With dozens of vehicles and nine locales to enjoy, online or off, Asphalt: Urban GT Multiplayer brings a lot of quality content to bear, despite some network performance issues.
- Excellent car models that handle appropriately
- Realistic-looking locales from around the globe
- Online play
- Numerous single-player modes
- Great single-player technical performance.
- Music content reduced from previous version
- Online performance variable
- Collision detection still not quite right.
Having turned up on the N-Gage, the Nintendo DS, and on all manner of mobile phones, Asphalt: Urban GT is fast becoming one of Gameloft's most visible franchises. Its latest iteration brings the entire N-Gage game to the LG VX8000, adding multiplayer functionality over Verizon's high-speed EVDO service. With dozens of vehicles and nine locales to enjoy, online or off, Asphalt: Urban GT Multiplayer brings a lot of quality content to bear, despite some network performance issues.
Racing exotic cars along the world's most beautiful boulevards is an activity ordinarily reserved for eccentric, adrenaline-loving billionaires such as Virgin's Sir Richard Branson. Once again, more reticent billionaires can simulate this experience on their expensive V Cast phones. Asphalt: Urban GT features a host of slick vehicles--all meticulously modeled--ranging from the cute Audi TT Roadster to cars you wouldn't ordinarily see outside of a showroom floor, like the Lamborghini Diablo. Perhaps because these vehicles are licensed, you won't see much in the way of damage modeling; but each car's speed and handling is loosely based on the real deal.
"Loosely" is the key word here, because you'll spend much of your time powersliding into other vehicles and generally comporting yourself in a way that would never fly on the real Champs-Elysées. There's no better way to perpetuate the "ugly American" stereotype than by driving erratically through France's most populous city. On a mobile phone, however, this behavior is perfectly acceptable, even a little cathartic. Asphalt is clearly inspired by other urban racing games, like Need for Speed Underground. Fortunately, though, you won't have to endure any painful dialogue between street-racing hopefuls. Each car is equipped with nitrous oxide canisters, which refuel as you race. Knowing when to hit your nitro boost is a big part of the strategy. Although the 8000's digital keypad isn't ideal for simulating an analog steering wheel, Asphalt's control is manageable. You'll have to use two hands, however--the keypad should be used for braking, nitro boosting, and acceleration control, while the navigation bar should be used for steering. Players with larger hands might feel cramped by this setup, but they'll get over it.
Cop chase mode is by far the most interesting of these arcade gametypes. In it, you're placed in what looks like a Ford GT with a siren atop its roof--not exactly standard police equipment. This is just as well, though, because the suspects you're pursuing aren't exactly riding around in busted-up Chevy Impalas. Your goal is to lock onto these extreme speeders using a Robocop-esque targeting reticle, and to keep them in sight for several seconds. Incredibly, they'll pull over. This is actually a more difficult feat than you might imagine.