Reviewed by Charl ‘PottyZA’ Potgieter.
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9.0 out of 10
What I liked:
- Great visuals
- Good sound and music
- Gameplay is fluid, fast and fun
- Inclusion of 4-player splitscreen
- Lots of value in the package
Not So Much:
- Gameplay could get repetitive after a while
- Not many cars to choose from at first and it takes a while to unlock more
Joy Ride Turbo is fun, really fun and I’ll say right now that it’s worth buying. It’s a sequel to Kinect Joy Ride which was released a while back, but removes Kinect controls in favour of standard controller based racing. Having never played the first game, I can’t tell you how much has changed, but I can tell you that it is a very enjoyable game.
Joy Ride Turbo sells for 800MSP, but I could easily recommend the game if it had a 1200MSP price tag. There’s just so much value included in this package – It includes a championship mode, multiplayer (including 4 player splitscreen and multiplayer over LIVE), a host of cars, lots of maps and a truck load of unlocks. These unlocks come in the form of car parts which give you either new cars, or new looks for the cars you already have.
One feature I really enjoyed was the Stunt Parks. These stunt parks are large, open arenas which you can freely explore in your car, whether you want to do this alone or in multiplayer is up to you. The main draw here is that there is a vast amount of collectables to find – and it really takes some skill and imagination to find them. You are often required to think out of the box to get to that elusive car part on top of a seemingly unreachable cliff. Once you’ve found all the car parts, you’ve still got the trophies waiting for you – these trophies give you a hefty sum of credits to spend on new paint jobs for your car, or to buy the new cars that you might’ve unlocked.
Joy Ride Turbo has a great visual style – you could even compare it to Team Fortress 2’s graphics – it’s cartoony, but looks awesome. One really cool feature is that your player character looks exactly like your Xbox avatar, so you can easily change your look to suit your car. The game’s sound is also great, cars each have a distinct sound and you can really tell which of the game’s three car classes (muscle, tuner and truck) is coming up behind you. The music is also very fitting for the game and really helps to build the excitement during the races.
The gameplay itself is comparable to recent arcade racers like Blur or Split Second, except that it is a lot more fun and a lot easier to pick up and play. Just like the aforementioned games, you collect pickups while racing that either give you certain benefits (like more boost, or shielding) or that hampers your opponents (rockets, mines, etc.). Luckily your car can’t be destroyed, but being shot by a random missile while you’re in first place could cost you the win and will probably cause quite a lot of frustration. You build more boost during races by performing crazy stunts in the air like 360-spins, backflips or even 360 backflips – this adds some variety to the races and also looks very cool.
All in all, Joy Ride Turbo is great fun and is definitely good value for money, especially at the low 800MSP price tag. The game is awesome in single player, but local multiplayer is where the game really shines – there’s nothing better than seeing the look on your friends’ faces when you beat them by a mile.