VS. Racing 2 Review
- Solid, intuitive control schemes; responsive tilt controls - single or double-touch options also available.
- 'Secret' levels to unlock; brings some good-old Arcade flair to the table.
- Repetitious without any real consideration to multiple skill levels; easy to be placed behind the curve.
VS. Racing 2 nails the basics by providing a fun to control, gorgeous looking game for racing fans to enjoy, but beyond these features the game starts to fall apart, running in the same well-worn tracks that have come before it.
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While other top-down racers are content to keep pushing the visual boundaries of the iOS platform, VS. Racing 2 sticks with the tried-and-true 2D sprite system (albeit with some 3D elements adding depth), and even more surprisingly, controls that require - at most - two fingers.
The overall effect is that of the game feeling very tightly designed - it efficiently throws you amongst a variety of AI opponents on winding and twisting tracks where you vie for pole-position to earn as much cash as possible. Predictably the cash is used to upgrade, customize, or buy new cars, but those looking to short-cut the process with IAP are out of luck - you need to earn your way through the game.
Unfortunately this does come at a cost to the game's balance. The AI gets stronger over time and are subsequently loaded out with better cars too, but this also affects earlier levels, so if you're caught on a stage feeling underpowered, your only choice is to face the same drivers on a simpler track.
This back-and-forth style of play quickly becomes tedious, especially as the money earned through natural progression never really feels like it's enough to stay on par with the AI.
Your only other option is to seek out a race with friends. This happens asynchronously as you record and then send a challenge to the player of your choice, though if you're on a local network together you can play against each other directly.
If there's any real selling point it's the almost rock-solid physics that feel surprisingly intuitive (if wholly unrealistic). You may find yourself heading in to a spin all-too-easily at times, but from drifting to different surface-types, it's fun to experiment to see if you can shave off just a few more hundredths of a second.
Ultimately VS. Racing 2 falls in to line with similar middle-ground racers on the App Store, though its easy-to-use controls and physics simulation may be enough to drag it above the line and make it worth checking out.