Dec 14, 2007
The latest game to make the increasingly common jump from the PlayStation Portable to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service is none other than GripShift, the cult-classic kart racer that made a few ripples when it first hit Sony’s portable what seems like an age ago. And the transition has been pretty kind. GripShift looks good on the 360 considering it started life on a much less powerful console. This kart racer with a twist is sharp and colorful, all backed up by super smooth animations and control. That’s not overly impressive considering how little is happening on the screen, but it’s still easy to appreciate.
Aside from the standard, weapons-based races across creative tracks filled with precipitous drops and loop-de-loops, GripShift comes complete with a challenge mode that requires players to think outside the guardrails, as it were. Points are awarded not only for collecting on-track items as fast as possible, but for using creative measures to collect hard-to-reach points or reach the finish line even quicker - i.e. jumping off the track in order to fall to a lower section.
Online multiplayer throws another twist in as well - in classic Mario Kart style, players aren’t limited to simply chasing each other around the winding courses provided. The game also comes with a handful of deathmatch-style arenas for those times when it’s more fun to ram missiles up each other’s tailpipes without the added pressure of crossing the finish line first.
With the promise of downloadable tracks, levels and game types in the future, GripShift is a decent way to spend 800 Microsoft Points. It might not be the most incredible kart racer you’ve ever played, but it’s solid and it’s fun, and that’s what counts.