Asphalt 4 was arguably one of the best racing games of its time, and when it was first released, my heart just stopped. Back then, I knew little of iPhone gaming sites such as NoDPad.com, and I only found new games through the Top 100 Games chart in iTunes. After I bought Asphalt 4, I played for tons and tons of hours to finally beat the game once and for all. Of course, some people may disagree with my opinion on the game Asphalt 4, but for me, that was probably the next best racing game to Need for Speed.
Gameloft has since then released Asphalt 5 for the iPhone, a sequel to one of my favorite arcade racers on the iPhone. Of course, sequels aren’t always better, and most of them tend to be worse. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Asphalt 5 as it improves on the graphics, controls, and almost every area of the version before. While difficulty could be tuned down a bit, Asphalt 5 is a racing game you should definitely look into.
Graphics: I can tell you now that the screenshots in iTunes are 100% real (except for the one with the green Lamborghini). I’m not sure if some of you are non-believers and whatnot, but the graphics in Asphalt 5 are outstanding. For now, I would say they are on par or slightly better than Need for Speed: Undercover, and it seems as if these graphics are the limit for an iPhone racing game.
Content: Gameloft seems to do a great job in providing tons and tons of content for both their sports and racing titles. Asphalt 5 isn’t exempt from that list, and you’ll be playing this one for hours on end. It does start to get slightly repetitive, but Asphalt 5 does feature around 7-8 hours of gameplay. With the inclusion of online multiplayer, replayability shouldn’t be a concern for most.
Design: Gameloft games feature some of the best design, and Asphalt 5 is definitely one of Gameloft’s more well-designed games. The UI is very elegant, response is adequate, and the overall look and feel is very well done. The custom-designed music player also looks very nice, and while most of the in-game music players from Gameloft are custom-made, most of them don’t work. Gameloft did a great job with designing everything, and quality can definitely be seen.
Difficulty: Elimination modes are impossible, some modes will leave you frustrated. It’s pretty plain and simple, and when I’m racing in Asphalt 5, I tend to stay clear of the cop chase gameplay mode. The game just becomes way too difficult to be any fun, and it’s really just unnecessary. While it would be nice for Gameloft to fix the difficulty, I’m not sure there will be an update anytime soon.
The difficulty is way too much, even for racing veterans as myself. Please fix the difficulty in the elimination modes, and better yet, maybe even all the gameplay modes. Gameplay balancing is definitely something that’s missing in this racing game, and beginners will start to feel the rollercoaster after playing for a couple of minutes.
Asphalt 5 is a solid sequel to Asphalt 4, but flaws are still prevalent. Difficulty, for one, is a major issue I found with Asphalt 5, and while it wasn’t a huge downfall, it may be enough for some to just quit. Other than that, Asphalt 5 is a major improvement in almost all areas including presentation, content, and multiplayer. Through my short testings of online multiplayer, I found it to be quite smooth with little to no lag versus the horrendous lag found in Real Soccer 2010.