Posts tagged rally master
This is where damage becomes an issue. I started the fourth stage of the Pro rally with my car’s health at 74%.
It’s a twisty, turny track with lots of rocky outcroppings. I didn’t crash very often, but I kept scraping the sides and doing enough damage that my car simply wasn’t fast enough to win the stage. I’d make the best time over the first half of the course, but then would lose time over the second half because my car simply wasn’t up to it.
Eventually, though, I did manage to win. Only by 0.04 of a second, but a win’s a win. It felt very good indeed.
Unfortunately, I forgot how the repair mini game worked and did so poorly that my car’s going into the next stage at only 78% health. With two more stages to go before I can repair again, I think I’m done for and I’m going to have to restart the Pro rally over.
I think my complaints about not being able to feel the road surface may have been a little off. Certainly, when it’s raining and I turn a corner and see the smooth tarmac change to rough dirt the panic I feel must come from somewhere.
This is a very, very good game, overall. I’m playing the Professional difficulty now and it’s a good step up over Amateur without being too difficult. Perfect runs aren’t required, but you do need to do well and get through without any major crashes or scrapes.
The framerate does seem a little iffy at times, but I’ve not yet found it to be a problem. If I’d paid twenty quid for it we might be having words, but the £3.99 price tag helps to highlight the good and downplay the bad. I’m not making any allowances for it being on a phone -by now, the iPhone deserves to be treated as a proper portable games console – but I will make allowances for the price.
Oooh, it’s got “3D” in the name! It must be good! Well, yes, actually, it is. There was some price-related controversy when this was released earlier in the week. The US price was lower than you’d expect, given the European pricing, and the Internet (well, some moaning buggers on Touch Arcade – of which I was one, yes) started complaining about the unfairness of it all. The developer explained that the price difference was because they thought the US price should be lower as they’re not traditionally fans of rally games, but then lowered the European price to match the US price, anyway. As one of the moaners, I pretty much had to buy the game when the price came down, so as not to be any more of an appalling hypocrite than I normally am.
So, last night the game showed up as £3.99 and I downloaded it. Luckily, yes, it’s really rather good. A lot of people haven’t got on with the default controls, but I’ve found no need to change them as yet. I’m quite happy to throw my car around corners by tilting the device and I don’t have any issues. As the difficulty steps up I might feel the need to try out different control schemes to try to shave half a second off my time here and there, but we’ll see.
Anyway, it plays well. It reminds me of the PSP version of Sega Rally in that, with sound turned off, there’s an odd disconnect between your car and the road surface. When you’ve got sound on, the noise of your tyres really helps sell the feeling that you’re on the road, when playing in silence it almost feels like you’re driving a Wipeout-style hover ship at times. As I say, that’s not unusual for games of this time on handhelds it doesn’t particularly hurt my enjoyment of the game.
Everything else is spot on. The graphics are good, with pop up limited to objects a fair way off in the distance, the sense of speed when using the bonnet-cam is great, the short tracks work for a mobile game and there’s a decent, if simple, damage system. Rather than having zones that can be damaged, such as your engine or tyres, you have an overall damage level that affects your top speed. After every other stage you can play simple little mini games to repair the damage – or just let your mechanics do all the work if you’d prefer to avoid them.
Overall, it’s a simple, fun mobile rally game and certainly up there with the best racing games on the system. Just a little hint of 4×4 Jam’s feeling of a real connection with the ground beneath your wheels wouldn’t go amiss. A sequel that did that and featured proper location-based damage would be a glorious thing indeed, but given the developer’s (understandable) reaction to the pricing controversy and piracy rates I won’t be holding my breath.