Motorstorm slaps on its snow tires for another off-road racing event in Arctic Edge. In the Alaskan terrain you will slip and slide through sub-zero conditions to become champion of the festival. If you thought the jungle was crazy, wait till you have to fight off an avalanche while jumping over broken ice-bridges. Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is the definition of extreme racing.
The famed Motorstorm festival has had enough of its tropical vacation and heads north to the harsh conditions of Alaska. Moving the racing enviorment from the warm tropical jungles to the unforgiven frozen landscape of Alaska is exactly what was needed for this PSP exclusive. In the arctic snow, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge feel fresh and unique from its big brother counterparts which important when dealing with its first portable edition. For all those who haven't tried the off-roading racer yet, I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you lock down for some wild Arctic racing.
"Arctic Edge is BigBig!"
In its third outing Evolution has hopped into the passenger’s seat as Sony has passed the wheel to Pursuit Force developer Bigbig. Given the past record of Bigbig's work on Pursuit Force, Sony made a smart choice with BigBig because both of the Pursuit Force games are excellent. Bigbig didn’t leave anything out, so for all those worried about the new developer tinkering under the hood, you can feel assured that this mechanic knows their way around the racing games, and the Playstation Portable.
"One Smooth Ride"
The most important factor of any racing game on the PSP is how does it play? The answer to this question is simple; Arctic Edge plays brilliantly. The controls are easy to learn, super smooth, feeling as natural as the PS3 edition. The analog nub and face buttons work great and you should have no problem adjusting to the portable platform. Even as aggressive as Motorstorm can get, you never feel out of control or tired of playing the game.
"Check-It, Graphics and Sound"
The graphics and sound are even more endearing as the widescreen unit looks great displaying the shrunken down racers. Up close the vehicle models aren’t as impressive as when the game is in full motion, however in the grand scheme of things, Arctic Edge looks great. It might not be as slick as the PS3 version, but for the PSP hardware Motorstorm stands out as another shinning example of great graphics and solid gameplay/framerate on the portable device. It’s doesn’t get much better than this and anyone who owns as PSP would be glad to show this one to all their friends.
The soundtrack and sounds in Arctic Edge are likely what you would expect. A lot of heavy metal, alternative rock and electronic tunes are cranked up to make the players adrenaline pump even faster. A few of the featured artists on the Motorstorm roster are “Bullet For My Valentine”, “The Chemical Brothers”, “The Prodigy”, “Motorhead”, “The Hives” and “Queens of the Stone Age”. The effects don’t really add-up that much, but they do a good enough job making every vehicle seems realistic. The ambiance isn’t amped up like the PS3 version of the game, but everything else is good enough to prove their point. All in all, the production values in Arctic Edge feel right on scale with the PS3 edition, if it had to be scaled down to fit on a single UMD.
"Tweleve Twisty Tracks"
Arctic Edge includes 12 race tracks that are all built around the location of the Alaskan slopes. This includes a lot of twists and turns, mile high jumps and dangerous hazardous terrain... a stand-out point in the Motorstorm series. In the arctic expect to deal with a lot more slippery patches then before with damaged bridges, lots of alternative roots and that's only the start. Distint to Arctic Edge you will have to deal with falling avalanches, bobsled tracks and other arctic themed dangers. Compared to the tropics in Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge is the perfect yin to its yang. Best yet, you can actually trigger an avalanche with your horn, maybe that’s the “Edge” in Arctic Edge that they are talking about?!
"Snow-- mobiles, pluggers, and Plows"
The career mode in Arctic Edge is similar to the other Motorstorm titles where you progress through various stages and unlock new events and vehicles accessories as you advance. The vehicles are customizable and can be dressed up however you would like. The vehicle classes in Arctic Edge include a few newbies like the Snowmobile, Snowplugger and Snowplow along with the normal Bikes, ATV, Cars, and Big Rigs. The new entries are a lot of fun and more than suiting for this terrain. The Snowmobile is a blast once you get the handling down, and the sheer image of racing a snowmobile beside bikes and big rigs is fairly amusing and a lot of fun to play.
In addition to the main festival route you can enter the “Wreckreation” mode and put you skills to the test. This mode includes a "Time Attack" mode spanning all the tracks with ghost support from your games, downloaded ghosts, and even the developers saved ghost runs. The other modes are Wreckreation is "Free-Play" selection and some great multiplayer. Thankfully Arctic Edge supports both Infrastructure and AdHoc modes so you can't complain about finding gamers to play with. Having the ability to head into online races is great and it’s nice to have another game that supports more than playing with people in the same room. To further this accomplishment there are online leaderboards to brag about, and no visible lag to worry about. That’s one big plus for all PSP owners.
"Take A Pic"
So Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is a pretty faimilar ride, however their is one unique feature to the PSP branded racer and is the ability to take pictures of during a race in the games Photo Mode. This is a nice little touch that can be saved for your own personal collection or sent out to your friends with PSPs to showcase your mad skills, or lack of... depending on the photo.
"Nothing to Report, Sir"
As for problems, Arctic Edge doesn’t have too many. You could point the questionable antics of the A.I. because at times it can be a little off kilter. Besides the A.I. some of the routes in the level can be hard to see on the small scale of the PSP. Trial and error makes for the best remedy for this situation, but it would have been nice if I never had to guess if a bridge was part of a wall, and vice versa. Thanks "Goldrush", I think I’ve hit the same mountain side ten times now. Aside from that, there is not much to report about... that's a good thing.
Motorstorm: Arctic Edge crashes into the PSP with stunning results. The gameplay isn’t anything more than the PS3 editions of the game, but it gives a good portable offering of its big brothers Motorstorm game. The framerate and graphics are solid, and they hold up online when you want to enjoy some infrastructure multiplayer gaming. The leaderboards and single player races will keep your interest longer than you would expect which makes Arctic Edge one of the top PSP picks of the year for racing fans. If you enjoy racing games then you should check out Arctic Edge immediately, its one of the best.
Gameplay:8.5, Graphics:8.5, Sound:7.0, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:9.0 Final: 8.0 / 10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 10.06.09