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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)
Developed by: Sidhe Interactive
Genre: Racing Action
Players: 1-4
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and Up)
Release Date: January 4, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Every once in awhile, you will see a console game making itís way to handhelds systems, including the likes of Dragon Quest, Ninja Gaiden, and even Final Fantasy. But seldom do you see handheld titles making their way to consoles, and this is the case with Gripshift for the PSP. This was a very unique racer, which combined several elements from racing, platforming, car combat and puzzles titles into one intense action-packed title. What also made this game unique is that no matter if you are a season veteran or a rookie, this title will give you an in-depth challenge that you must overcome. Now on the PS3, the real question is does this title stack up to the PSP counterpart?

Those who couldnít get enough of the PSP version will love to know that the PS3 version is pretty much the exact same title. Starting out in the game, you have your pick of four drivers and four cars. While each carís stats are different, they all pretty much bounce, slide, and peel out on the various tracks. One thing you will notice is that the stats are a lot more simplified primarily because they didnít affect gameplay in anyway, so Sidhe Interactive decided to remove them. This move is both good and bad for the experience. Itís bad in the since that you canít distinguish between the various cars, but on the good side, you are allowed to defy gravity and physics to pull off various maneuvers in order to cross the finish line ahead of the competition. A nice addition to the controls is the use of the SIXAXIS technology in combination with the analog stick to make controlling the cars much easier.

In-depth gameplay is an understatement when you actually get into the heart of the title. The PS3 version now features more than 125 tracks across four grand worlds, which are full of wild and crazy jumps, hazards, massive loops, moving platforms, etc. Within each level, you will be given one of three different objectives to complete. Completing one of the objectives, if not all, will yield you credits which can be used to acquire various enhancements like skins and decals, music, new cars and drivers, and even a few mini-games.

For those wanting a little more out of the game beyond the challenge mode can enjoy the action within the race mode. Within this mode, you have access to single races, timed challenges, practice mode and even a championship series. Time challenges are simply and straight forward, but thereís a twist to the single and championship races. Within these races, you can race up to three computer opponents equipped with enough fire power to put a whole in your ride.

Just like the PSP version, Gripshift on the PS3 boast visuals that are immersive, yet easy on the eyes. I believe we can all say that this version is indeed sharper than the PSP version, but considering the PS3ís capabilities, there isnít a leap in graphics that we would expect from the console. Every car model and level has received a few visual enhancements, taking the MC Escher-like stages and cartoon-like driving to the next level.

The controls for the most part are similar to the PSP setup, but the difference comes within the use of the SIXAXIS controller to control the tilting of your car as itís airborne. While a novelty addition to the controls, the SIXAXIS motion feature isnít all that itís cracked up to be. You arenít allowed to drive around the various tracks via the motion sensoring. In regards to the sound, you definitely will notice a increase in soundtracks included within the game, having a large emphasis on techno beats, which is sure to keep you grooving.

Looking at the overall picture, this title looks to a long uphill battle, but for those who finish off the title, thereís nothing else to really do. Developers decided to leave the most important element out of the game as it made its transition from the PSP to the PS3. The track editor was a vital part to the success of the PSP version, but for some reason it was left out of the PS3 version. Considering what the Playstation Network is capable of, this mode could have been used for gamers to create their own unique track, and then upload it for others to compete on, adding a whole new level of depth to the title. Because of this, gamers are left to race the tracks that are built into the game and nothing else.

Thereís also a multiplayer mode that allows you to race up to three other opponents for some intense action. While this is great when you have your buddies over, thereís nothing to really gain by playing the mode.

For those who have played the PSP version, thereís nothing really new to the Playstation 3 version. For those new to the title, you will love 125+ levels of excitement. This version boasts some sharper textures and a beefed up soundtrack, but if youíre not really into techno music, it can get a bit annoying to hear over and over and over. The title is still worth playing, but if you have access to the PSP version, I would suggest sticking with that version of the title.


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