“Real Racing 2 HD” Review – A Petrol Head’s Delight for the iPad 2

Real Racing 2 HD iPad Game Review

Real Racing 2 HD iPad Game ReviewRating: ★★★★½

“Real Racing 2 HD” is the logical evolution of what is widely regarded as the best racing game for iOS. The guys at Firemint have been beavering away since “Real Racing” first hit our mobile screens, to make the next iteration of their definitive iPad racing game take advantage of everything the iPad 2 offers, right out of the gate! How have they done?

If Firemint had just evolved Real Racing so that it took advantage of advances in the hardware of the iPad 2 (most notably more processing and graphics power) then it would have probably been a worthy successor to their original landmark iOS racer. But they didn’t stop there. Firemint also chucked in a bunch of new features that take advantage of improvements in iOS, as well as maturing their racing game so that it offers both new comers and “Real Racing” veterans some tasty new petrol head perks. Finally, the art assets and models, as well as the tracks, and even the number of cars on those tracks have all been enhanced.

Environments, from right up in the the sky to low down on the various race track surfaces, have had a lot more detail lavished on them this time around, as well as some serious rendering technology applied to the visuals we see in this full on racing simulation; full-screen anti-aliasing, building window reflections, high-detail objects and surfaces and fully-modeled vehicle interiors, to name but a few flavours of eye-candy you’ll be treated to.

Real Racing 2 HD iPad GameThe level of detail put into cars is really a very noticeable notch up from other racing games on iOS – even Firemint’s own high quality earlier efforts. And the selection of upgrades for vehicles, as well as the range of stock cars have all been updated to make this feel a little bit like a mobile Grand Tourismo. All of this factors together to make “Real Racing 2 HD” give off the unmistakable shine of a proper racing game, and not simply a game of digital dodgems – which many other hand held racing games become either by design, gameplay mechanics, or a lack thereof.

Ultimately chucking all of this into a package which is now expected to run on more than one hardware platform can lead to a few niggles. One is that the version of Real Racing 2 that runs on iPads is not the same as that which runs on iPhones. Another is that on the original iPad, Real Racing 2 HD can disappoint on occasion with graphics which aren’t as good as those on its younger sibling (the iPad 2), and the odd stutter in frame rates when things get too frenetic on track – particularly on the original iPad.

Real Racing 2 HD ReviewOf course another advantage that the iPad 2 (and consequently “Real Racing 2 HD”) has over the previous version is full gyroscope support. Steering control in this game is much more precise than in the previous version. So much so that it takes a little getting used to. But once you do you will not want to go back.

In our ever more connected world, people increasingly want to communicate and compete with each other online in all digital arenas. And Real Racing 2 has embraced this with not only the ability to upload and download games between each version of Real Racing, but also with the ground breaking (for mobile) feature of 16 player online multiplayer races! I’ve got to try this out a few times over the last couple of days, and whilst it was not perfect, it was certainly as good as any PSN or XBox live racing experience I have had online to date in Asia – with our sometimes up and down internet speeds. If you don’t want to put up with some of the inevitable issues of online racers and our overloaded global internet, then there is always a local WiFi race option – which is significantly more stable. A nice touch.

Real Racing 2 HD-34Another area where a lot of mobile games fall down is the amount of depth that the game offers overall to solo players. Many times we are left feeling that a mobile game is really more like a snack than a triple AAA experience. “Real Racing 2 HD” does a lot to address that, and offers a fairly comprehensive career mode, as well as a healthy diversity of tracks. There are 15 tracks in total, which include ovals as well as more European style twisty race tracks. The length of these tracks can very from three Kilometres up to almost six. And coupled with career and car development options / awards you can fight your way through around 120 races, and a bunch of upgrades and game modes to really get you your racing fix.

As Firemint themselves describe on their own product page “Real Racing 2 HD” provides “30 licensed cars from real-world manufacturers. 15 stunning locations. Over 10 hours of Cup, Head to Head, Championship, Time Trial and Elimination races await your expert skills.” Which is more than enough to keep even the most avid mobile motor racer happy for a good long time.

Real Racing 2 HDAt around $10 “Real Racing 2 HD” is quite simply the definitive racing game for mobile devices currently available in the market-place. If you are still not sure you can always check out Firemint’s free iOS racing game “Real Racing GTI“, or the original “Real Racing” first.

I can heartily recommend “Real Racing 2 HD”. If it wasn’t for the odd graphics and stuttering issues on the original iPad, and the very few stutters on the iPad 2 – which Firemint assure us they are working to address – this racing game would get a solid 5 star rating. Just like its predecessor, “Real Racing 2 HD” is certainly worth the price tag, and the fairly hefty download size of just under 400MB!

Pros

  • The graphics. Very juicy on the iPad 2.
  • Depth of Career mode.
  • Multiplayer when it does work!
  • Local Multiplayer is fun if you have friends with iOS devices.

Cons

  • Some issues with frame rate on original iPad particularly.
  • Multiplayer when it doesn’t work, or lags.
  • Car engine sound effects a bit bland.

$9.99 Real Racing 2 HD - Firemint Pty Ltd
Category: Games
Updated: Mar 23, 2011
Current Version: 1.02
1.02 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 386 MB
Language: English
Seller: Firemint Pty Ltd
© 2010 Firemint. All Rights Reserved
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later

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Stephen Northcott“Real Racing 2 HD” Review – A Petrol Head’s Delight for the iPad 2