[This is a GRAND PRIX App vs. App Review! Congratulations to our first winner, Dorthensensens, who gets a copy of last week's winning racer: Crash! Want a chance to win this week's? Comment below, and make sure you leave a valid email address in the comment form -- it won't be made public, but it will be used to contact you if you win! Check out the full contest details, then grab your iPhone and get ready race -- Heat 2 of the TiPb GRAND PRIX starts now!]
Continuing TiPb's GRAND PRIX we have two racing games with sophisticated graphics and sweet controls. Introducing Asphalt 4 Elite Racing (available from iTunes for $9.99) and GTS World Racing (available from iTunes for $7.99)! So we must ask again, who is going to get the checkered flag this time? Will it be the game with Ridge Racer like controls or the one with a Gran Turismo type feel? See how they compare in Heat #2 of TiPb's GRAND PRIX!
The Race Starts After the Break!
Taking a quick look at these two racers we obviously see the graphical prowess from both. Make no mistake, you won't find a cartoon-ish character here—we're here to talk about cars, countries, and cash.
Asphalt 4: Asphalt 4 Elite Racing, from Gameloft, is rooted in mobile platforms, in fact, there have been previous versions for other, less-capable cell phones. From the quick look of it, the gameplay falls more in line with Ridge Racer than anything else. Which essentially means: expect a more arcade like feel which includes pumping up the Nitro and drift like mad.
Choose between a Wi-Fi multiplayer mode, 28 licensed cars, and 9 different cities all with great 3D graphics and intuitive gameplay.
GTS World: GTS World Racing, from Handmark Inc., falls more in life with "realistic" racing games, choosing to pass on gimmicky elements such as Nitro and throwing bones and instead focusing on excellent controls and great simulation of the driving experience.
With GTS World Racing you are able to pick between 4 different race modes (single, challenge, grand tour, and championship), 3 different cars, and a multitude of destinations.
Graphics and Sound
Asphalt 4: Asphalt 4 Elite Racing claims to have the "Best 3D Graphics on the iPhone" and though it's a lofty claim, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better. The environments are wonderful, Los Angeles has a Los Angeles feel which is entirely different from New York and Paris. We at TiPb are simply amazed by the detail in the environment.
Also, because Asphalt 4 Elite Racing attempts to be more than just a simple racing simulator, you get the added bonus of oncoming traffic (hate those taxis), cones, and mid-race instant replay. The one negative about Asphalt 4 Elite Racing's look and feel is the sound teeters on the verge of annoying. The screeches when drifting don't seem accurate and the soundtrack could use some work.
GTS World: GTS World Racing is certainly pretty, make no mistake, but the destination cities don't seem different enough and the 3 car choices limit the range of the graphics. It seems like Canada is the same as New Zealand and Morocco is a carbon copy of Kenya. The graphics of the car and the road are well made but overall the limited options don't exactly allow for versatile images.
What is a plus of GTS World Racing is its world-class sound—acceleration sounds perfect, braking is on point, and accidentally driving off road sounds exactly as it should. To be fair, GTS World Racing is graphically great, just not varied enough to be sophisticated.
Graphics and Sound Result: Asphalt 4 Elite Racing, though the sound could use some work, we at TiPb would still rather have it be pretty looking than pretty sounding.
Asphalt 4: What's great about Asphalt 4 Elite Racing is the control options that it offers. There are three options to choose from that uniquely use all of the iPhone's features: a touch based control, an accelerometer based control, and an on screen steering wheel. I personally found the touch based control to be the best—tapping a direction on the screen inches your car toward that direction. The accelerometer control was a bit too sensitive for my taste and the on-screen steering wheel was not sensitive enough.
Giving the option of 3 different control schemes is remarkably obvious but genius at the same time: it lets the player choose what they are most comfortable with.
GTS World: Though GTS World Racing only offers one control system: an accelerometer based tilt left, tilt right, lean forward to go faster—it is quite possibly the most accurate use of the accelerometer to date. The standard sensitivity is perfect and I found myself in awe of how well it read my movements. You can't nail the iPhone-as-steering wheel as well as GTS World Racing did.
Controls Result: GTS World Racing, though I loved the choices that Asphalt 4 Elite Racing offered, you just can't deny how accurate the steering is in GTS World Racing. Compliments to them!
Gameplay and Value
Asphalt 4: Though Asphalt 4 Elite Racing hits the price ceiling for iPhone gaming ($9.99), the incredible depth of the game makes it well worth it. The plethora of car choices combined with the varied destinations makes this one of the most complete racing games available. Without even mentioning Wi-Fi multiplayer, which enhances its replay value, Asphalt 4 Elite Racing is as good a buy as there is in the App Store.
Gameplay is great because when starting Asphalt 4 Elite Racing you're pressed to hit certain money landmarks to unlock new features. Therefore, Asphalt 4 Elite Racing offers depth not found in other iPhone games—you actually have to win races to advance and enhance your car.
GTS World: GTS World Racing offers multiple game modes but after a while the racing got more or less the same. The tracks are varied by difficulty but the environment remains the same—you either get green grass, dead grass, or ice.
To be fair, GTS World Racing gets bonus points for varying the different race types but after a while you can only do so much. Even for a racing die-hard winning the same race gets a tad bit boring.
Gameplay and Value Result: Asphalt 4 Elite Racing, though GTS World Racing offers great immediate value at $7.99 it simply doesn't have the replay value of Asphalt 4 Elite Racing.
I won't lie, I was very impressed with both racing games. GTS World Racing offered pin point controls and a great racing soundtrack, plus overall it was extremely polished. While Asphalt 4 Elite Racing offered a plethora of car choices, different destinations, and 3 very different control layout. You can't go wrong with either one.
But this is TiPb's GRAND PRIX and for each heat there can be only one winner and for this race we are going to go with Asphalt 4 Elite Racing. The game depth simply surpasses most iPhone games and the added replay value of Wi-Fi multiplayer cannot be discounted. Combine that with the amazing graphics and control schemes, Asphalt 4 Elite Racing is in our minds the favorite to win the ENTIRE TiPb GRAND PRIX.
WINNER: Asphalt 4 Elite Racing