I am a racing game enthusiast. I’m not beholden to one form of racing to another – I get equal amounts of joy out of Burnout and Gran Turismo. It takes very little for a racing game to hook me. Need for Speed: Shift, for instance, was merely good. However, I played it to completion and got the platinum trophy. I bring all of this up because it helps me hammer home a point… thus far racing games on the Vita have not lived up to their potential.
I reviewed Ridge Racer and Modnation: Road Trip a few weeks back and savvy readers will notice that Ben 10 and Asphalt have the same score as those – but let me make it clear that Ridge Racer is a much more fun game. My issues with Ridge Racer were that the setup of the game – from DLC to the lack of a real career mode – was terrible. But once you are on the track in Ridge Racer it’s a great looking game, it plays wonderfully, and it shows what a racer on the platform can be.
Asphalt and Ben 10 do the opposite. Asphalt, in particular, has a deep career mode with tons of races, tons of cars to unlock, parts to upgrade, many different gameplay modes and a decent online mode. The problem is that the actual racing is reminiscent of physics from a PS1 game. Your car bounces off stuff in completely awkward manner, the drift doesn’t feel natural in the slightest, and when you jump it feels like you’re in an animation more than a physics model. It’s just a really poor driving model. The graphics are below average, but the framerate is steady and there is a decent sense of speed. That’s about all that is good about the game on the track.
Ben 10 on the other hand has a pretty decent driving model for a kart racer. I prefer the feel of Modnation: Roadtrip, but Ben 10 is fine for this type of game. The career is pretty barebones and the track design is completely uninspired. This is pretty apparent in the video we posted. I am not being hyperbolic when I say I can fire up Modnation, paint a track with my finger in 1 minute, let the editor auto-populate it, and that will be better than any track in Ben 10. The sense of speed is fine, the feeling of the drift is fine and the framerate is what Modnation’s should have been. But the course design is so barren and the career mode so vanilla that you just won’t care.
So now we sit here with four racing games, all of which I’ve given two stars. It’s a bummer for racing fans like myself. I will say though that if you want a car racing game – get Ridge Racer. And if you want a kart-racer – get Modnation. Because while they may have found their way to the same scores, those two are far more fun of a racing experience.
Asphalt: Injection ——————————- Ben 10 Galactic Racing