Asphalt 3D

Asphalt 3D Review for 3DS

On: 3DS

The most renowned handheld racing series on handheld devices breaks through the 3rd dimension on 3DS.

Review Verdict Read Review
4Out of 10
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Asphalt 3D screenshot
Asphalt 3D screenshot

Ridge Racer 3D isn't a tremendous game, but in comparison to Asphalt 3D it's a masterpiece. Whereas Namco's game nails the arcade handling model, this Ubisoft launch title feels like a racing game for beginners, rushed out for the launch of the handheld. There's plenty of content here and the 3D is at times decent, but I'd be surprised if a ropier game hits the 3DS this year.

Asphalt 3D had the potential to be good fun. It's an arcade racer at heart, with elements of Burnout thrown in, meaning you can take down rival racers and other cars driving around the city tracks. The more carnage you cause the higher your Wanted level becomes, in turn increasing the number of cops on your tail. It sounds good on paper, but in-game this rough and tumble gameplay falls down due to horrible collision detection and the most basic of handling models that asks almost nothing of the player. You could probably win a lot of races here by simply having working eyes.

Power-ups litter the tracks, coming in big and small varieties. N20 pick-ups fill up your nitrous gauge, which can either be used in bursts or in one hyper boost that brings with it a fancy Tron-like graphical effect. Money pick-ups, quite obviously give you cash, while Repair pick-ups fix dents and scrapes on your car. Sadly the big power-up icons often obscure your view of the track and any oncoming traffic, resulting in some unwanted collisions.

To get the best 3D effect Asphalt should be played from the bonnet-cam, but from this view the game is almost laughably ugly. Other cars appear to be flying around the tracks, with no obvious connection to the tarmac; it's possible to drive straight through opponents despite the game realising you've hit them; and you'll nudge other cars even though they appear some distance away.

Asphalt 3D screenshot

A painfully slow frame rate only serves to make Asphalt 3D an even more unpleasant racing experience. Some juddering now and again would have been tolerable, but here the game is never smooth and at times chugs so much you'd be forgiven for thinking you're playing an early alpha version. There's also a hideous amount of pop-up, with huge chunks of scenery and trackside detail appearing from nowhere.

All of these problems make the substantial content on offer somewhat redundant. Yes, there are 17 tracks, more than 40 licensed vehicles and 70 race events, but it all counts for toffee when all you'll want to do is let out a heavy sigh while wishing you'd bought Ridge Racer 3D instead. There's far more variety to the gameplay here than in Namco's racer, with eight different event types, but I'd still rather be powersliding around the same track in Ridge Racer than doing anything in Asphalt.

Launch titles are often rushed and not representative of what the console can really do, but Asphalt is poor even by these lowered standards. Of all the early 3DS games I've played, this one is a dead cert to be filling bargain bins in a few weeks.

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User Comments


Got Ridge Racer and Super Monkey Ball in the end, as Game were doing £50 for both together, can trade in one for £35 by the end of next week to get Pilot Wings.
Posted 13:54 on 25 March 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ guyderman

It's not even a normal launch in that regard. Nintendo have said they're holding off on some key titles to give 3rd parties breathing space for a change. This has been a complaint about Nintendo for, what, 15 years now? They're just letting the 3rd parties have a chance, because if Zelda and Starfox made launch, then these other games simply wouldn't have sold.

Not that 7's are bad for launch titles. And yeah, Asphalt was never going to be as good as Ridge Racer.
Posted 11:26 on 25 March 2011
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ IndoorHeroes

It's always like this on launch though - a couple of months and the quality should be shining through!
Posted 11:10 on 25 March 2011
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


You can find links and scores for all the 3DS reviews here -

Nothing higher than a 7 yet but still a few more titles to go so stay tuned...
Posted 10:54 on 25 March 2011
guyderman's Avatar


Has there been a launch game that's scored higher than a 7 yet? Very disapointing so far!
Posted 10:18 on 25 March 2011
EverTheOptimist's Avatar


This is why I chose Ridge Racer.
Posted 09:43 on 25 March 2011

Game Stats

Asphalt 3D
Out of 10
Asphalt 3D
  • Lots of content
  • 3D can impress
  • Dreadful frame rate
  • Dodgy handling and collisions
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/03/2011
Platform: 3DS
Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Unknown
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 3,879 26
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