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MotorStorm: Arctic Edge - PSP - Review

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Posted by: jkdmedia

Gamezone Review Rating 8.7 Great

The original Motorstorm for the PS3 was more than just a tasty piece of eye candy. The game featured some great physics and more than enough addictive gameplay to complement its gorgeous aesthetic. Now, Sony's off-road racing franchise has hit the PSP with the latest entry into the franchise, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge. Thankfully for PSP owners, this isn't simply a scaled down port of the PS3 games that we all know and love, but rather a wholly complete experience with phenomenal online play and tons of robust features. Motorstorm: Arctic Edge surprises by adding in a great deal of impressive gameplay and effectively captures the look and feel of its PS3 counterparts. While it's not quite perfect, it's still one of the best racers on the PSP.

As you could probably surmise from the name, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge offers a change in scenery from its predecessors, opting for a ice and snow-style of terrain. As in previous games, the 12 different courses are engaging and interesting, each featuring several different routes and shortcuts for more skilled racers.

For those unfamiliar with Motorstorm, the franchise is an off-road racer with an arcade-style sense of speed. The vehicles control well and feel differently, and the game's physics model is a lot of fun. While it isn't terribly realistic, the game's physics engine bounces your vehicles around quite a bit, which helps add to the challenge and makes for some pretty fun and frantic races. Additionally, the game sports the crash system from previous versions, meaning that if you wreck into something, the game will slow down and almost go into bullet time while your vehicle flips through the air and takes on realistic damage.

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge does a fantastic job of recreating the over the top experience of the PS3 versions, while still maintaining it's own sense of style and unique qualities. The game is a frantic racer with tight controls and arcade style, and the switch to a colder setting adds some cool gameplay elements to the mix.

Considering the game's new arctic setting, you'll now be able to use vehicles focused on colder climates. While you'll still be able to drive around in trucks, buggies, ATVs, bikes, and so on, you'll also have access to vehicles like snowplows and snowmobiles, each of which brings their own handling style to the races. The vehicles are divided into 8 different classes, with three vehicles of each type per class.

Arctic Edge also features a pretty robust festival mode, allowing you to progress through the game's races, earning badges and points depending on how well you do. Additionally, you'll be able to unlock new vehicles as you go, as well as upgrades and aesthetic changes to the ones that you already have. Aside from the festival mode, there is a time attack mode that lets you shave seconds off of your time and post your best races on the game's leaderboards, which is a nice touch.

The game's multiplayer features are pretty solid as well. The game allows for you to play with friends viaw ad-hoc or infrastructure, and the online racing is quite solid and doesn't lag much.

While Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is a fun and engaging racer, there are still some issues that rear their ugly heads at times. The AI is fairly spotty; while the opposing racers will seem to adapt to your driving habits and change their tactics a bit (this is a nice touch), they do seem to do some very odd things, like burning out their overdrive a bit too quickly while gunning specifically for you, which seems kind of odd.

Graphically, Arctic Edge is a fine showpiece of the PSP's technical abilities, featuring some of the best graphics on the system to date. The huge, sprawling stages are rife with details and subtle touches, while the actual vehicle models themselves are quite impressive and move very well. The framerate also stays pretty solid for the most part aside from a few hitches, making for an all-around great looking PSP title.

The sound and music is what you'd expect from the franchise, namely some pretty cool rock and techno tracks, as well as impressive sounding effects. While they might sound a bit tinny when compared to its console brethren, it still sounds pretty good for a PSP game.

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is a smooth driving off-road racer, and one of the most fun offerings when it comes to arcade racers on the PSP. While there are some foibles here and there, it's still worth a look if you're a PSP owner looking for a fun and addictive arcade racer to take on the move.

Review Scoring Details for MotorStorm: Arctic Edge

Gameplay: 8.5
Aside from some physics issues and spotty AI, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge does a great job of packing in all of the excitement of the PS3 versions of the game while retaining it's own unique setting and key changes.

Graphics: 9.0
While there are some occasional framerate issues, the level of detail in this game is very impressive, making for one of the best overall looking titles on the platform.

Sound: 9.0
A great booming soundtrack filled with great driving tunes (you can substitute your own MP3s should it not be to your liking) and solid sound effects round out the sound department.

Difficulty: Medium

Concept: 8.5
Arctic Edge is a pretty complete package for fans of the series, with most of the features of its PS3 brethren in portable form.

Multiplayer: 8.5
The game's adhoc and infrastructure online modes work very well.

Overall: 8.7
Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is a fine racer for PSP owners, effectively capturing what makes the PS3 versions so fun and condensing it to a handheld. If you're a fan of the franchise and have a PSP, check this one out.

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