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Raging Thunder 2 Review: So Close, Yet so Far

Racing is the most crowded genre in the App Store, with releases of Asphalt 5, Asphalt 4, Raging Thunder, NFS Undercover, and so on and so forth.  But one thing we know as fact: this rain of racing games will never stop.  There will be sequels, all new games, and other types of interesting racing games that will appear on the App Store, and Raging Thunder just happens to be yet another racing game.

Personally, I love racing games.  I play a lot of racing games on the Xbox 360, such as PGR Gotham Racing, and I never seem to tire of them.  And while the iPhone has a select few that I quite enjoyed, Raging Thunder 2 seems to be smack dab in the middle.  Everything is present, from the cars to the powerups, but the difficulty seems to be the factor that’s holding this game back.

And while the difficulty needs some tweaking, there’s that x-factor that keeps me coming back for more.

Likes

Speed: The sense of speed is wonderful, and while it’s not as good as Fastlane Street Racing, it’s still enough to make you feel like you’re going full throttle.  The sense of speed here is perfect though, and I felt quite at home while driving my unknown vehicle.

AI: This is one of the best AI I’ve seen in a racing game, and they actually attack you.  They ACTUALLY tackle you.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when the AI actually took my car out of the race for a few seconds, and throughout the race, they were neck and neck.  While this does attribute to the difficulty, I believe that Polarbit built quite an AI here; one that I was impressed with.

Bang for the Buck: There are a total of 6 game modes, with 4 being actual variations to the gameplay.  Along with that, the career mode has enough content to justify the $4.99 price tag.  And with online multiplayer included, I think it can be justified that Raging Thunder 2 is well worth the price.

Dislikes

Control Options: It would have been nice to include some touch controls, as that’s the method I usually prefer.  Tilt controls work well though; it just would have been nice for some more options.

Difficulty: Some people may find this game a little too difficult.  I know that when I was starting the game, the first cup was extremely difficult for me pass, and I had trouble motivating myself to keep playing.  Of course, once I started to learn the flow of the game, beating each level was quite easy.  But still, these cars will be neck and neck with you throughout the entire race, and some may find it difficult to keep keeping on.

Multiplayer: Multiplayer was smooth, smooth as can be.  So what exactly is wrong with it?  Well, for one, there’s no point to it.  There’s no keeping track of your record, how many times you win or lose, and it’s only one track (from what I can see).  The multiplayer is smooth and all, but it’s sorely lacking when it comes to competitiveness and online multiplayer game modes.  Don’t depend on the multiplayer to be phenomenal, because well, it’s one of the worst multiplayer experiences I’ve ever played.

While Raging Thunder 2 has its flaws, it’s still one of the best arcade racers on the iPhone.  I can’t recommend it to everyone as it is quite difficult at times, but I must say that I was more impressed by it than Asphalt 5.  Polarbit did a solid job of bringing Raging Thunder 2 to the App Store, and I’m more than happy with it.

Raging Thunder 2 was developed by Polarbit, and I played through version 1.0.2 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99, and there is a lite version available.