Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 01/14/08

Another PSP title hits the Live Arcade

I was really surprised when I found out gripshift was hitting the Live Arcade. It was another one of those quirky PSP titles that I loved. How does it fair on the Live Arcade though? Have the controls gotten better? More content? Well, so-so in both areas.

Gripshift is a racer / puzzle game so it doesn't feature a story. It's all about goals and time so it doesn't really require a story.

Graphic wise I found Gripshift very pleasing. It isn't super realistic but it does well with a cartoonish look about it. Vehicles and characters look nice. Traps and everything are noticeable, even from a good distance. Level design is rather nice and it never really felt like I was playing the same level, despite there being 100 levels. Themes are reused but each theme is nice. Game has a good frame rate ect. No problems with the graphics here.

The sound in the game can be a mixed bag for some. I don't remember any voice acting. Sound effects are decent but nothing special, or worth writing home about. Music on the other hand might drive some people insane. It's mostly hip-hop and while I'm not a fan of the genre, it isn't too bad. I found some of the songs catchy and a few actually fit some of the levels. There is a time themed song that speeds up tempo and the clock gets closer to running out.

The control has both some pros and cons over the PSP version. The adventure mode seems to offer much tighter controls which is nice because going from the PSP nub to an analog stick could be odd and some games don't really fix it. But the control works good in adventure mode. In the race mode the controls become much looser, as if they forgot to fix them from the PSP version. It's playable but much harder to control.

The game play in Gripshift is kind of odd to explain. So let's focus on the three mode types I guess. Adventure mode has the basics of the entire game. it features normal game play and the racing, which I'll cover later. Now, the game offers 100 levels (14 are races I believe). In the levels you need to get to the finish line before time runs out. No laps or anything like that. A lot just have you getting to the end. Some require you to hit the check points but still finish in time. Now in each level is a hidden icon, this is worth a point. Also, the levels have stars. Collect all of the stars and you get some more points. Now finish with a gold medal you get 3 points and it goes down from there. Points unlock new mode,s tracks, mini games, racers, cars ect.

See, the cool thing about adventure mode is that as you advance in the game the levels introduce new things like launch pads, speed ups, slow down, magnets, bombs, and moving platforms. Some levels are just tracks while others have you island hoping. Fall and it's game over and you need to start the stage from the start. The game really knows how to spice things up and keep it interesting.

Races are like a normal race but offer weapons and stuff. I believe there is 6 cars to pick from and maybe 8 tracks or so. So there isn't a whole lot of content here either. There is plenty of difficulties for this mode though.

The game now has achievement points which might take a while to get. There is also death matches on-line that you can play but as for the past few weeks my Live service has been acting up. When oh when will Microsoft allow me to use what I'm paying for.

It's nice that other gamers get to play this but a lot has been removed from the psp version. There's no level creator and some other stuff is missing. On the other hand we do have a few addition things. I prefer the PSP version over this one but for the right price this is a fine addition to anyones Live Arcade line up.

Story - 0/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 7/10
Game Play - 8/10
Replay value - 7/10

Final Score - 8/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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