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Asphalt on the 3DS was the second game I tried on the system having recently bought Nintendo 3DS console. In general the console has been largely underwhelming and Asphalt in particular is a game that I would not usually have given the time of say to had it not been for the fact that I had just spend so much on the console. In all this is a very average racing title that does little to show off the new console and certainly wont be a game that will see buyers flocking to buy the new handheld for.
Essentially, this is a fast paced arcade racer which reads dangerous and risky driving and the more nerve shredding your driving style is the more likely you are to succeed on this game. A mixture of Burnout with a little bit of Outrun coupled with some Ridge Racer style features and you are along the right lines. The series has long been on mobile phones and this is one of the first versions for handheld consoles. Smashing into other cars, avoiding crashes by a split second, skidding, drifting and taking other drivers out of the race will all help you in this title. It is racing, not for the faint hearted.
It controls rather well on the 3DS and you feel fully in control of the vehicle at all times. Even at high speeds you feel like the master of your own destiny and mistakes are never down to bad controls. The set up is simple and accessible and even novices to driving games will be pulling off fancy moves and burning down the race tracks from the off. Fun for all ages with a pick up and play feel but also a level of depth, mastery of which is required to complete the game fully and unlock everything. However it is nothing new and after only a few games the novelty wears off and it becomes all too familiar and feels like a thousand games before it. This makes playing it for long stints dull.
The main mode is in the form of a varied career mode which is more than just racing and includes all the elements in the game in one package which is ideal. I hate games where you don't play all the gameplay types in the main mode but this is different and the career mode is packed with variety but again the fact that the modes here - time attack, races. 1 v1 challenges, drift events etc you have played a million times before and a million times better. Tracks are full of shortcuts which are fun to find but it all becomes boring and repetitive and there is very little, if anything, new or novel in the game to keep you hooked for more than a 30 minute sitting.
It feels like a rushed game, it plays like a rushed game and lacks anything to justify the £30 price tag. Sure its fun in places and anyone new to arcade racers will love it but it simply doesn't justify the investment and at the end of the day with little use made of the 3D features it is not worthy of timer. 3D is supposed to immerse and take you "into the game", this barely feels like a 3D title at all.
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About five years ago I purchased for my Nintendo DS Lite a game called Asphalt: Urban GT which was a pretty respectable racing game. So when I upgraded to a Nintendo 3DS and saw Asphalt 3D I went for it, thinking it would be along the same level of quality. It was £27.99 in Game.
The Game is a pretty well stocked racing game with a good selection of supercars from Bugatti Veyron to Lamborghini Murcielago on a number of tracks from around the world. There are eight different modes of play including a career mode, versus racing, high speed chase, elimination modes and more, so there is plenty to keep you interested. In terms of it's use of the 3D technology the 3DS has; the actual racing visuals are hard to keep up with as the game moves so quickly, that it feels a bit wasted. When it looks at it's best is in the menus, looking around your car in the garage mode, it looks much more impressive and you get a real feeling of depth.
The gameplay is quite standard, not as good as the Urban GT game, and the buttons can feel a bit fiddly at times because there is no option to re map the buttons for braking, acceleration and turbo. So it can feel a bit of a chore when playing. It looks impressive at times; and holds interest but not for as long as with some other racing (or indeed 3DS) games. I'd give it a 6/10 as I don't think there's much there to keep you going back to it unless you are hugely into racing games.
There aren't a huge amount of games out for the 3DS with it being so new, and I wish I'd waited really as this was quite an expense for a game I am unlikely to keep playing once the career mode (around 18 hours according to online reviews) is completed. I will probably trade it in - so unless you are a real petrol head, then I'd probably give this one a miss until it becomes more affordable, or just to wait and see what other racing games will come out.