First things first, this post was supposed to be ready on Sunday. I had the perfect plan: a lazy weekend spent doing nothing but playing video games, enjoy one of the few days of good weather here in New Delhi, and pig out on some decent, unhealthy fast food. It has been far too long since I did something purely out of self-interest like that.
Thanks, Gameloft. You ruined it.
Fact is, I really wanted to play Asphalt 8. Most Gameloft games just suck, but they usually manage to do a decent job with the Asphalt franchise. Based on what we saw at the new Nexus 7 launch, I was genuinely excited.
In a lot of ways, the game lived up to my expectations. The visuals are really, really good, and the Asphalt series is one of the rare mobile games to feature half-decent music. It’s not memorable, like Test Drive 6’s “Leave You Far Behind” by Lunatic Calm, but it isn’t cringeworthy.
The tracks are really good, with each offering their own unique challenges and visuals. I particularly love the hot-air balloons that you can see at the starting line of Iceland. This is a game that you would enjoy hooking up to your TV with HDMI out, and playing with a controller like Moga (it is also NVIDIA Shield compatible). And for the first time ever, I found a racing game whose on-screen steering wheel control didn’t suck.
Unfortunately, I’d love to have played the game some more to be able to say more good stuff about it, but…
The number of times this game crashed on me is INSANE. It’s not a common issue, though I saw a thread or two about it online, so I was under the impression that it had to do with the ROM my HTC One X is running. Before giving up, I decided to check the log and it appeared that the game had some sort of network issues which were causing the game to crash. Switching off my WiFi and mobile data solved the issue, but it also meant I wasn’t able to try their multiplayer offerings which I really wanted to.
Even worse than that is that when my game was interrupted by a call, it wouldn’t save state. I had to completely relaunch Asphalt 8 a few times, which, let’s face it, is really inconvenient.
On the whole
I would rather play EA’s Real Racing 3 than Asphalt 8. I prefer Real Racing’s gameplay, the lack of Nitrous boosts and takedowns and all the extraneous stuff. Real Racing is far more challenging, and I enjoy that.
But, I’m still quite confident most people would rather play Asphalt. It’s a better “casual” racing game, and you don’t have to bother about the time repairs and upgrades take in Real Racing (which I use to my benefit to limit how much time I actually spend playing games). Asphalt 8 also costs only a dollar, so if you enjoyed the older games in the series or want to play it for the first time, there’s no reason not to. However, there might be a few disappointments in the overall experience.
To download Asphalt 8, head over to Google Play.