Review

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge

PSP Debut Skids On Ice
by Matthew Kato on Sep 30, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Bigbig Studios
Release:
Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: PSP
Also on: PlayStation 2

MotorStorm’s relocation to the arctic tundra keeps it mired in ice, as it doesn’t bring the franchise forward in any way. It does, however, present a good handheld version of the series’ fundamentals.

The big new feature in Arctic Edge is customized rides, but since the vehicles are already balanced by their class, these customizations are purely cosmetic. That being said, I was impressed with the options available, which reminded me of games like Pure or the MX vs. ATV series in that you’re changing the color and style of all kinds of parts, like sprockets, suspensions, and lights. There’s even a handy randomize feature.

These parts are awarded after races for a job well done, and the game also offers 50 in-game badges. These prizes, however, feel hollow after you’ve just completed another cookie-cutter race. Developer Bigbig Studios’ maps replicate the franchise’s classic style, with long courses, a contrast of high and low paths that suit different vehicle classes, and shortcuts. Arctic Edge introduces collapsible bridges and avalanches (initiated by the bigger vehicles), but these additions are not enough to take the game to that next level. If anything, I was surprised at how much I didn’t notice them. The steady diet of the same basic race type didn’t do anything to spice this game up either.

Arctic Edge looks good for MotorStorm’s first appearance on the PSP, but gone are the days when I can be impressed with simply squeezing down a console title intact onto a handheld. Let’s ask for more so we can get more.

7
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Game Informer's Review System
Concept You can now take MotorStorm with you where ever you go, but this game ultimately takes you in circles
Graphics The PSP’s small screen retains many of the series’ visual touches. It’s still small, however
Sound Soundtrack features Radiohead, Chemical Brothers, and Queens of the Stone Age. The game also has a custom soundtrack option
Playability Racing on the PSP is pretty smooth. Although the vehicle differences come through, the track terrain – whether on ice or not – largely feels the same
Entertainment This game may be based on a bunch of adrenaline-junkie racers, but my heart rate never did much. Has the series flatlined?
Replay Moderate