Friday, August 29, 2014

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS Shulk Trailer

A new challenger approaches, and it's one that was revealed via leak. That doesn't make Xenoblade Chronicles' Shulk's debut in Super Smash Bros. any less impressive. Not only does Shulk have some awesome looking moves, but he also has a nice stage in the form of Gaur Plains. Check out this trailer to see this Xenoblade Chronicles newcomer in action!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX (PS3) New Features Trailer

Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep are returning to the spotlight with loads of new content in the form of bosses, items, and chapters. Witness all of the newness in this new features trailer. That's a lot of new!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Top Five 3D Sonic the Hedgehog Games

Remember this article? Well, now you do! Phil was really excited with the announcement of Sonic Boom for the Wii U, but then impressions came in... and then more impressions... and then more. Suddenly, he wasn't that hyped anymore, and now we love to throw that linked article in his face when he gets too big for his britches.

That said, we wanted to focus on better times for the Blue Blur. There's so much negativity surrounding Sonic the Hedgehog and gaming in general nowadays. Let's take this moment to discuss our favorite 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games, a list that probably won't feature Sonic Boom in a future revision, now will it, Phil?

5) Sonic: Lost World (Wii U)

Made by the same team behind the Wii exclusive Sonic Colors, Sonic: Lost World is an overall satisfactory addition to the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games. It's by no means a terrific game, but it also doesn't hang anywhere near the likes of Sonic and the Black Knight or Shadow the Hedgehog. The parkour system was mostly enjoyable to use, the spherical, cylindrical, and circular levels offered a lot of clever level design, and there was a sensational soundtrack to boot.

Perhaps the greatest flaw with Sonic: Lost World is how it had such an identity crisis. It seemed like Sonic Team didn't know exactly what they wanted to do with the game, thus they threw everything they could at a wall to see what would stick. Sure, controlling Sonic in a snowball worked well and levels like the always-running Honeycomb Highway were fun, but pinball levels with chaotic physics, an endgame that felt haphazardly put together, and several rail-grinding levels added to Sonic: Lost World's detriment. However, all in all, we definitely enjoyed our time with this Wii U exclusive.

4) Sonic Adventure 2 (DC)

The original Sonic Adventure at the time of its launch was a nice affair. However, playing it now shows an abundance of flaws and things wrong with the game. Sonic Adventure 2 took the formula of its predecessor and ran with it, removing things like hub worlds, annoying segments like Big's fishing escapades, and made for a more streamlined experience.

Sonic and Shadow's levels were the top tier levels of the game, with Tails and Eggman's mech riding stages feeling like an awesome arcade shooting gallery with some platforming thrown in for good (and sometimes bad) measure. The treasure hunting stages that Knuckles and Rouge participated in were upgraded from what Sonic Adventure had, but these were still some of the weakest levels within the entire Sonic Adventure 2 package.

Still, there's a lot to find fun within Sonic Adventure 2 despite its copious amounts of flaws, whether it be storming through a San Francisco-inspired area in City Escape or grinding on rail after rail, scoring big points for doing so.

3) Sonic Unleashed (PS3, 360, Wii)

We would argue that half of Sonic Unleashed is truly fantastic. For those who have played the game or are at least familiar with it, which half we're referring to should be painfully obvious. Well, as painful as it was to play the Werehog portions of the game. Yes, while there weren't any side characters to play as in Sonic Unleashed, when the Blue Blur transformed into the Werehog monstrosity, the game slowed to a tedious crawl. All forms of proper pacing spun out like Sonic slipping on a banana peel.

The daytime stages were where Sonic Unleashed truly shined. Levels had multiple paths, were fun to play, and while the boost-to-win gameplay was still there, the overall experience playing as Sonic was stupendous. Okay, maybe that's too strong of a word, but it was definitely stupendous in comparison to the nighttime stages featuring Molasses-Ass the Hedgehog-- er, the Werehog. The Werehog stages focused on what Sonic isn't about at all, combat and clearing out rooms full of enemies. This is sort of why many critics don't have much love for the upcoming Sonic Boom for Wii U.

Regardless, Sonic Unleashed also introduced players to one of the worst levels in modern Sonic the Hedgehog history, Eggmanland. Just read our thoughts on it to see why. Nonetheless, even with the Werehog and Eggmanland bringing the entire package down a little, Sonic Unleashed was the start of an upswing in the quality of Sonic the Hedgehog games.

2) Sonic Generations (PS3, 360, PC)

The top two titles on our list are ones that Sonic the Hedgehog fans commonly argue about which is the best. Well, you obviously know where we stand, seeing Sonic Generations as the number two entry on this list and all!

Anyhow, Sonic Generations was a celebration of the Blue Blur's illustrious history. Packed with a re-imagined level from each major Sonic the Hedgehog game, Sonic Generations had loads of fan service for lovers of SEGA's speedy mascot. Whether you were speeding through Sonic the Hedgehog's famous Green Hill or taking a tour of Sonic Adventure's Speed Highway, the levels were both new and familiar all at the same time.

Players took control of both Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic, each focusing on a certain type of level in a certain perspective. Modern Sonic often had 3D portions to play through, while Classic Sonic generally had 2.5D levels to traverse.

Sonic Generations wasn't perfect, however, with a second half of the game feeling a tad rushed and several boss encounters being fairly weak fights. Let's not forget Planet Wisp Act 1 for Classic Sonic either. Excuse us while we shiver!

1) Sonic Colors (Wii)

Our pick for the best 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game yet is Sonic Colors, a Wii exclusive. Even though the game released late in the Wii's lifespan when many core gamers had moved onto other platforms, Sonic Colors sold relatively well. It's nice when quality equals sales!

Sonic Colors introduced Wisps to the formula, each offering Sonic a unique temporary ability and power upon coming across one. Whether it was the ability to drill through the ground and through water, launch like a rocket into the sky, or shoot through the air like a laser beam, the Wisps weren't a detriment to Sonic Colors like originally thought.

Even with the inclusion of Wisps, Sonic Colors felt like classic Sonic put into 3D form. It gave players tightly designed levels with few annoying quirks, a wonderful setting to enjoy in Dr. Eggman's interstellar amusement park, and a nice chunk of challenge to contend with. With both 2D and 3D gameplay to be entertained by, Sonic Colors is without a doubt our favorite 3D Sonic game and the top choice for the series's best foray into 3D.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

13 Most Wanted Games for the Rest of 2014

We're approaching the busiest time of the gaming year, so I figured I'd share the top titles that have my attention for the rest of the year. From Super Smash Bros. to Destiny, Sunset Overdrive to Fantasy Life, this list has all sorts of goodies on it! Once you've read my entries, feel free to share your most wanted games for what's left of 2014. You could even heavily criticize my list to the point of driving me to tears! Anyhow, let's get to my list!

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS (Wii U, 3DS)

While leaks for some folks may spoil a bit of the intrigue and hype behind a game, the character leaks from early this week have done nothing but extremely hype me for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. Like most of Masahiro Sakurai-led projects, both new Smash Bros. games are already packed with content, and we're not even through reading and hearing about most of the new content officially. I, like many other Smash fans, will no doubt vegetate and do nothing but play Smash once the 3DS version hits in early October. Then, I'll veg again when the Wii U's holiday release date comes.

Destiny (Multi)

The game with the closest upcoming release date, Destiny is joint venture by Bungie, known for starting the Halo series on the Xbox, and big publisher Activision. Those who have already played the now-closed beta are now foaming at the mouth to play more of this massively multiplayer online shooter, whether it's for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, or Xbox 360. Thankfully, those beta entrants as well as those who didn't get a chance to play in-depth with the game before Destiny's release won't have to wait much longer to invest as much time into it as they want. Destiny launches in just a couple of short weeks.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (XONE)

As someone who has really only played one full Halo game in the series and that was Halo 3, an essential compendium of Halo's greatest hits in one neat little package seems like a no-brainer of a pickup. You get the anniversary edition of the original Halo, a version of Halo 2 that is getting the same updated treatment as the original, and updated versions of Halo 3 and Halo 4. In addition to that, if your hunger for Halo is still not satiated (you greedy goose), the entire package comes with an invitation to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta. If you're like me and have little experience with Halo or even LESS experience with the series, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an essential purchase if you're into first-person shooters or science fiction.

Sunset Overdrive (XONE)

I always knew those energy drinks were evil, and Sunset Overdrive is going to prove it to the world. The game, made by Insomniac Games of Ratchet & Clank and early Spyro games fame, has you playing as a customized character, wall-running, jumping, and grinding through a colorful city world. This is all the while taking out OD'd human beings, those who have overdone it on FizzCo's newest energy drink. The nimble and agile action of Sunset Overdrive mixed with the comic book-like world are breaths of fresh air on the Xbox One, and it's a title that makes me and a whole lot of other non-Xbox One owners wishing to purchase the system.

LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4, PS3)

One of the most exciting games for me that is coming out this year, as someone who A) loves platformers, and B) has a great amount of interest and fascination with level design, is none other than LittleBigPlanet 3. This sequel is being created by Sumo Digital, a studio with a high range of top-tier titles including Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. All previous downloadable packs from past LittleBigPlanet games can be used in LittleBigPlanet 3, all levels from the past two console games can also be played in. In addition to that, instead of being able to switch between three layers of depth, LittleBigPlanet 3 offers a game-changing 16. Oh, and did I forget to mention that creators are no longer slaves to a thermometer? Instead, creators can make levels as big as they wish, as long as their PS3 or PS4 hard drive has room available on it.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

While the European release has been delayed to early next year, North American and Japanese Wii U owners will get to enjoy Captain Toad's first solo adventure this holiday season. The game revolves around small but packed areas where Captain Toad must maneuver through obstacle-laden courses to reach a gold Power Star, serving the purpose of each stage's goal. E3 2014's cavalcade of footage proved that this idea originally inspired by Super Mario 3D World's Captain Toad levels can be an excellent concept for a full game. I can't wait to explore levels and take control of Captain Toad later this year.

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

My favorite video game series is almost without question The Legend of Zelda. It's awesome to see the series continue to evolve and spread out into uncharted territory. Hyrule Warriors takes the Zelda franchise and mixes it with Dynasty Warriors to create a unique hack 'n slash action game. The amount of fan service is incredible, and while the lack of online is definitely lame (that's the word us professionals use *rolls eyes*), I'm happy that I'll at least be able to play cooperative modes with friends and family with both players having different screens to use. One player uses the GamePad screen while the other utilizes what's on the TV. Repetition may set in, but I love the source material so much that it might not even faze me.

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)

A sizable amount of great games released last console generation (PS3, 360, Wii). It was definitely hard to play them all, much more find any time to do so! One of the games that I missed out on regrettably was Platinum Games's Bayonetta. However, now I can make up for that. The October release of Bayonetta 2 on Wii U will not only have that exclusive game for owners of Nintendo's latest home console, but it will also include the original Bayonetta with some new content thrown in for good measure like Nintendo-themed costumes for Platinum's leading lady. If that wasn't enough, Bayonetta 2 looks to continue Platinum's tradition of ever-escalating action that will get your pulse pounding and heart beating wildly. I'm excited to finally get a formal introduction to Miss Bayonetta.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Multi)

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is one of my favorite LEGO games in the entire line of LEGO software, and if take a look at all the LEGO games that have released, that's A LOT o' LEGO! The upcoming LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes Batman and over 150 other DC characters and puts them in a new setting, space. You can be sure that the LEGO series's trademark humor will be a big part of the game, and that LEGO Batman 3 will be as accessible to play for all ages when it launches this November.

Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS)

It's funny that I'm hyped for this new duo of Pokemon games, remakes of the Game Boy Advance's Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, despite not even playing a second of Pokemon X or Y. It's a testament that I'm a not a Pokemaniac like some folks are (nothing wrong if you are one, though), but it just goes to show that there's something special that Nintendo and Game Freak have going. A series that was once labeled a passing fad a decade ago is still going strong during its fifteenth year in existence. I think I'll finally break out Pokemon X and give it a shot now! ...Wait. Wasn't I supposed to talk about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Now I'm out of room. Oops!

Fantasy Life (3DS)

It's very gratifying when we do a segment on SuperPhillip Central such as "Localizations, Please!" and then we receive the games we wished to get localized! Fantasy Life is one of those titles, and I'm absolutely giddy about it. Sure, it might have taken a little under two years for the game to come out of the land of the rising sun, but Fantasy Life seems like it will be worth the wait with its role-playing game action, customization, and abundance of charm.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS)

The original Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is one of my favorite music games ever created. It helps that I have a fondness for the soundtracks the Final Fantasy series possesses, one of the few always incredible constants of the franchise. This edition of Theatrhythm features all of the songs from the original-- that's over 200 songs on the game card. The game also has a myriad of content, modes, characters, RPG-style quirks, and so much more. How can we possibly hold all of this content?!

Tales of Hearts R (Vita)

I've been yearning for more handheld games of the role-playing variety, and Tales of Hearts R is looking to feed that yearning splendidly. The original version of Tales of Hearts released only in Japan on the Nintendo DS. Now, us Westerners get a chance to play the game in most of our native languages with this PlayStation Vita remake. While our only option at least here in the United States will be to purchase the game from GameStop if we go the retail route, it's better than no release at all.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - Back to School 2014 Edition

It's late August and a lot of the little kiddies are going back to school, if they haven't already. No worries if you're back to school, as SuperPhillip Central has a happy helping of VGMs to share with you to make the transition from summer to school all the easier. This week we have music from The Wonderful 101, Sonic: Lost World, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Wario Land: Shake It!, and Kirby Canvas Curse.

v691. The Wonderful 101 (Wii U) - ST01 Roll Out, Wonderful Ones! Battle in the Blossom City Suburbs

And the award for longest VGM title goes to... In all seriousness, any Wii U owners out there without The Wonderful 101 in their library should really rectify that by picking up a copy. The game takes a little while to learn the ins and outs, but once that has been done, oh, how The Wonderful 101 feels so good and rewarding! This first level theme puts our band of superheroes into the midst of turmoil within Blossom City. It's suitably heroic and full of bombastic brass!

v692. Sonic: Lost World (Wii U) - Honeycomb Highway

Although the game wasn't the great one that many Wii U owners and Sonic the Hedgehog fans wanted it to be, Sonic: Lost World wasn't that bad of a game. There were truly some amazing levels and ideas in the game. One such great level is Desert Ruins Zone Two, the setting where this kick-butt theme plays. Longtime Sonic series composer Tomoya Ohtani delivers a sensational soundtrack yet again.

v693. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN) - Rogueport

We're nearly at 700 VGMs total, and this is the first time we've had Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on our list. Rogueport is the main hub of the GameCube Paper Mario, and it's packed with content, things to do, and characters to chat with. From Goombella to Admiral Bobbery, the characters that join Mario's party make for a hilarious game and enjoyable one, too.

v694. Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii) - Just Plains

The Wario Land series hit a home console for the first time with its fifth installment, Wario Land: Shake It! / The Shake Dimension. The game not only looked absolutely gorgeous, but it came packed with a terrific soundtrack that had loads of lovely themes to it. One of them is Just Plains, a piano heavy piece perfect for running across the colorful plateaus of the level.

v695. Kirby Canvas Curse (DS) - Frozen Fantasy

We conclude this edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs with a song from Kirby Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS. The game single-handily gave the touch screen for the Nintendo DS a purpose to many gamers and skeptics alike. Drawing lines to guide Kirby through the many challenging levels of the game would have been impossible on any other platform at the time. Ooh. Now we want to play this game again in anticipation for the Wii U sequel!

Mega Man IV (GB, 3DS VC) Retro Review

Like brand-new news regarding Mega Man nowadays, two reviews in one day on SuperPhillip Central seldom ever happens. Today is a special day, however. Mega Man IV recently released on the North American Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS. Here's SuperPhillip Central's thoughts on the game in the form of a review!

Welcome to Rockman's World.

Remember in the early 2000's how so many of us complained about Mega Man being in way too many games and seeing way too many releases? Oh, if only we knew then what we know now. Today, Mega Man is pretty much intentionally forgotten by Capcom, the series's publisher. Hell, Nintendo is doing more with the franchise than its own publisher is, and that doesn't just include Mega Man's entry in the Super Smash Bros. series with this year's Wii U and 3DS entries. It also includes many of Mega Man's games being released on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console marketplaces. The latter is where the fourth Mega Man game for the Game Boy finally gets another chance to shine, Mega Man IV. For its low entry price, Mega Man IV is like a fully charged Mega Buster shot-- it's a blast.

The core of Mega Man IV remains unchanged from past Mega Man titles, both on the NES and on the Game Boy titles that preceded it. Mega Man runs, guns, and jumps through linear platforming stages, taking on the Robot Master that serves as the last challenge of each level. Defeating the Robot Master endows Mega Man with its special weapon. This special weapon can be used as a helpful tool in completing levels, and it also serves as a weakness to another Robot Master. Finding the right weakness to the right Robot Master is essential for making the game easier on the player. The ability to choose whichever Robot Master level you want to play in whatever order you wanted makes for the ability to make Mega Man IV as easy or as challenging as you'd like.

Like each GB Mega Man before it,
Mega Man IV reuses NES Mega Man bosses.
Of course, back in the day, one would have to play through an entire level and use a given special weapon on a Robot Master to see if it would be weak against it. If not, the player would either have to do their best with just Mega Man's Mega Buster (which can now be charged), or intentionally die and try a whole different level and Robot Master to go up against. This trial and error could really be a pain, playing through entire levels only to find out that that stage's boss isn't weak against any special weapon you have. Thankfully, you can use a guide to see the recommended order of Robot Masters for Mega Man IV (and be a scrub in the process).

A new feature for this Game Boy installment of Mega Man (and for the series in general) is the inclusion of a shop feature. Once a level has been cleared, Mega Man ventures to Dr. Light's lab and can use the P-Chips (Power Chips) collected in stages to purchase a whole slew of item types. There's health and weapon energy restorative items, energy tanks, 1-ups, and more. This makes the oft-challenging Mega Man IV less of a frustration. Though, no item will save you from poor jumps, particularly into spikes, bottomless pits, or into a wall that crushes poor Mega Man.

P-Chips dropped by foes and found
in levels can be used to purchase items.
At the start of Mega Man IV, there are four Robot Masters to choose from. The first four Robot Masters in the game are all from the NES version of Mega Man 4. These levels each house one of four letters, B, E, A, and T. Collecting all four unlocks Beat the bird, who made its debut in this game and would make multiple appearances in Mega Man's many sequels.

Meanwhile, the latter four Robot Masters are all taken from Mega Man 5 on the NES. Unlike the letters in the first four levels, these levels require you to collect all four letters-- W, I, L, and Y, in order to unlock the last series of levels in the game.

Since the Game Boy screen had much less space to it than a television screen, rooms in the Game Boy Mega Man games were much smaller, meaning larger sprites and less real estate per screen. That said, even with this perceived handicap, levels in Mega Man IV are well designed and seldom feel unfair. Well, Crystal Man's notwithstanding, which is a stage that ups the difficulty to astronomical levels in comparison to all of the other Robot Master levels in the game.

Know when to hold 'em. Know when
to fold 'em. Know when to run away.
Alongside this baffling jump in difficulty, most levels do not feature enough checkpoints in them. This makes repeated deaths frustrating, especially when you die at the same spot that you spent another five minutes getting to. These spots are usually just before a checkpoint, as if the level designers wanted their cruelty to be their legacy long after their deaths.

Much like discovering the weaknesses to each Robot Master, Mega Man IV is trial and error. An important part of its challenge is redoing stages, learning from your mistakes, and going for that perfect run. This makes the game a lengthy one in that regard. However, with the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console's restore points, you can cheese your way through the game, reloading the restore point when you die. It's like it never happened! Doing so, though, will rob you of the sense of accomplishment Mega Man IV gives you from succeeding due to skill rather than perseverance with the restore point option.

This robot won't even LOOK your way
if you use restore points.
Mega Man IV is a worthy entry in not just the Game Boy line of Mega Man titles, but it also keeps up with the home console releases as well. Some intentional design choices to make the game challenging will frustrate many younger players (heck, and even some older ones, too), but overall Mega Man IV is a blast to play and oh-so rewarding to overcome each challenge it shoots at you.

[SPC Says: 7.5/10]

Table Top Racing (Vita) Review

Exactly one month ago we took a look at Super Toy Cars, a game in the same genre as the subject of this early morning's review, Table Top Racing for the PlayStation Vita. It's my pleasure to say that Table Top Racing fares a bit better than what we covered last month. Here's the review.

You're too old to be playing with toy cars;
play with these awesome virtual toy cars instead!

Table Top Racing originally debuted on iOS devices last year, and it brought with it an abundance of free Micro Machines-style racing. An Android version was released earlier this year, and now Table Top Racing has revved its miniature engines and rolled onto a dedicated gaming device for the first time in the form of the PlayStation Vita. 

Hearing that the game is from the co-creators of the insanely addicting and polished Wipeout series makes for big expectations for an otherwise decidedly unassuming racer. Is Table Top Racing worth a look on Sony's handheld, or would Vita owners better be served playing with their old set of Hot Wheels cars?

It seems that plenty of developers grew up playing with toy cars and raced with them much like I did as a kid. How do I come to that conclusion? Simply because miniature cars racing in a video game seems to be an idea that's a dime a dozen. However, Table Top Racing doesn't just make this fun, it also executes the idea splendidly-- and without the tears that come from having your mom accidentally step on one of your favorite toys. I LOVED THAT RETRO FORD MUSTANG, MOM!!! ...Ahem.

Ooh. Save some of that miso for me!
Anyway, when I say Table Top Racing executes the idea well, I'm talking about how tightly and responsive each small scale vehicle handles and feels. The starting ice cream van controls well enough, even with its modest stats, and when you move on to more awesome rides, racing become even better. Seeing how easy it is to pick up and play the game and how little there is to learn to start racing with the best of them, it makes racing on top of picnic tables, kitchen counters, and even barbecue grills exhilarating. Yes, exhilarating. 

Of course, simply racing through courses lined with everyday household and outdoor objects would grow tiring rather quickly, so like any capable and competent racer of this style, items are involved. From EMP shocks and homing missiles to mines and nitro boosts, Table Top Racing has a handful of helpful items that keeps races interesting. Not only can they help you fend off opposing racers wishing to take first place away from you, but they also assist in keeping up with the pack. Though, it's important to note that the latter isn't really hard to do, as the overall difficulty of Table Top Racing is on the low end of the spectrum, save for some later races.

No worries if your tires start squeaking;
there's a whole bottle of oil right to the side!
Something that also has a low difficulty is coming across a questionable design choice regarding the controls. The rear view of Table Top Racing is activated by grazing the back touch pad of the Vita system. Since the touch pad takes up so much real estate on the Vita, it makes accidentally switching to a rear camera view all too easy mid-race on multiple occasions. This results in a lot of accidental crashes into objects and missed turns due to being unable to see them, a problem that is particularly vexing if you have large hands. This means you must hold the Vita in an awkward position just to avoid routinely touching the rear pad. 

The main mode of Table Top Racing consists of several championships featuring a plethora of race types. There's traditional races with no items, combat races with items, time trials, elimination-style races, and a chase race where you try to catch up and ram into the CPU driver as fast as possible. Perfecting each event will take a good while to do, as will getting all of the trophies. Thus, Table Top Racing certainly has plenty of longevity to it.

Reminds me of speeding down Miami's beaches
at night. Wait. I've never been to Miami!
Completing races not only furthers your progress, but it also bestows you with coins. Unlocking cars and upgrades for your hot set of wheels are done through spending coins. Due to the mobile gaming roots of Table Top Racing, you can go about purchasing coins with real world money in order to unlock new cars and upgrades on a swifter basis, if you so choose to go down that road. Just realize that this route is by no means necessary to unlock everything within the game. 

This trucka is a bad mutha-- watch your mouth!
Regardless, a myriad amount of vehicle types are available to buy, each with their own stats that can be upgraded, paint jobs to purchase, and special abilities to unlock like being able to bunny hop over obstacles to create makeshift shortcuts, for instance. 

Table Top Racing was a bit of a looker on iOS and Android, but on the PlayStation Vita, where there's plenty of downloadable games that are downright jaw-dropping, the visuals do less than impress. Textures in the game do little to excite, many objects that line the track look like they are made out of plastic (which would be fine if those hot dogs were meant to actually be doggy chew toys), and the overall look of the game comes off as cheap. However, the vehicle models and backgrounds are of a high quality. It's also worth mentioning how vehicles leave behind tread-marks, which is neat to see, so it's not all bad visually.

On the audio side, if you're a fan of ho-hum rock music that is bundled together with even more ho-hum rock music, then Table Top Racing will make your ears love you for giving them a chance to experience the music of the game. Nonetheless, the majority of players will probably mute the game, especially since the sound effects don't do much to interest the listener either. 

Table Top Racing is one of the better miniature car racers out there. It controls well, has wonderful racing action, a lovely helping of content, and it's easier to play on the bus or train to work than hauling your collection of Micro Machines and playing with them there. Plus you won't get as many dehumanizing, judgmental stares. The game has its fair share of issues, but those wanting some fun toy car action will find plenty of enjoyment with Table Top Racing.

[SPC Says: 7.0/10]