Raging Thunder 2 for Android test

Raging Thunder 2 for Android test
Raging Thunder is one of the (far too) few games at Android Marketplace that offer more elaborate graphics and complex gameplay. Yes, sad as it is, almost all available games for Android are nothing more than versions of painfully well-known logic puzzles, while at the same time most of the games in the Arcade & Action category are, to put it mildly, of rather poor quality. We hope the recent integration of OpenGL ES 2.0 support into Android is going to change the sad reality and we will get to see an increasing number of more and more spectacular games. We must say we have great expectations relating to the future of Android as a gaming platform.

Now, however, let´s leave the future be and focus on the present instead, the time when Polorbit releases Raging Thunder 2 – a new version of the arcade-style racing game that offers more something of everything. You will be able to relish extremely pleasing graphics and get yourself various and above all, upgradable cars. There are five separate single player modes, but the best thing is the game actually supports multiplayer over local networks and the Internet and it doesn´t even matter whether your opponents use an Android handset or the iPhone/iPod touch (yes, there is a version for Apple-made devices). You navigate your car via the cell phone accelerometer (sadly, there is no on-screen steering wheel) and turn on/off the speed acceleration with screen buttons.

We have to admit we are eager fans of arcade racing – we like Need for Speed and do have a thing for Carmageddon - that´s why we enjoy the fact that in Raging Thunder 2 you are encouraged to hit the cars of other players and get them off balance with any sort of creative road aerobatics you might think of. Varied bonuses are scattered about on the highways and you´ve got boost, cash, flaming tires and car repair kits. Your vehicle gradually gets broken down as you drive, so don´t go over the top smashing it against the cars of your opponents (sad faces over here). The runways we have had the chance to take a look at are nothing to write home about, plus they are too short. Still, it´s a good thing there are occasional shortcuts that allow you to gain the upper hand. Perhaps the best quality of Raging Thunder 2 is it´s really good at conveying a feeling of speed and you will probably have your adrenaline surge (despite the stuttering issues).

Stuttering? Yes, that´s the worst aspect of the game. Raging Thunder 2 has been developed for high-tech cell phones and this is clearly indicated in its description at Android Market. In other words, if you want smooth, playable framerates, you better get yourself something like the HTC Nexus One, Acer Liquid A1 or (perhaps) Samsung Galaxy Spica i5700. We tested the title on our ageing T-Mobile G1 and as you can see in the video, although the game runs acceptably on the overall, the framerate is hardly bearable. The stuttering also prevents you from getting a proper score, since controlling the car gets so much harder.

Still, we do recommend that you give Raging Thunder 2 a go. The Lite edition is completely free and available for download at Android Market, but if the game runs smoothly on your device and you happen to be an eager gamer, well, we would advise you to get the full version. True, it will set you back with $4.99, but is one of the best games for Android at the time being.

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