MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
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.