through anyway.