Back when the PS Vita was released, Asphalt Injection was of the first titles available from Ubisoft. Which makes sense, as there have been incarnations of the series on virtually every handheld and smart phone out there. The main issue is that this game is strikingly similar to its little brother out on the IOS which costs a fraction of the PS Vita title. Most gamers will feel that this is just a way for Ubisoft to cash in and simply port over the game to the Vita, and while the front and back touch screens have been used to fit in with the PS Vita’s hardware, it’s not enough to justify the price tag.
There really is no story to speak of with Asphault Injection it’s pretty much an arcade racer at heart. The career mode is where most of the gaming takes place. Here you have many different groups of cup and races to try as you go from rookie up to a kick-ass racer. There are also different kind of races, time trials, elimination, duels and demolition rounds. The time trail is when you beat the time set for the track; while elimination mode is where you try to not be last when the timer finishes. Duels are two player races where you race the AI, and are actually pretty tough. The demolition mode is my favourite as you can destroy all the poles and scaffolds around you and get points for your troubles. The track itself has many dollar signs that give you money and nitro tanks to pick up that give you a boost. There is also a free race mode, which is just that. You even have a virtual garage which you can tour, thanks to the built in gyroscope and accelerometer, by moving the Vita around. This look pretty swish but sadly you can’t do anything else apart from looking at your cars.
This game caters for gears heads with the huge roster of cars and customization. There are 52 licensed cars to choose from and I must say they do look very good. During gameplay, however, everything becomes a little grainy and blocky, the races are smooth enough but very simple in nature. You can perform boasts and drift around the track, the problem with this is that if you hit a wall then nothing happens. You just slow down, there is no crash mechanism to speak of as you just get bumped off the walls. There is a collision aspect very similar to Burnout, you are encouraged to ram your opponents’ and make them crash. During races the AI is tough at times and will crash into you. The track layout is fine and there is some variability, but there are only 15 tracks and over a long stretch of time these do get stale. Overall, I would say the gameplay is too easy and the game boils down to accelerating and drifting around corners, so not much in the way of a challenge really.
The front touch screen has been used to allow you to change the camera views and the rear touchpad is used as a shifting tool. For me, this seems a little too rushed and simply put in to allow the porting of the game to the PS Vita. I found another issue whilst playingwas that the speeds of the different cars did not really make me see the difference during play. The BMW handles like the Audis and the Ferraris, in fact, all the cars handle the same and seem to be the same car. I will admit that the backgrounds for the tracks do look great on the PS Vita and when you initiate your adrenaline boost the whole screen goes an evil purple and this again looks decent.
The multiplayer aspect is fun enough and will give this game more life span than it deserves really. There are tons of things to buy and unlock which again adds to the life of the game. The sounds of the cars screeching around the track are pleasing but the commentator is not.
I think Ubisoft have tried to be clever with this title, but ultimately it has not worked out so well. The game is an arcade racer trying to copy Burnout and whilst it may succeed in some aspects, most of the time it feels like an IOS game. The gameplay is fun in short bursts and the multiplayer will give you some fun. The tilt aspect to steer and the front and rear touch screen are a nice touch but again not enough. The graphics are not as good as they should be for a PS Vita game, as we have seen in the past the Vita can handle some sweet looking games. Get this if you want an arcade racer that will give you some fun, as well as lots of pretty cars to look at. This is not a deep an immersive racing game, but in all honesty I don’t think it was trying to be. An Ok game, but not totally worthy of the PS Vita.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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