TrackMania DS (DS)

TrackMania DS will be familiar to those that have played the PC franchise in the past. The inclusion of the stylus and the DS’s unique skill set ensures that the title will be substantially different than any other iterations of the game. So, at the very least, TrackMania DS is no mere port. For those that are not familiar with the title, what players are tapped to do is ensure that they have the best time when it comes from getting from the starting line to the finish. Where the game itself pits the player against time rather than cars (even with the “ghost car” option turned on), players will derive tremendous fun trying to improve their time through the bronze, silver, and then gold times.

The allure of the title is similar to the training camp option in the Madden franchise; where the events themselves are simplistic, a sense of perfection is created even in the least competitive of players. This whipped-up competitive streak is made even easier with the “bail out” option, which will allow players to restart a race should their car go awry for any reason. The game itself is further differentiated through the different circuits that individuals have to complete: along with the normal (Formula 1) cars, players can race Minis and 4X4 vehicles to victory.

Where the game itself is well worth the purchase price just for the racing option alone, Atlus has ensured a tremendous amount of replay value through the creation of a track editor, which is further facilitated by allowing players to draw out their intended track with the DS stylus. Couple these two options with the puzzle mode, which gives a player’s hand-eye coordination further work out, and what players have in TrackMania DS is a game that at the very least lives up to the previous PC iterations. The amount of personalization that is present here is off the hook; players can accumulate money to pay for further skins, tracks, and other things in the title. Finally, the multiplayer option gives up to four players the chance to challenge each others’ time. In the period of Gran Turismo 5 and other bleeding-edge racing title, I find the most joy out of a title like TrackMania DS. Pick up whenever you can.

Rating: 9.0/10

TrackMania DS (DS) / 2009 Atlus / http://www.atlus.com

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