Jul 3, 2015
DRIFT SPIRITS seems to be the type of game that could allow one to live life on the edge. Digitally.
At its core, it’s a 1v1 drag racing game with an emphasis on drifting. Competitors go toe-to-toe on curved race track that are all but built to encourage oversteering, and the idea is to level up and get rewards to improve one’s car and progress as far as possible.
The game opens up easily enough, with an AI-driven tutorial that is primarily hands-on. One gets to pick a a car, and get lessons in how to control the car. The controls are virtual, and a bit surprising, in that there is no steering to be had (despite the virtual steering wheel to the bottom right); the control set has more to do with timing… at least at first. To explain, revving the car up takes a degree of precision to get the best jump off, and the drifting procedure involves looking for the right target point to tap the steering wheel to activate the skill. The same sense of timing is required to “release” the car. Doing it too early and just a bit too late throws off a progress, and as these are relatively short races, mistakes can be costly.
Performance yields game cash payouts as well as performance points; the former can be used to improve vehicles and accumulate valuables, while the latter helps with the aforementioned leveling. Additionally, winning races allows for one to gain pieces dropped by the opponent, which can help with improvements and/or boosts. One example is nitro; using this tool at the right time can be the difference between a win and a loss.
It’s a fairly logical game that gets straight to the point and manages to hold the interest past the initial stage. It gets harder, obviously, with boss meetings and budding rivalries. The dialogue loses something in translation, and it does feel formulaic in parts, but it works as a time-waster, especially in story mode.