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MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (PSP)

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2 Reviews

Genre: Driving & Racing / Video Game for Sony PSP / ESRB Rating: Everyone / Release Date: 2009-09-18 / Published by Sony

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      21.02.2010 17:11
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      One of the best racing games on the PSP

      Motorstorm the one of the games which launched at the same time as the Ps3 did and was typically bundled with it and about half the Ps3 owners would have owned it and the rest, quite likely played it. It was the game that showed what the Ps3 could be capable off, showing the graphics off as well as the more variable functions and features the Ps3 allows games to have. The game itself was plain and easy, a simple concept, but somehow different from all the other racing games out at the time. When I saw the Motorstorm was released a PSP version, which wasn't a dumbed down version of their newest game MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, but a standalone game exclusively for the PSP, and as Assassins Creed Bloodlines proved to me, the standalones "sequels" are something to get excited for. I was really excited because I was looking for a good racing game, but nothing took my fancy until MotorStorm.

      What is MotorStorm About?

      For the people who have played MotorStorm on PS3, its basically that but on the PlayStation Portable, it offers pretty much the important parts of MotorStorm, but cut out some extra bits which aren't all that important. But for anyone who doesn't know anything about the game, it is a racing game, but it offers that little bit more, rather than simply racing a rally car or a formula one car, you are placed in one of a selection of vehicles such as a 4 by 4, a massive truck or a beaten down Rally Car to mention a few and race each other over various tracks designed to be multi choice and directional, basically almost being the sort of game that say, do whatever you can and go wherever you want, just finish the game.

      MotorStorm: Arctic Edge

      MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is just like the other 2 games in the Ps3, it allows you to go crazy with boost and go wild on the track, but as the title suggests it has a wintery/snowy theme to it. So now you are racing in the mountain regions all covered in snow and ice, mud and rock and you're doing it in a similar line up of vehicles as before, the Bike, Rally Car, ATV, Buggy and the Big Rig, but in addition you get a Snowplugger, Snow mobile and a Snow Plow, which have replaced the Mud Plugger and Monster Truck. So overall it's a similar line up off vehicles, 8 classes, and 24 vehicles all together. You can also customise the vehicles by adding a spoiler, a different plow, sponsor sticks or make the wheels bigger, this doesn't really increase your performance but a fair addition to the game, mainly used to make you look more unique in the online game play, which I haven't really experience, so can't comment on it. Overall it's a good out game and compares to the first one very well, even though it is on the PSP.

      Goal Of the Game

      Basically it's a plain old racing game at heart, the goal is to come first in the race to get the best amount of points or second or third, which also gives you points, the more points you get the more levels you unlock and the more you progress in the game, points also unlock new vehicles and modifications you can add to those vehicles. Some levels require you to get a specific number of stars, which are earned by completing a specific level in a specific time or something similar. Honestly a very simple concept, but it is very fun to play because of the simple concept and the unique nature of the tracks and vehicles.

      Playability

      The game is very easy to get a hang off after you figure out in the first few seconds of gameplay that the button to go is the R trigger (Right Shoulder Button) and the button to Boost is X, I'd found that this is a much more comfortable way to play the game, unlike other games which have a reverse system (X to go, R to Boost/Nitro). The tracks are straight forward, all you do it go forward and follow the odd sign or two as it gives you variety of which way to go, either straight up or take the side road, take the massive ramp and jump over the massive gap or take the bridge, overall very easy to grasp and hours of fun. I would also say that this is a game you can play again and again as it is quite long and a good variety of tracks and vehicles.

      Conclusion

      This is one of the best racing games I have ever played on the PSP, with the exception of Midnight Club LA on the PSP. This game is built especially for the PSP console and it offers quite a lot, a good variety of tracks, cars and the replay value is also something to consider when buying this game as it will offer you hours of fun, either playing none stop or from time to time it will keep you entertained. I strongly recommend this game if you looking for some kind of rural unique game on the PSP.

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    • More +
      03.01.2010 18:50
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      The best 'ignored' title of 2009

      For a series that many saw as having its chief selling point intrinsically linked to its use of the PS3's more advanced technology, the retreat of MotorStorm's third outing to the PSP and PS2 formats was seen as something of a gamble. Developing Arctic Edge was a statement of commitment to these consoles from Sony, akin to a high-profile bargaining chip, as at the time of the games announcement, the Japanese giants were making fresh vows to support their ageing home console and the promising portable that had been allowed to drift.

      Ironically, 2009 turned out to be a year littered with top-notch titles for the PlayStation Portable, but if Arctic Edge was at some stage intended to spearhead a software revival, it wasn't reflected in its poor performance at retail. The almost complete lack of advertising likely didn't help, nor will the arrival of forever-delayed portable Gran Turismo just two weeks later have done it any favours either, but the muted reception isn't indicative of the games quality, as in reality, it could hardly have been any better.

      Arctic Edge adapts the MotorStorm formula so that it instantly belongs in handheld form, and there's a lot its PS3 equivalents could learn from it. The chief difference from its predecessors is obvious from the start, as the racing now takes place in snowy landscapes and icy tundras, making for a pleasant change from the over-subscribed dirt tracks seen elsewhere. As ever, the range of vehicles is vast and includes bikes, rally cars, trucks, quad bikes, buggy's and many more besides. Its one thing to lump them all into a race together, but the design is so tight that all offer completely different driving experiences yet with a bit of practice, all prove competitive. Things are helped greatly by what is surely the most precise control the much-maligned analogue nub has offered in any racing game on the PSP.

      The circuits show off considerable flair as well as the technical feats the game has achieved. In keeping with the open-world appeal of the PS3 games, each of the eight tracks feature numerous route variations; some that are quicker but more risky, some safer but more time-consuming and others that are best suited to specific vehicles. There's a nice sense of freedom, though it's never so large as to run the risk of getting you lost mid-race. Similarly, the slight downsizing of the PS3 versions' crash physics is actually no bad thing, as though Arctic Edge is guilty of the odd moon-gravity moment, the terrain is a lot more forgiving and consistent on the whole; there's no being bounced on to your roof courtesy of invisible pot-holes at least. The boost gauge returns and cleverly, its temperature can now be regulated by driving through water or heavy snow, whilst the myriad of treacherous ice-bridges, avalanches and insane jumps mean that whilst MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is challenging, it's still a lot of fun.

      As ever, the one-player Festival mode consists mainly of individual races that mix a variety of track and vehicle combinations, and there's the occasional time-trial and multi-race invitational tournament to add a little variety. Thanks to copious use of the reverse courses, there are just short of a hundred challenges in all. It's nice to see there's actually a discernable learning curve too, making it easily the most accessible MotorStorm yet, though by the last twenty or so races the difficulty is ramped up to near-ludicrous proportions, where you are given literally no margin for error - it's the only game I've ever played where the A.I. is actually tougher than the players you'll face online...

      ...Which leads swiftly onto the games best feature, and the reason the PSP version is preferable to that of the PS2 - the brilliant online mode. Few PSP games have made full use of the consoles online gaming capabilities, but Arctic Edge delivers some fantastically addictive, close racing with up to five opponents. You're limited to two race types with no tournament options, and longer races aren't encouraged due to requirement of finishing within 30 seconds of the winner in order to be classified (even if you are running 2nd), which can become difficult if you crash a couple of times. Still, good results are rewarded with leaderboard points, and you can save and upload your Time Attack laps so as to rank your fastest times against others. Progress you make in the Festival unlocks new vehicles and customisable body kits that can in turn be shown off in the online races, so though the one-player can be hellish tough at times, it's really rewarding.

      It keeps on impressing; the menus are some of the sharpest and most attractive to have graced the PSP, whilst in-game a closer look at the snowy locales reveals significant attention to detail, with waterfalls, smoke beacons and even aurora's dominating the horizon - very dynamic and all the more striking when you consider how smoothly it runs. The vehicles also look great, and even though it wasn't strictly required of the developers as there are no performance-effecting damage parameters (you're either running, or you're wrecked and have to respawn), dents and scrapes are evident on the crafts that have been in a few tight battles.

      Picking faults with it is tough, as there are only a couple of minor gripes. As mentioned earlier, it's perhaps not a game novices will get much joy out of in the short-term and due to the demanding nature of the racing, it isn't as tailor-made for gaming-on-the-go as titles like Ridge Racer due to the high levels of concentration needed. Otherwise, only the grating rock soundtrack lets the side down, but it can be forgiven this small hiccup.

      It remains to be seen if Sony can help to maintain the tenuous online community in the months and years following its release, but whether dozens play it or thousands, it doesn't change the fact that Arctic Edge is about as good - and complete - a racing package as you could wish for on PSP. It pushes the hardware, its fun, well-designed, challenging and offers good value for money. As relevant as its PS3 counterparts, and the fact it loses almost nothing in its transition to the small screen (and in some instances, benefits) is nothing short of miraculous.

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