Asphalt Urban GT (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Nick Cheesman 11.03.2005 6

Despite the fact Ridge Racer DS has been given a slightly dubious overlook in Europe and has had its touch screen steering mechanism bad mouthed to no end, Ubi Soft have decided to sneak in a little racer of their own, and I believe it is time to cower in fear when you realise it was originally designed for the N-Gage. Oh dear. But luckily Ubi Soft moved it to the DS and as such we get a DS game that has better graphics than the N-Gage. Happy days.

That is of course a tad harsh, the game looked decent on the N-Gage and looks decent here. Actual cars have been imported onto the Dual Screened wonder and look crisp and clear, if a little bit block like, that all handle differently (Some worse, some better), and the amount of different locations within the game is very impressive, all using shadow and lighting effects to give different feels to them, and not go down the Need for Speed route of having everything as painfully shiny.

The top screen displays the cars and the race itself, leaving the bottom screen for the race track layout, and location of other cars, that allow you to predict when is the best time to use your precious (And probably very illegal) turbo boost and beat your opponents to the finishing line. The racing also is seen from the usual inside the car and behind the car view for those who want a bit more in-depth racing experienced.

Although the way in which you gain your turbo boost gives a few nods in Burnout's direction, the crashes and collision detection are nothing like what Criterion hand crafted. Unfortunately you can pass straight through other cars, and objects without it affecting your speed in the slightest, but when bumping along side a car, the result looks very unrealistic and more importantly never benefits you.

There are a variety of modes on offer including; the essential cop chase, where strangely you play as the upholders of justice and not the people fleeing from the law. Other modes include free play, instant race, time attack and road challenge. The main draw will be the Evolution Mode where you do the standard racing championship mode, as you win races and can use your winnings to soup up your car with new upgrades or just buy a whole new car altogether.

The four player mode supports both the free race and the championship mode, allowing you to select which class of cars you want and which locations to choose through. (And thus making sure that the more experienced player does not use their powered up auto) Sadly Asphalt Urban GT is another one of those games shunning download play, so to get some multiplayer from this game everyone will need a copy.

Final Thoughts

Although Asphalt Urban GT pretty much shuns all things that are DS, and only uses the two screens to un-clutter the top screen, as is it stands it looks like a decent racer that should be very easy to pick up and enjoy. The lack of download play is a little bit of a set back, but the amount of cars and race tracks to play through should be pleasing for those wanting a decent racing game on the DS.

Developer

Gameloft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (8 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

hmmm,just for your summary, i dont think that all games need to use all the DS's features(other than using both screens) but developers will know, the innovative games will get the most attention.

This game does look alright but Mario Kart just dang beats any racer.

Its so good NGC rated it 1/5!! A stinker apparantly.

Not all games have to use the touch screen. Seeing as im sure Ubi/Gameloft didnt have much time to develop it, they cant really be blamed. Racing games on Nintendo consoles (bar MK) are always thin on the ground....having 2 at launch isnt so bad.

I've reviewed it too, for anyone who cares...
I didn't think it was that bad, just not the best one out there (you've got Ridge Racer, NfS, and Mario Kart either out or coming soon).

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Robbo, I did make the point it doesn't need to use the touch screen. A mate of mine has this and said it is really quite good, so that is good news indeed.

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