published Thursday, Jul 23rd
Since the Nintendo DS’ inevitable exposure to a massive mainstream audiences it has gone on to become a excellent platform for numerous third parties to earn exposure for original and often innovative titles. Before hand these titles would have remained hidden in the internets darkest corners, but now with stylus in hand, it’s Line Rider: Freestyle’s turn to make the move oh so difficult from internet to hand held console.
Of course this is not the first time the iconic internet title has made it onto Nintendo DS, with Line Rider: Unbound 2 released last autumn, however the stylized version made little impact. So will a version faithful to the original offer up enough to impress DS audiences? or will people stick to the free internet version?
As per usual the the game starts out with a simple campaign mode, the aim is to fill in the missing track with lines to guide the rider to the finish, collecting the tokens to gain that all important first place. Here controls can be picked up with relative ease, what lines to use, which direction etc. this can be a hit an miss process, get the incorrect line or angle and the rider will be launched off the course and free fall into unknown territories. Make it and our little hero will bust out a celebratory dance or action moves, which can be assigned beforehand. At its best Line Rider: Freestyle is a double edged sword, attempting to gain those illusive tokens will result in repetition and in turn frustration, but it also provides the hook that on which completionist will bite.
Those familiar to the original internet version will be well at home in freestyle mode. Here users can choose to draw an entire course from scratch, there is an obvious downside to a mode that relies on imagination, it depends on the individual. Fine, if the blueprints for Narnia are stored somewhere in that cranium, but lacking in imagination department and it’s back to drawing phallus’ like rest of us. A second mode sees the rider careering at high pace, the aim here is to draw a course before he crashes into the abyss. Create a course that is too fast and the little characters finds himself off the beaten track, create a course that’s too slow and he’ll stop dead, in a word frantic. Of course no DS title would be complete without a sense of community. Line Rider Freestyle provides with puzzle mode where puzzles can be created and shared with fellow Line Riders.
Like the majority of titles on the DS the graphics leave little to the imagination. However the clue is in the title, this game is all about lines, no one was expecting visuals approaching Super Mario Brothers here. Regardless that’s not what titles like Line Rider are about, what they’re about is taking a simple concept and turning it into something that can hold someone’s attention. Based on merit alone Line Rider: Freestyle does that, quite whether its done enough to take the emphasis from the internet counterpart remains to be seen.