The name Dirt is very fitting for this title, not because of the off road racing, but more so because of a lack of polish. All races can be completed by simply holding the accelerator down the whole race and tapping break. The sounds in the game were laughable, the whole game sounded like a dying weed whacker, high pitched squeals, and a squeaking spring mattress. The game is plagued with lack of detail, such as seemingly flat roads have bumps that cause you to spin out or walls that are at a 90 degree angle that you car can drive up. However, they are distinct, and I think that's the more important thing here.
The controls are quite well-executed on the other hand, and I very much appreciated the way the developers essentially stacked two completely separate controls schemes operating at once. This game also is host to one of my biggest racing game peeves, which is being able to use other cars or walls as a means to smooth out a turn with no repercussion. Having two control schemes to switch to easily allows people to change their grip and use different muscles in their hands when it starts to get uncomfortable. Obviously, if a car is in mid-air or at least is elevated to take the stress off the wheels the sound of the car is different, and the sound effects in Dirt 2 work perfectly well to reflect that. That said, this game would have seriously benefited from an in-race soundtrack. All things considered, I would say to pass on this game and save your money for a different racing game.
Braking is also mapped to both the left trigger and the square button, and you can steer with either the analog nub or the D-Pad. The main detractor to racing in this game is the lack of depth to the actual driving. The game is very arcadey in presentation, and its controls reflect this. Furthermore, as cars traverse the course, the sound of their engine changes depending on the movement and position of the car. You can tell the difference between most cars just because of the noise their engine makes, which is a pretty solid feat for a handheld game.
. As it stands, there is nothing to hear during a race than the whir of the engine, and it can get pretty lonesome after a longer race. As far as the soundtrack goes, it is comprised of very catchy alternative rock songs. At any time you can switch between the right trigger and the X button to accelerate. Most aspects of this game seem dirty and poorly executed.
Cars don't exactly sound great, and most of them are kind of whiny and high-pitched. The simplicity of the racing led to a disinterest in this particular title. Also, there are many areas that look like short cuts that just end up having you lose time by the game sending you back to the track. This takes away any real sense of realism, and it causes an alienation while playing the game. . . .
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