One reason I love PlayStation is for the monthly PS+ titles. Sometimes these titles are absolute gems, like this month’s Uncharted 4, and other times the titles are less than stellar like Luftrausers, which is actually a really fun game but some trophies are bugged which prevent you from achieving 100% and Vlambeer absolutely refuses to release a patch.
Horizon Chase Turbo was one of those less than stellar titles, at least that’s what I assumed.
Horizon Chase Turbo Review
A Modern Take on a Classic
If I had to describe Horizon Chase Turbo (HCT from here on out), I would say it’s like an on-rails racer with an addiction for speed. To the older gamers out there, I would say it’s like OutRun if it was made today.
As far as I could tell, there was no story to HCT. It’s purely an arcade-like experience designed to be picked up, played for a bit and then put back down. Mirrored in this simplicity is the controls. Press as soon as the green light shows and press or when cornering for some extra steering. You get three boosts at the start of every race, which can be expanded via pickups, which can be activated with . Once you master this suite of simplistic—yet elegant—controls, all that’s left to do is sit back and buckle in for a high speed thrill ride.
The goal of HCT is to complete a world tour. 12 locations, 7-9 races and 1 upgrade event each. These races are simple, place 1st for a Gold Trophy(the in-game ranking system, not actual PlayStation trophies). During these races you will see blue coins hovering on the track. Collect all of these and finish 1st to earn a Super Trophy. At first these races aren’t too challenging, but about halfway through or towards the end of a location, your car might start feeling slow and less responsive. This is what the upgrade races are for. Place 1st in these races and you get to pick an upgrade which applies to all of your cars, and hone your edge.
There are two other modes that you can unlock. Tournament mode and Endless mode. These aren’t essential for most gamers, but if you want that platinum, you’re going to need to get acquainted. Essentially, tournament mode asks you to play 4 races back to back a few times and Endless is almost exactly how it sounds.
Visuals & Audio
Originally, these arcade racers were built with 16bit graphics. HCT, on the other hand, has a nice, modern vector look to it. All the lines are sharp and crisp. The colours are all vivid and pop off the screen and the UI is easy to read. HCT still keeps the parallax background effect though. During the race you will notice background elements like trees and buildings kind of slide into place as if the whole track was 2D. This can trip you up, though. A few times I would take a corner at 100mph and a rock, which initially looked far off to the left, would slide in and just stick its leg out.
The cars you can unlock are all just as appealing as the art(apart from one or two ugly offenders) but you start out with a classic red Ferrari. My favourite vehicle was the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86—or at least it was modelled on it. Every time I hit the boost, a little speech bubble would appear with the words “IKUZO!” and every time I took a sharp corner I could hear the music (you know what music I’m talking about).
While the car sounds are a little lacking and sound like something a cheap toy you give to a child would produce, the soundtrack is a different story. If you’ve ever been on youtube looking for music playlists to listen to while you work or game, you’ll likely have come across Synthwave playlists. With their slick neon colour schemes and 80s design principles, they’re hard to resist and HCT utilises this perfectly in its soundtrack.Speeding down a track, you’ll be treated to a suite of synths all gliding and stabbing away at your ears.
Barry Leitch composed the soundtrack if anyone knows who that is. Admittedly, I didn’t, so I looked him up. He’s done quite a lot of work for a lot of classic games and most of them appeared to be racers just like HCT.
My Horizon Chase Turbo Platinum Trophy Experience
I mentioned earlier that you need to collect blue coins in a world tour race to earn a Super Trophy. This is something I had to do in every race—except the upgrade races—for a trophy. This was by far the longest stage but along the way I unlocked several trophies for achieving 100% completion in each location and some trophies for unlocking cars, installing upgrades and earning points.
This part was the most fun I had with the game. It was simple, and the game was fresh enough that I could keep myself invested, but all good things must come to an end.
Before I jumped into the next mode, I decided to mop up any miscellaneous trophies that I missed, like finishing within 0.01 seconds of another racer or winning a race with 0 fuel.
Tournament mode. I had to complete each tournament, which is just 4 races back to back. The problem is that whichever AI came in 2nd place, they would always stay 2nd unless I gave up my 1st position, in which case they take it. Since this mode is all about who’s got the most points after the 4th race, I couldn’t really afford to place anything other than 1st each time. This is where things started to get tedious and frustrating but 24 tournaments later and I was onto Endless mode.
109 races back to back. Each race awards points. Most points wins. By this point I was over the game but I always start a game with the intention of seeing it through to the platinum—even if I leave it for a while, I always come back. So with my hands tied by my own stupid stubbornness, I leaned into Endless mode. Thankfully, these races aren’t as stressful as the Tournament races and I could sit back and set my brain to auto-pilot. Around 5-6 hours later and I had placed 1st in all 109 races.
I wasn’t done though. The very last trophy was for finishing a race—doesn’t have to be a win—in every available car.
In the end, Horizon Chase Turbo was a fun homage to 80s arcade races that asked too much of me for the platinum.
That concludes my Horizon Chase Turbo platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!
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