Riptide GP2 Review

Riptide GP2 Review

Jul 24, 2013

When it comes to game sequels, it can be tough to follow successful titles. Some development houses (looking at you, Rovio) seem to do it so effortlessly.

Well, add veteran development house Vector Unit to the short list, because Riptide GP2 brings it in a big way.

Riptide GP2 is one of those games that come by only so often. It somehow recreates the magic in the original installment and spits out a sexier product. It starts with the graphics; there is so much action trapped in the pixels. The artwork is superbly done, with excellent use of perspective angles. The water comes across as quite life-like, and the visual representation of stuff like spray and battling racers is animation at its best. The sound rip1effects are just as appropriate. It’s a highly enjoyable feast for the senses.

The gameplay is fluid, and it brings to mind Vin Diesel on jetskis. Set on different courses, the player gets to race against other hydro jet racers on specially crafted waterways. The raceways do have a realistic but arcade-y feel, with the windy paths and jump-inducing ramps. The ramps open up the possibility of the cool mid-air stunts, which are invoked by multitouch gestures. The game’s career mode is full featured too, with XP to be obtained for performance.

Which brings us to the upgrade mechanism… equipment can be upgraded, and as progress is made through career mode, upgrades are needed to be continually competitive. Game cash (as well as the aforementioned XP) can be garnered by good finishes in the races, and real cash can be used to augment earned cash, but isn’t necessarily required. With other elements like an interactive tutorial, online competition and Google cloud functionality added in, the game becomes even more compelling.

All in all, it’s a fine reboot that does the burgeoning franchise very well. This game is a keeper, and is one of the best sims around.

Vector Unit Adds Google Play Game Services To Beach Buggy Blitz, Riptide GP, Shine Runner

Vector Unit Adds Google Play Game Services To Beach Buggy Blitz, Riptide GP, Shine Runner

May 17, 2013

Vector Unit offers full support for Android’s new Google Play game services by making their top selling racing titles part of the service. Starting today, players can now enjoy earning achievements and posting new high scores to the leaderboards when playing Beach Buggy Blitz, Riptide GP, and Shine Runner. Riptide GP2, which is scheduled for release this summer, will feature the real-time multi-player capabilities that is offered through the Google Play game services.

In a press release, Matt Small, CEO of Vector Unit said, “We love to connect players in our games, but until recently on Android there have been a lot of competing social platforms without a single standout,” “Google Play game services offer a unifying platform that every Android gamer can join easily, has all the features we could want, and that we as developers can support without worrying about whether it’s going to still be around in 2 years.”


Beach Buggy Blitz Review

Beach Buggy Blitz Review

Nov 29, 2012

Racing and driving fans will want to give Beach Buggy Blitz a spin.

If the graphics and gameplay carry a hint of familiarity, it’ll be because the hand of developer Vector Unit (of Riptide fame) is clearly evident. For me, that made this game worth checking out.

The graphics are nice, allowing for a whimsical take on beach craft with matching environment. The buildings, water and trees were rendered well, and the interactions (like running into structures and/or foliage) retained a degree of realism that made the game even more likable. I liked that the resolution of the graphics could be adjusted. The animations were sharp, and sounds popped.

The gameplay ostensibly involved me driving my buggy at high speed against the clock. If I got to a check point before running out of time, I earned more race time; the race ended if I couldn’t get to said checkpoint. Along the way, I accumulate points by traveling further and striking coins when they appeared, and avoiding huts, trees, cave walls, water and even birds.

I noticed that driving faster allowed me to catch up to hitherto unseen racers; battling them was a contact sport, and added another layer of fun and complexity to the game. Again, the physics of the action was fairly believable, and it was cool to maneuver for position while flying down the sand.

Back to coins: coins also gave me purchasing power in the in-app store. There were drivers, upgrades and vehicles to be had. Of course, real cash could expedite the process of getting goodies, but I was able to earn coins at a decent rate by just racing.

To echo myself in an earlier review, I felt whiny about the lack of multiplayer functionality. Again, this is a game that demands it. Still, I found that racing the clock amongs friends was a nice option, and I made use of it.

BBB is another lovable title from Vector Unit, and is the perfect beach getaway for Christmastime.

Riptide Review

Riptide Review

Oct 4, 2012

Warning: Riptide induces adrenaline. Ask a doctor before engaging.

I am not exaggerating. It packs in jet skis, water, superb graphics and realistic physics with good old-fashioned arcade racing and comes out with an exciting, white-knuckled game that makes me struggle to remember that I am not physically spraying white foam in my wake.

I thought the developer put in a good amount of time into gameplay. I mean, how many ways can one cut a racing game? Well, Vector started by giving me three game modes: Championship, Race and Hot Play. I found that Hot Play was perfect for training runs, as I raced against myself. It gave me an opportunity to check my lap times and to see which jet skis handled the best. The Race mode gave me the opportunity to race against the virtual foes. I found the controls easy, as motion input translated to movement in the game.

With multiple machines and scenes to unlock, there was plenty of stuff to explore, and a continual excuse to race more. With OpenFeint compatibility, achievements can be shared online for bragging rights, and this is a feature I really, really liked. Different machines had different capabilities and ratings; some accelerated better, while some had better handling and/or speed. I found it to be a reassuring touch of reality.

Nestled in the Help & Options area were the Settings and How To Play teasers. The former allowed me to adjust graphics, audio and control sensitivity. The latter gave me tips with regards to how to control my machine, access boosts and stunts.

To make Riptide even more attractive, Vector Unit had the foresight to make it compatible with game controllers. Thus, I could enhance my experience with my DLNA- enabled device and literally go big.

All in all, I found Riptide an exciting foray into a familiar genre. For a racing game that is a cut above the norm, I suggest giving it a spin.