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Reckless Racing 2 runs laps around the original

by Michael Ian

Polarbit’s long-anticipated sequel has finally arrived! After taking a detour in the series with Reckless Getaway, the top-down racer drives back to its roots in Reckless Racing 2. The sequel introduces a number of refinements over the original, so newcomers and fans alike will enjoy this terrific arcade racing game. With familiar faces and a new cast of colorful characters you’ll go from one lap around the track, to a whole afternoon.

Touchscreen controls are a behemoth to wield, especially in action genres such as shooters and racing. While the original game sported great controls, Polarbit has refined the sensitivity a bit so it feels less like you’re driving a stick of butter, but an actual vehicle with weight. The new physics gives players more control behind the steering wheel though the new dynamic difficulty system keeps it from becoming too easy. Introduced for the first time, the difficulty system relies on how well (or badly) you’re playing. If the game feels that players are easily lapping A.I. opponents it will ramp up the difficulty. Fail a few times, and it will be a bit more lenient. This keeps new players from being turned off in frustration and veteran players challenged. I’ve found the controls along with the matching difficulty perfectly suited to my level, though it took a number of laps before the game gauged my playing skills.

Reckless Racing 2 offers a number of gameplay modes ranging from career, arcade, single event and the newest and most welcome addition: multiplayer. In multiplayer mode you’ll be able to join or host games with fellow players using your Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection. Using my wireless carriers’ data connection, I’ve yet to encounter stutters or lag and found it incredibly easy to match up with other players. This feature adds to the game's replay value and is easily one of the greatest reasons to own this game.

From a visual standpoint, the game seems to lose a tiny bit of the charming off-road themes prevalent in the original, instead favoring green landscapes and paved roads. You’ll find that dirt-roads are still present, though less often this time around. The graphics themselves are detailed: dust kicks-up from beneath your car as it power slides into a corner.

Of course what is a racing game without cars? 18 detailed cars are on offer and all are fully customizable by the player. A number of of upgrades are available for each vehicle ranging from body-kits to engines, and these can be visually customized too. It’s a virtual garage in your pocket. You can then take your custom cars onto the road, selecting from 24 different routes.

With a number of options and game modes from which to choose, Polarbit’s sequel delivers on every front. If you love racing (heck, if you like games in general), I highly suggest you pick up this gem.

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