Joy Ride Turbo Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, May 28, 2012 15:59

Joy Ride is a name that has some baggage attached to it from its history of starting as a free game that instead became the retail release ’Kinect Joy Ride’, so I was surprised to see Joy Ride Turbo released. While this ’combat racer’/’kart racer’ is an easy to learn game that is suited for family play, it does little to

JOy Ride Turbo

rise above its numerous competitors.

As that description suggests, Joy Ride Turbo is a racing game with simple controls and little interest in realism. It’s true that you and the other competitors are slamming each other into walls, firing missiles, and otherwise playing dirty to take the checkered flag, but it’s all done in the genre’s usual cartoon-like, ’nobody gets hurt’ way. Racing mixed with picking up random weapons to distract the front-runners is a proven formula, and Joy Ride only does a few things to shake it up.

The most noteworthy change is a stunt system, which mostly has you hold the analog stick in one direction while your car is airborne from hitting a ramp. Finishing the stunt and returning to a normal driving ’posture’ (if cars can be said to have such a thing) rewards you with boost meter, which you can spend to temporarily go much faster. It’s a decent mechanic, and combines with a good variety of tracks and unlockable vehicles to give you a passable core game. A lack of enthusiasm for this shouldn’t suggest that it’s a bad game, as Joy Ride Turbo is mostly competent at what it does.

While racing alone lets you learn each course and find parts for new cars, it’s fair to say these sort of things are better enjoyed with friends and family. Local split-screen play allows up to four people to race (with the AI filling in for the other four cars), while online play allows up to eight. This more or less works as it should, though online play frequently suffers from other cars ’lag teleporting’ around the track so that it’s hard to tell where they really are. It’s playable, but certainly not good.

Ultimately, Joy Ride Turbo is fun for a short while but can’t keep the player engaged. It has numerous competitors in the genre across Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Indie Games, and even retail disc releases, many of which are just as good or better than this. A significant amount of them (perhaps not the retail titles, but the downloadable ones qualify) even cost the same or less as this $10 USD/800 Microsoft Point release. It’s not terrible, but there’s no reason to spend your money on it either.

This review was based on a download of the Xbox Live Arcade/Xbox 360 version, provided by Microsoft.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Joy Ride Turbo Review (XBLA)
5.0 Replay
Finding new cars by exploring the track thoroughly can be fun, and unlocking new colors to use is equally nice. However, both of these grow stale quickly. Competing to be better on relatively ’player friendly’ courses lacks the tension it otherwise might have.
6.0 Graphics
Decently animated, and the use of simple designs with bright colors alongside Avatars makes for a game that is easy to look at. It’s very basic, but does what it needs to.
6.5 Sound
Good car engine and tire effects are about all you need in a racing game, and they’re here along with mildly exciting music. Much like the graphics, it’s kept simple but works fine.
5.0 Gameplay
About as average as it gets. You have decent weapons, acceptable controls, track designs ranging from underwhelming to good and everything in between, adding up to a competent package. Unfortunately, it rarely rises above that.
5.5 Multiplayer/Online Content
Local split-screen for four or Xbox Live play for eight is supported. Online play works if you’re willing to tolerate frequent, jittery ’lag teleporting’ by other racers (who are no doubt seeing you in much the same way).
5.5 Overall
Mostly hurt by a lack of ambition, Joy Ride Turbo is one more ’me too’ in a genre that is already very well covered by other games. It’s not bad, simply not good either and this makes it hard to recommend.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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