With Uphill Rush 3, Less is More
As they say, third time's a charm. Uphill Rush 3 combines elements from the first two games in order to form a more balanced racing title. The controls have been simplified and there are significantly less loops in the track design in order to make the game more accessible for younger players.
As we mentioned, there are fewer controls to master this time around. Instead of having four keys assigned to stunts, you can simply press the jump button (Space Bar in the default setting) to have your racer perform a trick. This is chosen depending on when you press it and your location on the track. Sometimes less is more and this definitely helps keep the control scheme accessible to casual players.
Players who love personalized avatars are in luck. The player customization feature is back with more clothes and wackier "vehicles". Aside from conventional racing machines, you also get your character to use skateboards, inline skates, horses and even cows. That last bit is actually funnier when you compare the bovine's stats with the rest of the options -surprise, surprise!
Another element retained from the first two games is Uphill Rush's signature music. With upbeat rock music, the tunes keep you in the racing mood. Even the sound effects add something special to the whole package. The thundering hum of vehicles revving up is not there for realism, instead, it adds to the build of excitement in the game.
Though Uphill Rush 3's line art has not received a drastic facelift since its predecessor, the graphics are more polished. Lines are smoother, colors are blended better and textures have been used to make scenic elements look more realistic. As an added bonus, the character is more easily seen now thanks to the depth added to the background.
However, we're still not fans of the generic looking menu. The readouts are also littered about, which takes up a big portion of the screen.
If you have been a fan of the series since the original game came out, then you would definitely be no stranger to its core mechanics. The game play is basically the same, with three difficulties to master. As it was for the first two games, only Easy is readily available at the start. Beating all the laps in this difficulty unlocks Normal mode and mastering that opens up Hard mode.
The Uphill races are divided into two categories. Time Trial is your quintessential solo mode wherein you only aim to cross the finish line before your time runs out. In Versus Race, your skills are pitted against a CPU rival while minding the ticking clock. To make things more challenging, you are given a set number of lives to beat each stage as well.
Toggling the display of your Shadow will help you improve your game. With it riding alongside your character in real time, it will be a cinch to spot persistent problem areas. Practice makes perfect so even if you are not that skilled in racing games by default, Using this tool will help you keep wipeouts and missed stunt timings to a minimum.
With Uphill Rush 3's reasonable difficulty level and sweet looking graphic improvements to top it off, it definitely surpasses its predecessors. Also, having new outfit options as well as silly vehicles definitely add to the fun, making this game a great addition to the popular time waster racing series.
We recommend this title for both series veterans and those who are looking for their first racing title. Because the game play has been tweaked to be kinder, the game is now less frustrating for younger players as well.