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Asphalt 3D Review

Can Ubisoft's drift-happy racer steal pole position on 3DS?

Asphalt 3D review: The Asphalt series has generally consisted of dull mobile phone games and sub-standard DS games but this 3DS racer actually isn't too bad.

Asphalt 3D is even more arcadey than Ridge Racer 3D. The physics are completely unrealistic, damage to vehicles is non-existent, there are turbo and cash pick-ups liberally strewn across the track.The handling is loose, and performing a ridiculously long drift is as easy as quickly tapping the brake button while you accelerate.

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Then, when you come out of the drift, the car unrealistically snaps back into position, ready for you to slam the turbo on as Tron-style lights appear at the side of the road. Asphalt 3D doesn't even try to be realistic, but we can't help but admire it for this.

Asphalt Jumble

To win each of the trophies in the game's career mode you'll have to participate in five different events and pass the task set. There's a wide variety among these events ranging from standard road races to Drift events, which give you more points the longer you can hold on to a drift.

Most of these events are fun, with the only real exception being the Vendetta missions. These are intended to play like Burnout, asking you to slam into your opponents and knock a set number of them out of the race. However, when you ram your opponents, the result seems fairly random. At times, we'd barely brush against other cars, and yet take them out completely. At others we ploughed into them, only to simply shunt them out of the way.

Alongside the surprisingly good racing, Asphalt's visuals are an unexpected treat. There are 42 real-world cars on offer (which range from dinky Minis to swanky Bugattis) and they're very detailed, much more so than the cars in Ridge Racer 3D.

The tracks, however, are much less impressive than those in Namco's game. There are nine fairly generic city-themed courses compared to the 15 quality tracks within Ridge Racer 3D.

The framerate's questionable at times too. Though the 3D effects are great, you're going to be let down by just how choppy this feels in comparison to Ridge Racer's dreamily smooth visuals.

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Ridge Racer 3D is still undoubtedly the best racing game to have arrived on the 3DS for now, but Asphalt 3D doesn't actually finish that far behind it. We'd definitely suggest you give this one a go if you can. It's not quite worth £40 but if you see it for a lower price in a couple of months, you should have no qualms about snapping it up for some fairly mindless racing fun.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the April issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. Want more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts? Buy the magazine here.

Want to see the game in action? Here's a Asphalt 3D.

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  1. DFawkes Sunday 7th Aug 2011 at 15:48

    Just in case anyone looks back to this review, I just wanted to say there's a factual error in it - Asphalt has 17 tracks, not 9. When you bring up the number and compare it to anyother unfavourably, it'd make a lot more sense if the real number wasn't higher!

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