Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is the latest entry in the popular off-road racing series. The original Motorstorm released early in the life of the PS3 and was one of the first games to show off just what the PS3 is capable of. PS3 games, especially exclusives, have come a long way since Motorstorm, but many still feel it’s one of the best games for the system. Well the series has now jumped to Sony’s handheld. Motorstorm: Arctic Edge brings the crazy off-road action to the PSP and keeps with traditions set by its console counterparts. So, does Motorstorm make a smooth transition to a smaller platform, or is it lacking what made the original so awesome?
Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Motorstorm: Arctic Edge
The graphics are top notch and some of the best I’ve seen on the PSP. Obviously it doesn’t look as good as the console versions, but for a PSP game this is darn good. The vehicles and nicely rendered and the environments are all done very well. The screen smudge effect makes a return here; though being on PSP doesn’t look as good and can sometimes take you out of the experience.
The soundtrack here is fitting and mainly consists of rock, ska, and house music. The sound effects are also well done, with each vehicle type having its own set of unique sounds. For the most part the only sounds you’ll hear are the music, the sounds of the engines, and the crashes.
This is probably the best online play I’ve seen done on the PSP. That is to say, it has the best system. With previous PSP games, an entire online community had to be built from the ground up, which is why very few developers chose to include any sort of online play in their games. Motorstorm takes a new approach, and uses PSN to get users online and onto the server. This is a lot more user friendly and makes online play much easier to handle. The online play itself is fine, I have no complaints about it. It ran well, though the framerates seemed a bit off at times, and there weren’t a TON of players online. Still, I was able to log into my PSN and in only a minute or two, hop into a quick race with another player. It’s simple, clean, easy and most importantly effective. If there’s one thing Motorstorm: Arctic Edge does, it’s help set a new standard for integrating online play into PSP games.
Same ol’ Same ol’
Don’t go into this game expecting anything new or innovative, this is the same game it has always been. For some this is fine, for others not so much. I will say, this is probably the best off-road racer on the platform but with the recent release of Gran Turismo portable, it’s hard to justify buying Motorstorm. The unlockables aren’t much to tout, mainly consisting of extra vehicles and tools to customize their looks. There aren’t many modes so once you finish the single player your only real option is to hop online.
In game soundtracks
In the instruction booklet it’s stated that users can load their own songs into the games tracklist by simply adding music to the PSP music folder. In my review copy this didn’t work. I can’t say this is the same for every copy of the game, it could have just been a bug in mine, but the fact remains that none of the music on my PSP was loaded into the game.
Not enough content.
As I said before, there’s not much to this game. You can go through the ranked races and slowly rank up earning extra vehicles and tracks. There’s also a mode that allows you to free race, and online mode. The game just feels incomplete, like there should be more to it. Since I’m personally not a fan of racing games I find this annoying, but for those who are that may be more than enough content to satisfy.
Overall, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is exactly what you expect, a scaled down version of the PS3 games. It offers mostly the same content and gameplay, and does little to take advantage of the PSP hardware. For Motorstorm fans looking to take their game on the road, this will most likely feed your need. For those looking for a great portable racing game, you may want to take a look at Gran Turismo first.MotorStorm: Arctic Edge Review,