By now, most people have a smartphone and a tablet and most of us play games here and there to pass the time at the DMV, or during that awful show your wife or girlfriend can’t seem to miss. I keep hearing how mobile gaming is on the rise which is a trend that has led to the decline in console gaming. Ok, perhaps…but most mobile gaming isn’t very good (especially mobile based driving games).
That said, I approached EA’s new tile Real Racing 3 for my ipad with little interest, expecting it to be another awful mobile gem. Shockingly, this FREE game is quite a bit of fun! The gyroscope based steering controls are easy to use without being dull or unresponsive. With the steering aids turned off, the game experience is just better and not too much harder. One cool idea is that you don’t control the throttle…only steering and brakes. When you brake, the car slows down…otherwise, it accelerates on its own. It sounds odd, but it works well and I hate the idea of tilting my ipad side to side to steer PLUS back and forth for the gas.
Calling this game “Real Racing” is misleading for sure as this is 100% arcade racing. Regardless, it’s a fun game and it won’t frustrate you like most mobile based racing games. Plus, the visuals are pretty slick and the career mode is pretty deep for a FREE game! Yes, FREE!! Check it out…
The Rally upgrade is a shining light to the otherwise lackluster Forza Horizon. The game-within-a-game plays more like an arcade title (which is consistent with the rest of Horizon) but it’s a fairly untapped genre on the Xbox360. I tend NOT to count the Dirt series as real rally games because it’s more like an extreme motorsport series. Here in the US, the Rally genre is relatively non-existant for the current consoles. Back in the PS1/PS2 days, Rally games were all over the place and one can argue that these games boosted (pun intended) the popularity of the legendary WRX/Evo rivalry which may have helped get those cars released for sale in our country.
In related news, I picked up a copy of WRC2 for the PS3 as, thankfully, PS3 titles are NOT region locked! I’ll post a full review once I’m deeper into what seems like a long career mode. Until then, the Horizon Rally upgrade fits the bill for a quick blast in a rally car with a better overall experience than say Sega Rally. In fact, I think Horizon could have worked entirely as a Rally game if they ditched the car meet “story” in favor of an amateur US Rally series.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to expectations. The demo was a disappointment and the final game wasn’t any better. This game seems like the ultimate combination on paper but it doesn’t deliver in execution. Playing through the game is so monotonous. The Colorado roads all end up looking the same after some time and no challenge I’ve come across feels fresh and new.
The one factor I keep coming back to in my verdict is that I rarely pick it up anymore. I find myself going back to Forza 4 and Forza 3 much more often. “Horizon” attempts to blend the arcade style of the Need for Speed series with the tried-and-true Forza racing experience and it just doesn’t work. I think they were trying to create a new sub-genre here in between being a racing sim and an arcade game, but to no avail. I know I’m in the minority here, but I just plain don’t like this game.
Also, I think the little things bug me more than the bland racing experience. Each character looks like a huge DOUCHE in the way they talk and how they dress. I’ve been to a million car meets and few enthusiasts actually LOOK like this (achem, some BMW/Infiniti owners). It all just rubs me the wrong way and in a few years it will look very dated because guys wearing cardigans and ties is a fashion trend that won’t last.
Sunglasses at night. Sigh…
Douche throws down a pink slip.