AiRace Speed Review: The Need For Speed
Few games can capture the thrill of racing at breakneck speeds perfectly. Zooming around a racetrack and timing your movements just right, narrowly missing obstacles in an effort to get faster and better times all while never letting off of the accelerator makes for some truly exciting racing experiences. AiRace Speed for the Nintendo 3DS is such a game, consisting of time trials and endurance races that test your reflexes and your willingness to put the pedal to the metal at the risk of crashing and losing that perfect run.
AiRace Speed, developed by Qubic Games, sees you racing through 18 different levels with various goals attached to them. For the most part, all you have to do is reach the goal in as little of time as possible. There are no rival racers who can get in your way. There are, however, tons of beams, half walls, pistons, and other obstacles that result in instant death should you collide with them head on. Your vehicle, a super fast futuristic racing ship, has full 3D movement, and the flying in the game feels great…for the most part. The controls are incredibly responsive, allowing you to react at a moment’s notice. However, sharply turning when you really need to can prove to be a difficult task. There are no power-ups to pick up, and controls are limited to movement, an infinite-use turbo boost, brakes, and tilting sideways in order to fit through narrow paths. Overall, the levels are well designed and challenging with branching pathways leading to various shortcuts. I really enjoy the rollercoaster-like effect the game has when you enter a tight tunnel that twists, turns, and bends all while throwing hazards your way. I often found myself holding down on the turbo button because I just found the sense of speed so damn fun, regardless of the fact that I needed to slow down considerably in order to dodge obstacles. Crashing in AiRace Speed amounts to just a small setback, sending you back to the last checkpoint you reached and adding three seconds to your overall time. I found it really tough to survive any level without dying, resigning myself to just accepting the three second penalty. The graphics are nothing too exciting. The ships themselves look alright but the environments looking a little bland. Nothing save for a few rooms stuck out to me visually. Then again when you’re racing by these areas at top speed you don’t have much time to take in the scenery. The 3D effects are a nice touch but they aren’t necessary. The one thing about AiRace Speed that let me down was that you cannot choose your ship. Each level forces you to use a specific ship, which is kind of a letdown. I would have really like to unlock new ships with different strengths and weaknesses.
AiRace Speed is a game that does exactly what it sets out to do: Provide you with high speed thrills and challenging trials. In a world where Nintendo fans are eagerly awaiting a new F-Zero game, AiRace Speed fills that void quite well, and at an incredibly reasonable $4.99 price tag. You’d be hard pressed to find a better 3DS racing game on the eShop or at retail. There are some bumps along the road, but AiRace Speed stays on track giving gamers a ton of action, excitement, and speed in a small package.