Joy Ride Turbo Review: Full Throttle Fun

Joy Ride Turbo
Xbox 360 – XBLA (800 ms points)
Microsoft Game Studios

When I first saw the trailer for Joy Ride Turbo on XBLA, the first thing that came to mind was Excite Truck and Mario Kart Wii. So when I was about to start the game, my thoughts were at the time that this might be a somewhat fun game. I was wrong. Instead, this is a very fun entertaining game.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned, is the Stunt Park mode. Right off the bat, I got the feeling of Rush 2049 while I was messing around in Stunt Park. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen any game take the fun concept of Rush 2049’s Stunt Park and use it in their games. There are only two levels in the game, but calling them “levels” feels inadequate. Really, these should be called worlds. As each area is huge with plenty of exciting ramps and loops to perform. You could literally spend hours exploring the world without even seeing all that it has to offer.

Other than just having a blast and showing off to your friends, you have the ability to collect trophies, coins, and car parts. The trophies are placed in creative parts of the parks where you have to try to collect them all. Some are quite simple, like just going over a loop, but others are devious in design. The coins you can collect from the stunt park and from winning tournaments are used to buy newly unlocked cars. Lastly are the car parts, these are placed everywhere around the tracks and parks. Gathering these together allows you to unlock and use new type of cars.

Although the Stunt Park is the best feature of the game, the racing shouldn’t be overlooked. Each tournament you enter is filled with three tracks. There are a few items you can use to help you get ahead, like the booby trap item to the homing rocket. Although you can spend each track just following the road, the game encourages you to take any and all the shortcuts you can muster. Don’t think the AI or your real life friends won’t take them, so you better experiment on which shortcuts will help you best.

The controls for the game are pretty simple. You use RT for gas, LT for reverse, A for your items, X for drifting, and Y for your boost. To use your boost ability, you have to fill the boost bar by doing tricks while in mid-air. This is what reminded me of Excite Truck at first, as while in air you can do simple tricks like flip your car or turn it to do spins. Don’t worry, the game makes it pretty easy to land correctly without any lost speed. This helps to make the game fun and exciting.

The game really shines on my HDTV. Even while doing crazy stunts in the big parks, the game never dipped below 60 FPS. The colors and feel of the game really helps to make it one of the best looking games out there for the Xbox 360.

If you are looking for a great game to just mess around with and have fun, Joy Ride Turbo on XBLA is the game for you. There is a lot of fun to be had here. From the crazy racing to the insane amount of stuff you can do in the Stunt Park. Don’t forget to check out the action pack multiplayer as well. In the end, I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a fun game to download on their Xbox 360.

Rating: 9/10


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