"Racing to Fill The Gap"
With a title like Asphalt Injection, it seems like we're already off to a bad start. This launch racer from developers Gameloft is here to please the racing fans that have just purchased a Vita and are looking to play more than WipEout 2048 and Ridge Racer. So... is this title worth it even to satiate you until more racing games come out? Read on wary gamer, read on.
Let's start with the fact that Asphalt Injection is no driving-sim by any means, nor does it even touch on anything that might appeal to gear heads. You'll see a few brand makes here, but Asphalt Injection is aiming to please the arcade style race fans. As far as controlling your car, you'll have a bit of functionality from the motion controls, and the rear touchpad can serve as a paddle shifter (which I found very cool actually), but overall it's going to be pretty messy out there on the track.
The airy movements of the cars which float around every turn don't make Asphalt Injection the most precise game in the world. Fortunately, it's not so bad that it will deter you from actually enjoying the game if you do indeed sit down to play it. Besides, even if the controls aren't stellar, there isn't much challenge in the tracks anyways. You'll be pretty much gunning it the entire time, setting off nitro blasts and drifting corners almost the entire time. There is very little risk / reward on making outlandish or skilled maneuvers around turns, because you'll most likely succeed, and if you don't, your car will usually just bounce harmlessly off the walls. Like bumper bowling, Asphalt Injection might be better for the kids who are still developing their video game racing skills. That means if you're looking for any sort of strategy in your racing games, Asphalt Injection has none to offer.
You'll be given some classic maps that we've seen in racing games over and over again throughout the years: the streets of Los Angeles, a couple of exotic caves, and other yawn-tastic locations. Graphics seem a bit out of date, though they aren't absolutely archaic or anything. Edges are clean, but everything is roughly designed. Throw in an annoying announcer and some generic racing noises and you have a very underwhelming game, technically speaking.
However, Asphalt Injection isn't a total rip-off. There are plenty of things to unlock, including tracks and cars. There are items to collect, a little bit of leveling up to be done, and over 100 different races. There's also a cute option of having the Vita camera snap a photo of your face when you win so you can check out your reaction to winning a race. The garage system will keep your cars organized, but it's about as pleasant to navigate through as the iPhone App store. Perhaps one the biggest saving graces is the multiplayer mode where you can race against other, all while keeping track and trying to beat out other racers scores.
Asphalt Injection is not going to turn heads. It's not going to stay in your gaming collection very long. Eventually, a few years from now, you'll probably be able to buy it on the Internet for a dollar, but that is not Asphalt Injection's purpose. It is here now to fill in the early release gap before the Vita gets some more serious racing games (Gran Turismo, anyone?). Until then… enjoy?
GameDynamo's Score for Asphalt: Injection (PS Vita)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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