GripShift is a racing arcade game being published by SOE. This title too focuses on the puzzle genre. There are several different views such as the far away, close up, and chase cam. The controls are simple but take a little while to get used to due to the games physics. The graphics are amazing and the game is pretty fast paced.

There are 3 modes of play to choose from, a simple racing game, a challenge mode, and a bonus mode. The racing mode simply pits you against the computer and lets you race them on different tracks. The challenge mode is where its at. Since the game focuses on a puzzle aspect you need to figure out a way to get to the finish line the quickest way. The obvious route may not be the best. Some levels will have you ramping half way across the map using your nitro booster to get to the finish line. You are awarded medals for beating the level in the quickest time. In the levels there are also stars to collect which unlock more levels and characters. Each level also contains a GS icon to collect; collecting these will make bonus games available to you.

The bonus games that I saw are much simpler and a lot of fun. One was a Tron meets Nibbles. You are in a Tron arena and your goal is to collect the stars. As you collect the stars your tail grows and if you run into it you die. It looks exactly like Tron and is great for the fans of the movie/game.

Another bonus game was a pool game. Your goal is to sink the balls on the table, simple right? Wrong. If you dont sink the balls in fast enough the game places TNT packs on the table and if you run those over your game is over. It takes quite a lot of thought to figure out the best way to complete these bonus games.

GripShift offers over 100 tracks across 5 difficulty settings. The game also offers a level editor for you to create your own levels and share them via multiplayer. You can have up to 4 players in a single game for a great racing experience.

This is a fun little racing game for the PSP. It isnt too involved and is great for killing time. The awards and unlockable content brings offers a great replay factor. If you enjoy racing and want something similar to Trackmania for the PSP then you will probably love this.

Expect a fall 2005 release for this title.



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