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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Asphalt 4: Elite Racing"

CHIBA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 24:  President and CEO ...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeGameloft has been doing the Asphalt series for the mobile phones for a while. The latest version just hit the phones, and features hot cars such as the Nissan GT-R and the Bugatti Veyron. Is the game any good? Or was an an also-ran? It's a bit of both.

Asphalt series has always relied a bit on those "nitro boosts", and this game seems more than ever to be reliant upon them. You'll be going so fast as to reach the realm of ridiculous. Do you believe that the Bugatti Veyron can reach 318 MPH when upgraded? Well, in this game it would, on a "public road", no less!

Asphalt Series has always offered a variety of game modes, but they are always spread across the world in various locations. Here's a summary of what the game offers:

Normal racing: race 8 cars and you must finish in the top 3. (HINT: save the nitro toward the end, and drift around corners as much as possible to get more boost)
Beat-em-all: crash your opponents, or police car chasing you, as many as possible (HINT: it's easier crashing the police cars that come along than chasing down your opponents)
Cop Chase: chase a specific opponent and crash him (HINT: watch the symbol closely, you may not need to go all the way to end of the line, two-wheeler may be easier)
Duel: Catch your opponent and pass him. The more you bet, the more police presence (HINT: bet maximum and take the cop girl with you, and save boost for final lap)
Time attack: Go as fast as you can, hitting barriers will get you time penalties (HINT: very difficult, play it a few times and remember the pattern, two-wheeler maybe easier)
Drift: Drift for as much and as long as possible (HINT: Use a slow car with NO upgrades, like the Mini Cooper, and hit the brakes. Mini will go up to 100+ if you let it, try to stay at about 80 or so and you'll drift longer and harder)

Each world location features 5 events, and not all events are available all the time. As you win, you gain 'reputation points', and as you accumulate those, you unlock "levels" and thus additional cars, upgrades, and more race venues. Those with untried venues are highlighted, but not those with "incomplete" venues (i.e. you've tried it, but you haven't succeeded finishing or in top 3). Thus, the display is messier than it could be.

The car selection is certainly eclectic. Your first vehicle is the Mini Cooper, then the Nissan GT-R, THEN the BMW M3, THEN the Corvette ZR-1. Then comes a Ducati M696, a two-wheeler. Then comes the Aston Martin DBS, the RUF RGT (an upgraded Porsche 911), The Ferrari F430 Spider, the Bugatti Veyron, and finally, the Ducati 1098, the other two-wheeler. And yes, you can "drift" in a two-wheeler as well.

The game never really featured true 3D, but rather, it's a very well-done 2.5D similar to Outrun series. However, the engine is very fast and the illusion of speed is good... at least until when you realize that you're car is drifting, going a bit sideways, but the nitro 'flame' out the back is still straight!

Asphalt series have also featured "girls", and this is no exception... Again, they fall into the three archetypes... mechanic (gives full nitro at beginning), cop (no 'busted' penalty if stopped by cops), and reporter (bonus 20% reputation points when you win).

As you race, you start to accumulate police attention, as you've been speeding a lot, or crashing civilian cars. Your "wanted" meter will go up and up. When it's full, Police start to chase you. Police cars are VERY fast and will catch up to you, and they even have helicopters that can keep up with these super cars (think about how fast most choppers go), and they will run roadblocks. If you crash, they've got you and will fine you big unless you have the cop lady along for the ride. However, you are allowed to just get back on the road and keep going. Just remember, you still have to finish the race.

The game does get a bit repetitive, but there are on-track bonus items like extra boost, extra cash, police stars (resets your WANTED meter), and so on as well as light poles, traffic signal posts, other cars, barriers, and so on in your way. Some can be bulled through with extra amount of boost. You can stack 3 boosts at a time (i.e. use 3 nitro charges, giving your car red, then blue, then purple "nitro flame" out the exhaust) and get extra amount of speed, respectively. At the triple boost speed, you can even crash into stationary police cars and not be stopped. But that uses up a LOT of boost. So it manages to give you both a bit of the "chase" adrenaline as well as the "race" urgency.

All vehicle can be upgraded in terms of tires, brakes, engine, nitro package, transmission, suspension, and so on and so forth. It's a long list, and each has 3 upgrade stages (total of 4 items) of different costs. Money is NEVER a subject as your winnings VASTLY outpace your expenditures, even when you acquire new cars. Unfortunately, there are only 4 colors for each car available.

All in all, Asphalt Racing 4 is a pretty good addition to the family, but it doesn't really bring much 'new'. The variety of game modes should keep you entertained, but the "twitch gaming" may leave you yearning for something more... precise, like WRC driving of WRC3D. Though if you want to "drive" exotic cars on a mobile phone, Asphalt 4 does deliver.

Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10
Pros: exotic cars, lots of nitro, exotic locations, girls
Cons: nothing really new, some modes EXTREMELY hard, some ridiculous speeds

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