Gaming on portable gadgets is in vogue, thanks to the iPhone, iPod Touch, Gaming on the move has new dimension.
Racing has been one genre, which has seen two big Titles on iPhone: Need For Speed Undercover and Real Racing. Here comes the third that beats Real racing in gameplay and holds right beside NFS in the fun. Asphalt 5 is simply an adrenaline rush in your iPhone. On the fun meter, Asphalt 5 definitely delivers with strong sense of speed. But, while the game delivers a solid overall racing experience with a good amount of content and responsive controls, the graphics and animation do keep it bit below NFS and Real racing.
If we look back, we loved Asphalt 4 for: A dozen locations, each with four different events — Normal races, one-on-one duels, and races where the real goal is to power-slide a lot, or rack up money by causing damage or driving dangerously close to traffic. It was all fun, the tilt controls are responsive and the excellent graphics fly by at a nice frame rate.
And now Asphalt 5 looks much, much nicer than Asphalt 4.
Even though they may not be the smoothest (on a 2G iPod iPhone 2G, 3G) on the platform, they do pop off the screen, which makes a difference when you’re careening through tracks and dealing with oncoming traffic from all sides. Unless you own iPhone 3GS, you won’t see the smoothness and the Real quality riven by OpenGL.
The Details are great but more arcade style than real. Whether racing through snow-covered freeways, mud soaked roads, or the darkness of night, the details are everywhere. From the signs on storefronts to damage on vehicles, Gameloft has definitely spent a good deal of development creating an arcade experience with good degree of visuals. The bundled soundtracks are tolerable, although you can play your own music too.
Asphalt 5 has three game modes: Single Race, Career and Local/Online Multiplayer. For many, Single Race will be the first taste of Asphalt 5 which provides a quick multi-lap race through the track of your choosing. While Single Race provides a good setting to practice driving skills, winning doesn’t unlock new tracks or earn money.
Online multiplayer provides a number of options which includes competing against up to six players in a single race. In our brief time with the game, the online experience was smooth with minimal performance issues, and joining or hosting a race is relatively easy.
Cash can be used to upgrade vehicles in three areas: engine, handling and boost. And you’ll find there are numerous other ways to customize your vehicle. For example, paint jobs can be altered using the color slider and decals can be applied. Earning cash goes beyond winning races although that’s a big part of it. Cash is also earned by collecting tokens on the roadway, near misses with other vehicles, drifting, jumping, and eliminations.
Asphalt 5 provides a responsive set of controls, and in general, the handling is highly accurate. The game consists of three types of controls: wheel, screen tap, and accelerometer. Choosing the accelerometer controls allows you to turn on/off auto acceleration. Of the three, the accelerometer feels the most natural with screen tapping the most awkward. With auto acceleration turned off, a brake pad appears, although I rarely used my brakes except when wanting score style points for drifting.
The Physics are mega-arcadey, but they are justified. And the graphics are simply gorgeous. There’s a lot of fun to be had in here if you can figure out the trick to beating the Elimination events, but we just worry that not enough players will get to enjoy the entire game.
Overall, Asphalt 5 definitely delivers on the fun meter. The controls and content really makes this a racer accessible to everyone. Aside from the middling (though acceptable) framerate on earlier generation devices, Asphalt 5 is solid arcade racer with quality graphics. With a variety of different races, a relatively balanced AI, online multiplayer and a great feeling of speed, Asphalt 5 comes highly recommended.
Watch the hands-on Video