There’s nothing like the feel of a stick shift in your hand and slamming through gears and hearing the roar of your engine as your car slowly inches past the racer with the “1st” icon above your head. That smile that creeps across my face as I take that gold cup… The cheering of the not-even-rendered-on-screen crowd… I love racing games as much as anyone, but here are two distinct categories that generally fall into Arcade or Simulation.
OK so let me start out by saying that the Asphalt titles have been around for ages, and have never really impressed me up until this point. So why did I grab this one? They referenced both “San Francisco Rush” and “Burnout” on their app page in the iTunes store. So Kudos to their marketing team, cause that worked great and led to me clicking install immediately. If it wasn’t a free game, I definitely would have pulled a Fry and made my demands. OK, truthfully I put in half of my time into each of these titles, so I didn’t make it as far as typically would before making my review. That being said, I have good things, and bad, to say about both of them so let’s get started.
I’d like to take a good crack at Real Racing 3 first, since I was honestly disappointed. The entire time I was playing this game I had the distinct feeling that my tires were made of hard plastic. Cool, I expect that from a drift-centric game, from maybe Need For Speed Underground. However, even that game I have control over my car. After a while I was able to adjust my driving style (by rapidly smashing the direction I wanted to turn instead of short bursts) and compensate for the fact that my wheels were clearly manufactured in a play-skool facility.
I was quite disappointed in the lack of customization for cars, and the fact that the little I could do, was not really worth my credits to do so. What did that result in? Me racing against ghosts of my peers pulled from the online servers (which, quite honestly, is an awesome feature), with us all looking alike. Great.
“Who’s in first?”
“The Blue one”
“Who’s in Second?”
“…. The blue one…”
And so on. If you could see me writing this right now, I have a seriously frustrated look on my face. While the game’s graphics are truly stunning – it was used to demo Apple hardware – it just doesn’t have enough for me to really get into the game and stay into it. I demand more from my racers, and Real Racing 3 was Really Redundant 3. With constantly being put on the same tracks with the same objective, and racing against cars that all look the same? Bah. Enough. If only it were a tangible object so I could kick it into a huge pit of other games I’ve discarded (all of the Halo titles) like King Leonidas.
All right, let’s move on to Asphalt 8. I’ve never been a huge fan of the series. It felt a lot like the original Ridge Racer for the PS1, which was cool, but had about a long of a feature list as my list of games I’ve determined are “too hard”(which for reference are Ghost Busters for the NES, Castlevania 2 Simon’s Quest for the NES, and Silver Surfer for the NES). But the eighth one in this series really changes things up. From a ton of cars, and paint jobs, to awesome race modes, like infected or take down. I could have easily just switched the name of the game to “Burnout: <Witty Tagline Here>” and no one would have batted an eye.
I’m not a huge fan of the Tilt-to-steer racers, but I had to make an exception cause it was just a lot of fun to spin my iPad, and smash into another racer and send them flying into what appeared to be a giant robot in the Tokyo street’s course. Random NOS tanks strewn about and multiple shortcuts to be found, it really did remind me of San Francisco Rush as well.
I guess my only real gripe for the game is I wished we got to customize the cars a little more with some body kits and decals, cause yeah, I’m that guy. The tracks are gorgeous, and nowhere near as realistic as Real Racing 3, but they played perfectly. There’s nothing like flying down the center of a mall, and out the second story onto the track again. I was never bored, and it get’s major bonus points for keeping my three year old entranced for a few hours, too. Cars? Flashing lights? Crashes? Oh yeah. He’s in.
Both of these titles are great. They each have their own awesome points, but in the end, sorry, I have to give it to Asphalt 8. It’s nowhere near as pretty as RR3, but it really kept me going and that alone is worth the download. But check them both out, no harm; they are both free to play titles.
OVERALL WINNER: ASPHAULT 8.
Asphault 8 Overall Score:
Real Racing 3 Overall Score: