Motorstorm: Arctic Edge

Everything we have come to love from the Motorstorm series has been recreated on the PSP and the result is a solid, action-packed game.

By King, Posted 09 Feb 2010

If there's a single genre that the PSP hasn't been lacking, it has to be racing. More than likely if you are a fan of speeding through traffic and flying by the competition, all while you're on the go, you own a PSP. It was a sure bet that Sony's stylish entry to the genre would wind up with portable version sooner or later to join the already impressive list of racers. The assiduous team that has produced three Motorstorm games in three years has brought the familiar flavor of the series right into the palms of our hands, this time in the nexus of winter. Even in bite-sized format, this new installment captures the trademark Motorstorm feel that anyone will recognize right off the bat if they've picked up a previous game. Carrying the title of Arctic Edge, it's clear that you will be speeding through a different scenery, instead of the jungle or desert that you have in the past.

Remember the way the original Motorstorm set the bar for the new graphical standard of 2007? Arctic Edge amazes in a similar way that it's console brother did. When you first boot up the game, it's mind blowing how this system can handle something that exhibits such exceptional graphic power. With lush snow scattered accross frozen mountaintops, it displays a perfect setting to tear up at 180 mph. The famous Motorstorm crashes aren't quite as impressive as on the Playstation 3, since you won't see debris flying accross the snow, but even without a lot of vehicle damage, Arctic Edge looks like one of the best games you can hold in your hand at this current time. If the game isn't fun, at least it will be entertaining to look at.

With 24 vehicles from 8 different classes, the variety of the Motorstorm games hasn't been lost in transition to the smaller form. The classes include: bikes, snow machines, ATVs, buggies, rally cars, snow pluggers, big rigs, and snowcats. Each class offers a unique style of driving to be mastered. The big rigs will be slow, but strong. The snowmachines will be agile, but slippery. The bikes will be vulnerable, but a blur on the course. On top of offering a different way to play the game, all the vehicles appearances are customizable body kits, sponsor stickers, exhausts and spoilers.

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge Review

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge also offers 12 different racing tracks. This is a sufficient number of individual courses, which can be conquered in many ways with all of the short cuts and jumps that can be taken, and this number doubles to 24 when you include the option to race on all of these courses reversed. The tracks were all well designed and feel significantly different from others. They also come into play when you consider the strategic aspect of the game. If you can find areas with lots of snow or water, it will keep your vehicle cool and allow you to boost more frequently and make your boost meter deplete more quickly. The snowy land of Alaska also can alter your racing, with hazards such as avalanches getting in your path and forcing you to change your route, unless you happen to be driving a heavy vehicle.

Even the main career mode hasn't been sacrificed. Festival (as it's called here) allows you to compete with offline racers in over 100 events. As you work your way to become deeper and deeper into the festival, the difficulty begins to ramp up. While the first handful of races will be a breeze for most players, the later events can be pretty tough. The opponents are aggressive, and it will take some intelligence of tracks and vehicles, as well as a little bit of luck to overcome the obstacles. All in all it's good fun and the festival mode will give you a lot to do. Even when you're finished with the career mode, it's not time to put away the game. There are time attack challenges, quick races, and even online with up to six users in a race.

The racing itself is fast-paced and action packed. The arctic setting delivers a breath of fresh air compared to most of the other racing games that are currently avaiable. Though slightly smaller in scale, the overall feel is almost exactly like what you'll see running on a PS3 with either the original Motorstorm or Pacific Rift. The unique vehicle classes also add to the adventure of being able to fine tune your racing skills to perfect the feeling of all 8 classes. Managing your boost and discovering the fastest route in each course, all while trying not to trigger one of the famous crash cutscenes, is just part of what has made the Motorstorm series so fun.

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge Review

If you can get it to work, online play with five other real drivers increases the enjoyment to be had. However, many people have been reporting that the online play doesn't work for them. From my personal experience, it was working for the majority of the time, though I had a good amount of instances where I just couldn't connect. When I did get in, play was smooth and just as good as offline. It's pretty standard, and doesn't try anything that hasn't been done before, but you can't expect to get much more than a simple quick race for a PSP game. If your local friends pick up a copy, you can also play via ad-hoc with them.

If you're looking for another racer to add to your PSP library, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge isn't a bad choice. The core racing action is some of the best avaiable on the device, with plenty of variety in tracks and vehicles. The festival mode will keep you busy for a good time, and when you're through there is online multiplayer available (for those who get it to function properly). Arctic Edge successfully brought the full console experience of Motorstorm to the PSP without really having to cut any corners, and that's a great accomplishment. But that's also what's been the problem with so many PSP games so far. Instead of making use of the system's capabilities to create something new, there have been toned down experiences of bigger versions. If you aren't looking for anything more than a good racing game for the go, than this Motorstorm is worth while. But if you're looking for something more, you may want to sit this one out, or just go pick up Pacific Rift if you happen to own a PS3.

Logan Smithson, Noobfeed

comments powered by Disqus

  • Great, informative review. Sounds decent but not anything worth getting a PSP for. I'm interested in this Motorstorm series though, would you say Pacific Rift is worth getting? Maybe when the price drops Ill get it.

    Oh and do you think your ever gonna do video reviews with these written ones? 

    Posted Feb 10, 2010

  • Somewhere down the road, I'd like to eventually do video reviews. I need a good mic and something to record gameplay with though.

    Posted Feb 10, 2010
  • avatar 313

    Those graphics do look pretty good and that's only screenshots. I would like to see it in motion.

    Posted Feb 21, 2010

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