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Metacritic Game Reviews, Asphalt 4: Elite Racing for DS, [DSiWare] For the racing elite, the world is their racetrack. Choose among 28 dream cars and motorcycles from the world's most prestigio.
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The selection of DSiWare has yet to live up to the WiiWare library, so when a game breaks through that offers a real value for your points, it's hard not to be pleased. Gameloft's, a port of their successful iPhone racer, is a solid driving game for the DS that holds it own against full-priced games. Is it as good as the iPhone version of the game? The visuals have been scaled back, the audio is lacking, and the multiplayer is stingy thanks to a lack of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support. However, what it does offer is a fast racer with good controls and a lot of real world rides that are well beyond the pocketbook of 99.9-percent of us. 's garage is loaded with some incredible wheels from top manufactures such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW, and Lotus. The cars look very much like the real deal, right down to the detailing.
(They do not take visible damage, though, so you might think they are all constructed out of titanium.) Each car handles differently and so as you make your way up through the racing ranks, you will be encouraged to buy newer cars with beefier top speeds, acceleration, and handling with your winnings. You can also customize each car to your liking with your hard-enough cash. The races unfold across the globe in major metros like Paris, Monte Carlo, Shanghai, Los Angeles, New York, and Dubai.
The tracks are well designed for the cars. The lanes are wide enough for lots of passing opportunities, which is necessary to rocket to the lead in straight races or duels. There are multiple race modes in Asphalt 4, including the aforementioned events as well as cop car pursuits and cash attacks where you roar through dollar symbols to seize the top purse. Nobody can ever disparage Asphalt 4 for not offering a very full package for the meager 800 points. There are several hours of game in here thanks to the multitude of cars, events, and locations. Don't bother trying to race with the touch wheel. Use the d-pad.
Nor can many complaints be lodged against the d-pad controls. I am used to playing Asphalt 4 with tilt controls on the iPhone, but the DS d-pad is a welcome substitute. Throwing your car into a drift is much easier here than it is in the iPhone version. There really is something about physical buttons that cannot be denied -- they provide precision and accuracy. The touch screen controls offers here are far, far inferior. Manipulating that tiny virtual steering wheel on the bottom screen while trying to accelerate and brake is painfully obtuse. Gameloft has also included some motorcycles, but they do not exactly fit in the game.
For example, good luck pulling off an effective drift with a Kawasaki. You really are better off sticking to the cars. Though the game is a step down in visuals from the iPhone, it is still an attractive racer. As mentioned, the car models are good and the track backdrops are bright and colorful if not exactly sharp.
However, the DSi version of the game includes camera support. You can snap photos of yourself, friends, pets, or whatever and use them in the game for profile pics or even as billboards. That's a nice touch. The multiplayer in Asphalt 4 is disappointing, though. Sadly, there is no online support.
You can only race via other nearby players through a wireless DSi-to-DSi connection. It's too bad there is no Wi-Fi Connection support, because it would have rocketed Asphalt 4 to the front of the pack.