Admittedly, I’m a Mario Kart fan to the core. I broke that only with Diddy Kong Racing back during the Nintendo 64 era, but that was a long time ago and there hasn’t been a sequel to one of those titles; can you guess which one? I avoid non-Mario Kart style driving games because when things get too real, they start to be less fun for me. I’ve been told to stay away from reviewing games that I wouldn’t normally play because I “wouldn’t want to post a biased review”. Conversely, how is any review that is (let’s be honest here) basically opinion-based not going to be biased on some points or level. Since our rating system here at The Backlog is based on how much fun the reviewer had with a title and not some end-all-be-all number, I accepted a review copy of Absolute Drift wanting to give an opinion from my point of view. Diversity!
One of the things that really stands out is the overall presentation of Absolute Drift. It’s a great looking game and rather snazzy with the basically duo-tone design. That really makes the other color choices like the paint jobs on the cars and the constant skid marks as you drift about really pop. The mainly white aesthetic is rather plain, but you know… it works. The look of the game only accentuates what the developers really wanted to create here. That is: to make a game about drifting.
I’m not even sure I can call this a driving game from how I would normally classify one. It’s more of a drift simulator with tricks to perform at specific times. There are leaderboards from which you can clearly see how poorly I do compared to everyone else playing the game. Do I shy away from the challenges… you bet your booty! I tend to play in the free roam area solely. I can’t drift around a corner 50% of the time on purpose. I’m getting better and if I play for more than twenty minutes, I can start to look like I know what I’m doing. Once my bumper hits that first wall though… it’s all out the window and I’ve got to figure out which button is the gas again. (Yes, sarcasm.) It’s all very challenging and sometimes the controls don’t act like I’d want/expect them to. I’m not sure if it’s my Logitech controller or the game, but sometimes my car will go backwards when I press the gas and forwards when I’m in reverse. That isn’t to say it’s the main reason I’m bad, but it doesn’t help.
The soundtrack is awesome and I’ve been tempted to simply play it in the background. I’m doing it as I type this review because it’s very mellow and I dig the beats that they’ve selected. Had it not been tied to the game, this is the type of chill, down-tempo trance that can easily knock me out after a long day. While it may seem like an odd to pick for a game about drifting around crazy turns, it really works together to make something beautiful. It doesn’t make me sleepy when I play, but more keeps the mood chill even when I fail at taking a corner while drifting for the seventh time and maybe finishing that up with reversing off a cliff when I meant to go forward. (Once again, see the above picture.)