Streetbike: Full Blast HD|
It’s to the point where I cringe every time a new racing game releases on the iPad because I know what to expect before I even download it, and Streetbike: Full Blast HD is no exception. The game sounds great on paper with a ton of modes and the obligatory in-app purchases to help you cheat your way to the top.
The first of many modes is the Street Battle that features no less than 9 increasingly difficulty leagues to race in. Modes like Don’t Crash and Pass Cars need no explanation, while Normal Race, and Rush Hour are simply races through town with increasing amounts of traffic. Time Attack has you chasing the clock and Money Chaser has you going after cash icons scattered along the course. Wheelie demands you rise up and ride on one wheel for a certain amount of feet and there is even a “1 to 1” battle mode against a super-opponent.
Of course a racing game is only as good as its controls, and Streetbike: Full Blast is a complete wreck in this department. There is no way to steer the bike other than using the tilt function of the iPad, which has never been all that comfortable in any racing game, car or bike, for extended gameplay. You accelerate and brake using the red and green buttons in the lower corners of the screen. A boost button will turbo you ahead of the competition, but rather than put the button over the brake or letting you double-tap the gas you instead have to take your finger off the gas to use the nitro then switch back to gas when the nitro runs out. You will almost always lose a bit of speed and possibly a position when doing this.
Visually, Streetbike: Full Blast is pretty generic, even when compared to racing games that came out last year. The framerate is not so good and there is a lot of pop-up on the track including last-minute traffic that can be hard to dodge at max speeds. The music is okay – again, pretty generic racing fare, but the engine sounds for the bike are abysmal and the cheesy applause at the end of the race is laughably bad as is the thunk when you bump a car.
There is a lot of appealing content buried in this title; I just wish there was a better game experience to drive me to want to play it. I appreciate the $1 entry fee, but sadly there are better racers out there for the same money or even free. This Superbike has crashed and burned before the race even starts. Perhaps some more time in the garage and a patch or two can fix things up but for now…avoid.