Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars: Looking Back Review

March 2, 2012

Downloadable Reviews, PSN

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, developed by Psyonix Studios, is an exclusive PlayStation Network title for the PS3, combining the finesse and non-stop action of a soccer game with acrobatic, over-the-top RC cars. It’s certainly an interesting idea (and temporarily FREE for PlayStation Plus members!), but does it have more to offer than just an extremely long name?

To help explore the question, let’s begin with the game’s idea: You’re in control of a tiny RC car equipped with jump jets and nitro boosters, given free reign to ignore the laws of physics to compete with other RC cars in an amped-up game of soccer. Your car can boost into Superspeed and wreck other cars on contact, do double-jumps and flips, and even barrel rolls to avoid other drivers. The soccer elements are completely physics-based as well, so you’ll need to use these techniques properly to guide the ball into your enemy’s goal. Thankfully, this is easily done, as the control scheme is extremely intuitive, and the game’s tutorials give you an excellent and fast crash-course into how to expertly drive your vehicle.

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The game’s main gameplay mode is a short Career mode, which will have you facing off in 3v3 teams against the computer in several arenas. This serves as a nice warm-up to get your feet wet, but the real fun happens when you grab a few friends to play online together. This is a game that begs to be played with real opponents, as every goal, assist, and take-down feels even more exciting when it’s your friend who’s involved. The game has a thriving community as well, and comes with a robust matchmaking system built-in, so finding a game is no problem. You can also party up with your friends before-hand, but once the game starts, you can’t join a team if it has too many players, so it can be difficult to get on the same team with all of your friends at once. Still, it’s just as fun to take down your friend as it is to assist him. The game also comes packed with mini-games designed to test your skills. Challenges can range from picking up nitro boost items to scoring a set number of goals within a time limit, and that’s just naming two. These mini-games will challenge your abilities in just about every aspect the game has to offer and rate your performance out of 5 stars. And if honing your skills isn’t enough of a reward, you can unlock new mini-games and cars by building up stars. It’s a great, addictive system for improving your game and adding more value.

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As far as graphics go, the game looks superb, and the use of the Unreal engine ensures that textures look crisp, lighting pops, and special effects will rock you. The game does suffer from occasional texture load times, but considering the context of the game, it isn’t immersion-breaking. It’s more the fault of the engine, not the developer. In addition, the game’s bright fields and grungy, neon-filled industrial arenas are a perfect fit to the game’s soundtrack, which consists of several electronica and techno themes. While they would sound somewhat generic on their own, their use in the game really helps get you in the zone during a match. However, if these tracks don’t appeal to you, the game also allows you to use your own custom soundtracks if you’d like.

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars comes off as a fairly non-spectacular idea, but the creative minds at Psyonix Studios have taken the concept and ran with it. This is a rare gem in the PlayStation Store, and provides many more hours of entertainment than you might expect from a $10 title. Best of all, it’s free for PlayStation Plus members for the time being, so don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind game.

VERDICT: BUY IT!

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About Argus9

Jonathan ‘Argus9′ Zisser has been an avid gamer for over 20 years. His early years of playing the NES with his father helped springboard his interest in gaming, and has eventually matured into an avid following for the gaming industry. Studying Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University also gave him insight into the more technical side of video games. A passionate writer as well, Jonathan loves conveying his experiences and opinions by creating engaging articles as often as possible. More often than not, he tries to break down today’s industry and write editorials that make his readers think.

View all posts by Argus9

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