MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
Since its first introduction, the Motorstorm franchise has always had something to live up to. The first game was prefaced by a tech demo that the developers couldn't possibly deliver upon, showing off graphics that they, in no way, intended to meet. When the sequel was released, its thunder was all but stolen by the surprise hit that was Blackrock Studios' Pure. It's no fault of the game's developer, but it feels as though the series is continually being screwed over by circumstances outside of its control - an issue that doesn't seem to have carried over to Motorstorm: Arctic Edge.
On the contrary, Arctic Edge is one of the few titles launching alongside the PSPgo, meaning it could a great purchase for anyone just picking up the new handheld. While the PSPgo isn't receiving the best marks with reviewers or gamers, it still sets up Arctic Edge in a position to impress, something the prequels never had a chance to succeed at. With a new developer in Bigbig Studios and without anything holding it back, does the scaled-down racer flounder, or does the franchise fare well in the small pond?
In most ways, the downscale does little to to change the Motorstorm experience. Motorstorm titles have always been some of the best looking games on the PS3, so it's no surprise that Arctic Edge continues this tradition on the PSP. The graphics are impressive considering how much is going on at once, and even with all of the vehicles on screen simultaneously, there are no noticeable slowdowns or frame-rate drops. It lacks the polish of God of War and some of the other high-end PSP titles, but still does a good job at making the portable experience work. Even the slow-motion crashes return, and while they lack the jaw-dropping visuals of the console version, they're still very fun to watch.