Hey everyone and welcome to the first game review of Xperia PLAY week. Today we’re going to tackle one of the games that come pre-loaded on the device, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD, a racing game from Gameloft. I didn’t even realize smartphone gaming has been popular long enough for six iterations of a game to be released. I’ve never played any of the previous games in the series, so this is going to be a fresh perspective.
The game is basically a mobile version of a cross between Need for Speed and Burnout. This is definitely the most fun I’ve had with an arcade racer on a mobile device, but then again, I’ve never played one with a mini controller before. The game isn’t actually a PLAY exclusive, and can be downloaded for several other devices. There are five different control options for playing the game, from the accelerometer to virtual buttons to screen division, but we’re going with the controller.
The game offers a great variety of race modes. You can play through them all in the campaign or you can set up custom races for whatever you fancy. There are standard races which require you to place in the top three. Time trial races against the clock. Elimination races where the goal is to survive, or to take out as many opponents as you can Burnout style by ramming them into walls or other cars. The list goes on. In all the modes you will see nitro and cash pickups throughout each track. You also build up nitro through impressive driving feats, such as drifting, driving into oncoming traffic, or crashing into every lamp post you see. If you fill your boost bar completely, you can go into adrenaline mode, which offers a ludicrous speed boost and turns your car into death on wheels. Any opponent you touch is wrecked, even if they’re the one that runs into you. Your car basically goes Super Saiyan.
As you play through the campaign you are rated out of five stars per race. Three come from your placing while the other two come from secondary objectives given for each race, such as drifting a certain amount or knocking out a certain number of enemies. After each race you are awarded lots of moolah, which can be used to buy all sorts of stuff, but mostly new cars. The car customization is surprisingly diverse. Each car has its own set of colors and decals, though you can custom paint most of them.
The game controls smooth, offers lots of variety in gameplay and in vehicles, and has an online mode. The graphics are a slick and impressive, and I love the effects of Adrenaline mode. This is definitely a strong racing game on any platform, and it will cost you $7.