First-person shooters, for a long time, weren’t considered suitable for the mobile landscape. There are a lot of inputs required simultaneously which makes it difficult to port these games to a touch screen device but, after years of waiting, we finally have great titles like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile at our fingertips.
So, if first-person shooters have been able to replicate that authentic console experience on mobile, are there any other popular genres that have been able to do the same? Like, I was a huge fan of the Need For Speed franchise when I was a lot younger so aren’t there any good racing titles after all these years?
That is the question I kept asking myself and that’s how I came across a game called Asphalt 9: Legends after searching around a bit on the Google Play Store. The trailer video looked amazing and the reviews seemed solid enough but this game was almost 2 and a half years old so did racing games finally get it right as first-person shooters did?
That’s the question I set out to answer and, after spending a few weeks strapped into the driver’s seat, I can finally tell you all about my experience with Asphalt 9: Legends and whether or not it’s still worth playing in 2020.
ASPHALT 9: LEGENDS
So…What Is It About?
Asphalt 9: Legends is an arcade racer in it’s purest form. While there are racing sims that stick to a more realistic driving experience, Asphalt 9 is one of those racing games that throws realism completely out of the window. Forget precision and control, the name of the game here is flat-out fun and exhilaration.
There’s no story or overarching plot to be found here, however. It’s all about you and your career which currently consists of 5 chapters in total with a promise of more chapters to come. Each chapter is made up of different Seasons which are race events that often have a specific requirement for you to start racing.
Each Season consists of several races that must be completed to advance. Each race also comes with its objectives to complete which can be something simple, like winning the race, or a little more complicated, like drifting for more than a kilometer.
Winning races will earn you credits which can be used to upgrade your car’s performance and purchase card packs that give you a chance to earn more parts for your car. Outside of the career mode, there are Special and Daily events to take part in which provide more opportunity to earn parts and credits.
How Does The Gameplay Work
Asphalt 9 was designed more for the casual player than the typical hardcore racer and that’s evident from the way driving works in this game. I’m not surprised that don’t have to press the accelerator but in this game, you don’t even have to turn the car at all. You’re a passenger along for the ride.
Whenever you get close to a turn, a jump, or a roadblock, you have to decide whether the car will turn or continue along the given path. Jumping off of ramps, performing stunts and drifting/power sliding will refill your nitrous boost and it’s up to you to decide when you want to engage the boost.
Get enough of a boost and you will unleash a Shockwave boost for even more speed. And, if that wasn’t enough for you to get the upper hand on your opponents, you can also engage in a bit of vehicular combat by performing a quick 360° turn and bashing into the other racers and police cars that are on the road with you.
Thankfully, you can turn off the automatic touch driving and take full control of your vehicle. This means that braking, drifting, boosting, turning, and staying on the course while you’re flying and flipping through the air is all up to you. If you’re looking for the best mobile gaming experience then I highly recommend using this setting instead.
What About The Graphics And Sound?
I’m just going to come right out and say it, this game is beautiful and a pleasure to look at. I was playing it on a Samsung Galaxy A30 and, while it may not be one of the high-end models, I was blown away by how stunning the visuals are in Asphalt 9. From the reflections in the body of the car to the detailed scenery, it’s incredible.
Even when you engage the boost, the bright colors and flashing imagery fully immerse you in the experience and did I mention the design of these tracks? Forget the regular backstreets and dark alleyways that come with most street racing games. These tracks all feel like their own mini Hollywood Blockbuster.
Some set pieces see you driving over a bridge while the entire road collapses into the ground and I was on the edge of my seat as I hurtled across this destructive landscape, trying my best to make sure I land on the road in one piece. And all this comes paired with some of the best sound design I’ve heard in ages.
I play every single game on a pair of Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 headphones and you’ll honestly be doing yourself a disservice if you listen from your phone’s speaker. It may just be the car guy in me talking but the sound of the engine’s in this game is heavenly, to say the least. Even the gear changes sound like they were meticulously crafted.
It’s like a symphony of destruction when you put it all together with the crunch you get from destroying another racer or the satisfying screech from the tires as you gracefully drift around every corner like a nitrous-fueled ballerina. The best part is I haven’t even mentioned this game’s Soundtrack.
I don’t know where Asphalt 9 found all of these great artists but I think every game should start shopping for their music from the same place but these are some of the best songs I’ve heard in a mobile racing game. This is the kind of playlist you’d find in a console game and it was well worth including.
From the very first moment I started this game, I was greeted by a thumping hip-hop anthem that instantly put me in a vibe and got me in the mood to go racing and many of the songs have become stuck in my head long after I’ve put my phone down and stopped playing. Greatest mobile gaming soundtrack by far.
Worth It In 2020?
If you’re looking for an action-packed arcade racer to help pass the time, then Asphalt 9: Legends is an excellent choice. I’ve sunk days worth of hours in and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what it has to offer. But, no game is perfect and it has some drawbacks that might not keep his game at the top of my list.
Asphalt 9 is not marketed as a street racing game, so I can’t be too upset about the customization options I was able to unlock so far. I mean, I put some carbon fiber here, a bit of metallic 2-tone paint over there, but this barely adds any unique flavor to my ride.
Only certain cars have body kit modifications available and those parts can only be unlocked the next time they appear in a special event and there’s no guarantee when that will happen. So for now, all of my cars look pretty stock and that sucks. Not having customization options is one thing but teasing them is just cruel.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time playing Asphalt 9: Legends and will probably play it for a few more weeks even if it’s just to listen to that sweet sweet soundtrack. I mean seriously, the sound design in this game is 10 out of 10 and you should get it just to hear that.
Have you played Asphalt 9: Legends? What did you think about the overall experience? Let me know in the comments section below.