DiRT 2 Review
Lives up to the name.
Posted 3 years ago By - Zach R.
Wii owners missed out on the first Colin McCrae DiRT game. This is unfortunate, as the game was exactly what rally fans had been waiting for this generation. Thankfully, Codemasters has seen fit to bringing the sequel to the Wii, with the help of Sumo Digital. Will Wii owners finally get a chance to understand what all the fuss is about?
First off, for those expecting a dumbed down port of the 360/PS3 game, this is definitely not the case. Instead, it’s a port of the PSP version of the game. Unfortunately, this means that Wii owners still aren’t getting the full experience of the HD consoles out there. While the other consoles seem to have received the star treatment, the Wii version has been handed a shoddily put together port that by no means represents the series elsewhere.
The first issue is that you’re not given much of a choice when it comes to the races on offer. There are about 40 different races to play through, which is a nice number, but progressing through each race is a mostly linear affair, with almost no real sense of accomplishment involved. The single player experience just feels utterly void of any personality, let alone the edge of your seat racing found in the other versions of the game.
That’s not say the game is devoid of all joy. The sense of speed in the lighter vehicles is actually pretty good, and the AI eases you into the experience before it ramps up the difficulty. Actually, the difficulty is clearly the best part of the game, as the change from pushover to evenly skilled competitor is gradual. It’s clear that this is where most of the time was spent in the development process, as it’s by far the most polished aspect of the game. It’s simple enough for novices to pick up and play without getting too frustrated, and challenging enough to give skilled drivers a run for their money in later stages.
In addition to the standard single player career, you’re given a challenge mode. It’s here that serious fans of rally racing will be able to perfect their skill. Time trials, elimination races, and air time challenges are included, and while casual fans won’t really give it a shot, those who are serious about their racing would do well to check these out, as they’re a huge help in getting a handle on the controls.
Speaking of which, let’s talk controls, shall we? As you’d expect, the game employs a couple of different control methods. The first, (though I’m assuming it’s not intended to be the primary method), is that of the Wii wheel. It almost seems clear that this option was the main problem with this, is that the controller’s tilt function just isn’t accurate enough for a sim. Drifting feels to loose and unrefined, (yes, even for a rally racer), and even basic turns are sometimes missed thanks to poor implementation here.
The other two control types work, (Wii remote with nunchuk and classic controller), but seem rather pointless when you consider the game is available in a much more enjoyable form on other consoles. Strangely, there’s no Gamecube controller support to be found here, but again, why play a sub-par version of the game with better controls, when you can get the complete package elsewhere. Still, it’d be nice to include the option for those who have a Wii.
Graphics & Sound
The Wii version of DiRT 2 takes a huge hit in the graphics department. This is one ugly racer, even for the Wii. Cars look out of place on the dirt-covered tracks, and really stand out like a sore thumb. While the sense of speed is there, everything else is so unremarkable. This is a straight PSP port, but it comes off uglier, as it’s seen on a much larger scale. It’s unfortunate that the games visuals didn’t receive more attention, as it can be an enjoyable racer, even with the flawed controls.
The audio is just as bad. Engines are high-pitched, whiney and constant, while there’s no other atmospheric ambience to cover up the noise of the cars. There’s no music to play while driving, and the menu music is just generic shovelware left over’s.
While the career mode and challenge portions of the game offer a fair amount of content, there just isn’t any way I can recommend DiRT 2 on Wii if you’ve got access to the other versions of the game. Poor presentation and poor controls make the more expensive games much more recommendable. There is offline multiplayer available here, but as there’s little here worth sharing.
If you have the option, check out the PS3/360 versions of the game, as it’s clear that’s where the game was meant to be played. All Wii users are getting is poor controls, bad graphics and what may be the worst audio found in any racer to date.
+ 2 out of 3 control methods work well enough.
+ Challenge mode is a nice touch.
+ Difficulty gradually increases nicely.
- Sound is grating. No in-game music?
- Tilt control is poorly implemented.
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Release Date : 2009/09/08
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Codemasters
Developer : Sumo Digital Ltd.
Category : Racing
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
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