Drift Legends v2 Review
Written by Jason Trent Sunday, 10 July 2011 11:00
Drift Legends is a simple racing game for iOS where your goal is to slide, swerve, and drift through tracks in an attempt to beat a score for which you’ll be awarded a bronze, silver, or gold medal. The action is shown from an old arcade style top down perspective just like Micro Machines did back in 1991, but of course with much more detail. There are no other cars on the track, so this is just a race against the clock. As you continue through the game, in which there are 5 distinct countries with a grand total of 25 tracks, you’ll unlock new cars and you can upgrade the car you’re driving to improve its stats.
Points are awarded when successfully drifting on the track, and even more points are given when you’re able to stay within a special yellow area of the track, which acts similarly to a driving line in Gran Turismo. The longer you’re able to drift, the higher the multiplier, and the greater score you earn. It’s an easy concept to grasp, but designed to be addictive.
Drift Legends offers three modes of steering: tilt, wheel, and buttons. I’ve never been a fan of buttons as an option in iOS games, since it can be tough to keep your fingers where they need to be while paying attention to what’s actually happening in the game, and tilt simply doesn’t work for this style of game. The wheel, on the other hand, feels great. You swipe and slide to the left and right, and the car reacts as you’d expect. Finally, there are two modes of control, which are novice and expert mode.
There must have been complaints with how the game handled with the original controls, because novice is a fresh addition to V2 of this game. Just glancing at the names of these modes, I instinctively went with expert mode. Novice just sounded unappealing for someone with as much time under their gaming belt as me. That turned out to be a very bad idea, however, as even trying to race around the training track was proving near impossible for me. Expert controls are more tailored to drifting, so using it was sort of reminiscent of that time I biffed it while ice skating. You slide everywhere, and it’s pretty tough to get back on track once you’ve messed things up. I quickly switched to novice, and though things were better, it was still tough to keep my car on the track. It was even harder to drift successfully.
Once you have things controlling the way you like, it’s time to select a car, and be on your way. Starting out, you only have one car to choose from, but you unlock three others as you progress through the game. Strangely, each of four cars is white, and as far as I can tell, there’s no option to change that. It’s a small thing, but those who enjoy car games, especially ones like this might find a handful of customization options appealing.
Between screens, the game would constantly tell me something along the lines of: “Stay with it. This game is addicting!” It’s almost as though the developers knew that some of their audience would be disheartened at first. Even though I was getting quite frustrated with the game, and yes, the idea of hurling my poor iPhone across the room did cross my mind several times, I took the game’s advice, and continued on. Before I knew it, I was passing levels. Sometimes I even got a silver medal, and man did that feel good. I was finally getting a hold on things. Everything past that was a blur. I kept coming back to the game, over and over, until I’d completed it. From there, I gave expert controls another shot, and wouldn’t you know it, I did much better. I guess practice really does make things better.
Part of the fun in playing iOS games is integration with Game Center, which is sadly missing from this game. I’d have loved to have been able to compare high scores and achievements with friends, and maybe that would have given me a more realistic set of expectations of my in-game performance. They do have their own leaderboards, but that does require you sign up for yet another online account, and I’m tired of giving out my contact information for that purpose.
This is a truly entertaining game that looks great and has a good deal of replayability. Fans of the racing genre are sure to enjoy, but I can’t help but feel that the barrier to entry is a little high for the typical iPhone gamer. I wouldn’t be able to recommend this to many of my friends and family who are looking for a simple experience, but if you’re someone looking for an experience requiring more skill, then this is definitely worth checking out.
Drift Legends v2 can be found on the Apple App Store at this link.