When I bought my New 3DS, I knew there wasn’t many exclusive games for it. Still, I really wanted one of the systems because the SNES Virtual Console and also how the system improved on the internet browser. Its always great to see the occasional New 3DS exclusive game though! When I heard about Lifespeed coming to the New 3DS, I knew I wanted to review it. A fast racing game in the style of F-Zero for New 3DS?! I had to play it and I had to review it. But does Lifespeed live up to my expectations? Here’s my review of Lifespeed for the New 3DS!
Its not often that racing games get a Story Mode and when they do, its usually something simple and thrown together. Lifespeed’s story mode isn’t the best part the game, but its a lot more interesting than you would think it would be. Through comic book style cutscenes, the main characters of the game are introduced and fleshed out. Its very interesting and you’ll want to read through these cutscenes. The story isn’t especially orginal, we’ve seen futuristic race to survive stories before, but Lifespeed’s story and characters are well put together. What about its gameplay though? Is the racing fun?
Lifespeed is a really fun game. The races you take part in are fast and can get a bit intense when you start hitting against your enemy or shooting at them. There are floating rings to fly through that will give you boosts and equip you with weapons briefly. The rings remind me of Star Fox a little. In fact, Lifespeed reminds me of Star Fox (or Race the Sun) crossed with F-Zero. You will be racing and flying quickly through Lifespeed’s levels.
There are multiple modes in Lifespeed. There is a Story mode, a Single Race mode, and a Championship mode. Story mode takes you through specific levels as one character, meanwhile you can choose your character in Single Player and Championship. Single player mode even lets you choose specific worlds and tracks to play in. I like all of these modes, but my favorite was Story mode, although there is one thing I’d change about it.
Unfortunely, there is one problem with Story mode and its the auto-save. If you quit at the wrong time, you lose you’re whole progress in the mode. You have to quit this mode at the right time and exit Lifespeed completly. Next time you play Lifespeed, the game will ask you if you want to continue your game. There is no place to load up the Story mode, so if you quit story mode and then go back to the main menu do not go back into Story mode. You will be starting the story mode all over again. This is pretty frustrating and I lost track of how many times I restarted the story mode. I wish the game had a normal save option (at least a save & quit) instead of just auto-saving.
My advice about Story mode is to just set aside some time and play this mode straight through. All three of the game’s modes are pretty good. That said, I really wish this game had a multiplayer mode.
There is no local or online multiplayer mode in Lifespeed. I think solo Lifespeed is a lot of fun, but I could imagine a multiplayer mode being even more fun. With the power of the New 3DS, I’m not sure why a multiplayer mode wasn’t included. Racing games are always more fun with friends. Even a local multiplayer match mode would’ve been a blast with this game. There is online score ranking but it feels like a consolation price. And then there’s the game’s controls, which are pretty simple controls overall, but can be a bit hard to master.
When I first started playing Lifespeed, I found myself going up toward the ceiling or close to the floor too much. I started to learn that you don’t want to push up or down too much on the analog stick while racing. I’m still not too good at turning corners. Basically with Lifespeed, you only have to worry about the analog stick. Though the L & R buttons do have a left and right roll that can be helpful at times.
There is an option to use gyro controls too, though I didn’t like these controls at all. The touch screen for Lifespeed is used to give in-game messages and for a race map. The in-game messages can be a little distracting when you’re racing, however your eyes will mostly be on the top screen where the racing takes places. Lifespeed doesn’t really use any New 3DS specific features like the analog nub. While it might take you a little bit to get use to the controls, the game is well worth it. Of course, the controls are not the reason Lifespeed is on the New 3DS: the graphics are.
Lifespeed has very good graphics, especially in 3D. I didn’t use the 3D a lot because it bothered me after awhile, but if 3D doesn’t give you any problems than that is the way to play. The game does look pretty good with the 3D off though. Also, there is a very goo opening cutscene with CG graphics. The rest of the cutscenes for story mode are comic book style and they are well done too.
You can absolutely tell why Lifespeed had to be a New 3DS only game! I saw no noticiable dips in framerates and the graphics always look good no matter how fast you go. The one nitpick graphics wise that I can find is that I wish the tracks had more visual variety to them. Many of the tracks look very similar to each other with recoloring here and there. Overall, though, Lifespeed is an impressive looking 3DS eshop game.
As for Lifespeed’s audio, its not bad. The music in the game is never annoying and sometimes its pretty good. However, the music over powers the sound effects in the game and there isn’t anything too stunning there. It would have been nice to at least hear your ship make a sound when you crash. Though the sound isn’t great, almost everything else about this game is great!
If you own a 3DS and you love racing games, Lifespeed is a must own. The racing gameplay is fun, the graphics are great, and as a bonus, Lifespeed has a good story too. The biggest thing wrong with the game is that it doesn’t have a multiplayer mode. Hopefully an update to Lifespeed will take care of my only other major gripe with the game–the auto-saving. Lifespeed is a good game and an excellent addition to the New 3DS library.
Thanks to WeeMan Studios for providing a review copy of this game. Lifespeed is now available for the New 3DS via the eshop.
- Excellent graphics
- Fun gameplay
- Good Story
- No Multiplayer Mode
- Needs Manual Saving