Celeste Dobropolski On November 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

Arctic Village, Alaska, has a population of 152.  It stands to reason that not many vehicles have trekked their way out to the fringes of the Alaskan frontier.  So how exactly is one supposed to road rage their way across the snow caps and peaks?  The easiest and most portable way would be to pick up a copy of MotorStorm: Arctic Edge for the PlayStation Portable.  Arctic Edge, while being of a different clime and geographical coordinates than the first two MotorStorm games, does not offer much else to vary from previous releases.  In fact, the portable version is very similar to the version released for the PlayStation 3. 

You start on your wintry rampage by choosing one of the twenty-four unlockable drivers and customizing one of the twenty-four unlockable vehicles in the Garage. There are two modes of gameplay to choose from, Festival and Wreckreation.  Festival is your typical formula for game progression, allowing you a limited selection of vehicles as you race your way through another MotorStorm tournament.  The first few races of the Festival will solidify the arcade feel of the game, even allowing you a few wins by simply hitting turbo the entire race.  Don’t let that fool you, though.  While watching your driver fly off a bike and over a cliff after a nasty crash can be rather exhilarating, the later races will make you pay for such mistakes. 

Feeling confined?  Head over to the Wreckreation area to drive  a wider range of vehicles.  You can tackle your previous time scores in Time Attack mode, choose a track to race your face off in Free Play, and compete against your friends or random online players in Multiplayer

Controls are accessible and easy to use, though the design of the PSP will leave your hands feeling cramped after long play sessions.  I am personally not a huge fan of the analog stick placement for the PSP, so it is fortunate that the game’s controls offer one the ability to steer with the d-pad instead.

The euphoria of slipping and sliding at breakneck speed along snowy mountain cliffs is enhanced by the game’s handsome design and texturing.  You will feel all the rush of the console version without it being hindered by a smaller screen.  You might wish you had no speakers, however.  Many racing and sports games inject pop music that fits the right price bill to fill the soundtracks of their games.  While it’s certainly going to appeal to much of the game’s demographic, it leaves those who don’t want to hear the stilted jingles over and over with only one choice – turning off the game music in the Settings menu.

If you can’t get enough desolate, icy wasteland in your daily gaming diet, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is a fun racer with plenty to offer handheld console users.  Tight controls and graphics, customization, and different game modes will all leave you pretty satisfied with this racing purchase.


Formulaic progression with a good range of customization. Controls fluidly to optimize how much fun you can have in this arcade style racer.


While not as amazing as some other console racers out there, it’s still an attractive game with plenty of nice textures.


I’m sure it appeals to high school kids and young twenty-somethings, but for the rest of us, it’s a cry to turn down the volume.


A surprisingly true to console form of MotorStorm with all the amenities and none of the television screen, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is a definite option for PSP owners who enjoy arcade racing.

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