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‘Riptide GP2′ for iOS and Android game review

Riptide GP2 is the successor to last year’s Riptide GP. For those who don’t know, Riptide GP was a racing game but unlike most other games in this genre, this one let you race around a track filled with water on personal watercrafts, doing all sorts of crazy stunts.

The new one takes it several steps ahead with new tracks, new crafts, new stunts, updated visuals and much more. Let’s see how much of an improvement it is over its predecessor.

Title
Riptide GP2
Developer
Vector Unit
Platform
iOS
Android
Release Date

July 25, 2013
July 23, 2013
Content rating

4+
Everyone
Size
48.2MB
46MB
Price
$2.99

Gameplay

The gameplay in Riptide GP2 remains identical to the first game. You ride a watercraft around a water filled track and race other riders to the finish line. While going around the track you come across ramps which let you jump in air and perform stunts, which in turn earn you boost.

One of the key areas where Riptide GP2 improves upon its predecessor is by providing a lot more stunts to the player. The original game had a handful of stunts that could be performed by swiping on both sides of the screen in a particular pattern. The new one has all the previous stunts but also adds several more that can be unlocked using points that you earn as you play the game. These new stunts are a welcome addition but some of them can be pretty tricky to pull off and remembering them all can get difficult. Eventually, you just end up calling upon the handful that you do end up remembering.

Another addition is the ability to upgrade your watercraft. You earn money by winning races, which can then be spent in upgrading your watercraft. You also purchase faster crafts but that’s a lot more expensive option.

Riptide GP2 also brings several new tracks. Unlike the original game where after a while it felt you are just going around the same tracks in different directions, the new game has a lot more tracks and doesn’t begin to feel old as quickly.

The controls are similar to the previous game but the ability to brake as been added, although you probably won’t be using it a lot. The craft accelerates automatically. You turn by tilting the device sideways or by enabling controls on the side of the screen. To perform stunts, you swipe on both sides of the screen in the respective pattern. A boost button is placed on the screen, slightly out of reach for quick access, that brings a quick and temporary boost of speed. You have a boost bar on the screen that shows how much boost you have left. Once enabled you can’t stop it until the entire reserved drains. You earn boost by performing stunts. If the stunts are are original you get 2x the boost. For repeated stunts you only get 1x boost.

On Android you also get support for controllers, with iOS version set to get controller support shortly, possibly with iOS 7.

The online aspect of the game has been improved a lot in the sequel. You have online multiplayer that pits you against three other players, whether they are your friends or complete strangers. In case of the latter, the game matches you against players with similar stats and craft as you so there is no unfair advantage to anyone. Playing against real people is admittedly a lot more fun but it was also a bit too easy to win somehow. You guys out there playing this game in multiplayer seriously need to try harder.

Online features are present in both iOS and Android version. On iOS the game uses the tried and tested Game Center and on Android it takes advantage of the new Play Games features, such as multiplayer gaming, achievements and online leaderboard. It also supports cloud syncing on both platforms. It’s good to see Android finally catch up in the online gaming aspect. Hopefully, more games will add support for these features soon the way iOS games do.

Graphics and Sound

Riptide GP2 brings subtle but noticeable improvements over its predecessor. You can immediately tell that the water looks better in the new game, among other things. Tegra 4 and new iOS devices get all the best stuff, such as high resolution textures, complex shaders, dynamic lighting and real-time shadows. Non Tegra 4 Android devices and non-Retina iOS devices get reduced visuals but the game still looks pretty impressive nonetheless.

On both platforms you can tune visuals to enable or disable certain features to get the right balance of visual quality and performance. For example, at default settings on the iPad mini the game is fairly smooth but enable things such as lens splash FX and higher quality shaders and the game starts stuttering. Also, certain options are not even available on the iPad mini. If you have an iPhone 5 or the fourth generation iPad with Retina display, you’d be able to get the best visuals without any performance penalty. As for Android, the only Tegra 4 device that you can purchase right now is the NVIDIA SHIELD and even that is not out as of now.

In terms of sound, Riptide GP2 does about alright. There are some dubstep tracks that play in the background as you play and depending upon your preference for dubstep you’d either love them or hate them. The crafts all sound about the same, which is essentially the same as a glorified hair dryer. Then again these things don’t sound much different in real life. Riptide GP2 also adds cheering of crowd, which I believe wasn’t present in the previous game.

Verdict

The original Riptide GP was quite fun but did have a habit of getting old pretty quickly. The new one improves upon that considerably by giving you a lot more stuff to do. There are more tracks, more watercrafts, more stunts, craft upgradability, online multiplayer and updated visuals. All of this makes Riptide GP2 a solid sequel and definitely worth the $2.99 price tag.

Rating: 8/10
Pros: Exciting gameplay, lots of new stunts, superb visuals
Cons: Non-Tegra 4 Android devices don’t get the extra visual effects regardless of hardware capability, multiplayer limited to four players

Download: iOS | Android

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