Asphalt 3D

The last racing game I really got my teeth into was Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast and ever since then nothing has really grabbed me. There is certainly a very low opinion of Asphalt 3D going around but sometimes with games I think people compare new titles to previous ones or have really high expectations. I have a different view on this game.

Asphalt 3D is fun to play with its unusual style of drifting, pick ups (including cash), speed boost and repairs that are almost like loot, licensed cars, interesting race tracks and the opportunity to knock people off the road and an achievement system. It is definitely not that real to life but it’s fun.

There is a long list of licensed cars and motorbikes to work your way through in the game. You start off with a Mini and work your way up the ranks as you level up the quite straight forward system. The game consists of a long list of cups, each with four available challenges, the fifth opening up once you complete the other four.

As you work your way through the early cups the levels come thick and fast which gives you an opportunity to grab some really nice cars within a couple of hours of gameplay. Not only that but you also unlock engine, control and boost upgrades along with new sponsors, which offer additional upgrades and paint jobs to make things look a bit different.

Choosing your cars is simple with only speed, acceleration and weight to deal with. The first two are self explanatory and weight basically tells you who is going to win a crash should both cars be travelling at the same speed.

As you drift around corners and pick up boosts you can increase your speed and if you fill up your boost gauge, all the graphics change to a mass collection of go faster stripes. Of course, anyone you hit when boosting will be forced off the track and you can eliminate your competition.

Other than the boost ‘Go Faster’ stripes the game looks half decent and there is some nice definition in the cars and tracks. I had some issues with the 3D in that it appears to change depth a fair bit. I often found myself adjusting it mid race and sometimes changing the game to 2D just so I could see what was happening.

When you’re racing you get a decent feel for the sound of the cars, crashes, car horns when you fly past them and skidding noise. Unfortunately when you start the game from the 3DS menu it instantly turns off the surround sound feature and leaves you with stereo. It doesn’t sound like a big deal (how much surround sound can you get with two speakers?) but it’s not ideal that Gameloft haven’t tried to utilise as much of the console as possible.

There are loads of ways to play the game. You can work your way through a career mode that contains certain challenges and these change as you get higher up the rankings. Other than that you can play multiplayer and take advantage of the street pass features on the 3DS. If you happen to pass someone with Street Pass on you can download ghosts and scores from them and pit your skills against them the next time you play.

Other than the ghosts you can keep coming back to gain more achievements, open up more cars and custom build them to your own design. With plenty to do you could end up enjoying yourself.


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