Opinion: Gameloft Strikes Out with Asphalt Street Storm Racing
The Asphalt series has been a staple in the racing genre since its first incarnation all the way back in 2004 — I still remember buying it for my newly-obtained Nintendo DS. It warms my heart to see that, after all this time, Gameloft continues to produce mobile Asphalt games, releasing the latest for Android today. Unfortunately, that's about all Gameloft has taken from its previous efforts. To be frank, this game ain't good.
Strangely, Gameloft makes you enter your age and gender before "agreeing" to sign up to play the game. Look, I don't want any trouble, Gameloft. I just want to do some racing, not sign my life away.
Things have clearly changed since the days of the Nintendo DS. Unlike 2004, money is no barrier between you and obtaining the game. Street Storm Racing is free to download and play.
Of course, nothing in life is free. In-app purchases are available to players, ranging from inoffensive $0.99 transactions to a whopping $99.99 feature. Nintendo DS games were $29.99 back in 2004, so while I appreciate the option to play for free, what feature could be worth three times the cost of the original Asphalt game?
The gameplay is ... disappointing, at least to anyone hoping to, you know, control the car. This isn't a racing game so much as a gear-shifting one, because that's all you do — shift gears at the optimal time to go as fast as possible.
Of course, all of the plagues of mobile gaming are here. Frequent, necessary upgrades, wait-times for those upgrades, gems to spend on those upgrades ... so original.
The more you play, the more things require in-game payment. Upgrades, wait-times, four-player races ... it becomes more apparent as time goes on that this isn't a game — it's a shameless money-making scheme.
What happened, Gameloft?! You used to make racing games. You know, rounding tight corners, using speed boosts to blast past your opponents, knowing when to drift ...
How did we go from this:
It's. So. Boring.
You know, I'd be a bit more worried about people losing their money to in-app purchases if the gameplay were even remotely addicting. You want my advice? Skip this one. Your wallet — and your sanity — will thank you.