Burning Rubber

Based on the popular mobile Asphalt series, Asphalt: Injection looks to throw its hat into the ring of racing games at the launch of the PS Vita, but instead of having its competition eat its dust like hoped, it really has just been left behind at the starting line.

The game features your standard campaign mode where you attempt to beat computer controlled cars in various race types like your obligatory race for first, an elimination style race where the tail car is removed every so often until only one remains, and even a race where you’re simply trying to avoid police officers the entire time who are looking to take your street racing crew down. As you win and unlock tracks, you can also earn funds to purchase new cars and upgrade your existing garage. There is also the connectivity of a versus mode the Vita can utilize so you can take on your friends.

At the end of the day though, with fifteen different tracks loosely based on some iconic locations around the world and nearly four dozen licensed cars, Asphalt: Injection is really just a perfect example of an over-priced iOS port that seems to define a good chunk of the launch library of the Vita. It fails to satisfy your racing cravings and doesn’t even show the effort of trying to look good while doing it.

Considering that the Vita has enough power to produce PS3 worthy visuals, you’ll be so stunned by the horribly dull look of every level you play that you’ll do a double-take to make sure you’re not accidentally playing one of the Nintendo DS versions. But at least an iOS version of this franchise, like Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, will only cost you 99 cents whereas this cobbled together port will cost 30 times as much. So even with some solid controls, at the end of the day you’re really paying $30 for a game that should be a throwaway on your iPad as it shouldn’t last more than a few hours in your system as you easily blow through each race location. You can’t even say the portability of the Vita is a plus because last I checked you could carry around an iPad and Nintendo DS as well.

All in all, this is a complete waste of plastic game cases and software chips. Considering the high quality of some of the other games on the Vita at launch, even in the same genre, there is no need for you to waste your money on this ridiculously expensive and overpriced shovel ware.

SUMMARY: Although it handles well enough, the fact of the matter is this game has barely been tweaked over its 99 cent iOS brethren and is ridiculously overpriced for it as it sits amongst a field of a half-dozen better racing games for the Vita launch.

  • THE GOOD: Solid physics and car controls
  • THE BAD: Nearly direct port of an iOS game that doesn’t take advantage of Vita’s specs
  • THE UGLY: The idea of dropping $30 on a game that is 99 cents on iOS

SCORE: 3.0

Asphalt: Injection is a PS Vita exclusive.