PlayStation Mobile has been home to a wide range of games whether it’s been original titles, remakes of old 16-bit titles (Alien Breed and Lemmings for example) and one or two clones of arcade games. Despite the countless clones of games like Space Invaders and other old-school shooters, one thing that has surprised me – and quite pleasantly I might add – is the fact that we have been treated on more than a couple of occasions to games “inspired” by some of the arcade greats released by Sega.
In their prime, Sega were responsible for some of the most memorable arcade games that have ever been seen. Not only were they incredibly addictive, but they were incredibly advanced on a technical level pushing both the gaming hardware and bringing physical innovation to the arcades that hadn’t been seen before. When Hang On was released, no one had expected to play a motorbike racing game and have to physically control it with their body and when players first encountered the full sized version of Space Harrier they were literally blown away by its hydraulic action.
None had such a massive impact on gamers as the legendary Out Run though. A great racer in its own right, the combination of the Ferrari licence, superb soundtrack, motion cabinet and great visuals made it a hit and in the home conversions (even if some were better than others) and even though it has taken longer than planned to hit the store only being released a couple of weeks prior to the service going offline, Oh, Deer! Alpha is PlayStation Mobile’s answer to the game.
It’s not quite a direct clone and instead is a time-attack racer across several stages in a station wagon rather than a sports car. You’re racing across part of America to reach your granny’s house and instead of time, you have a fixed amount of fuel which is topped up at the end of each stage. The “Alpha” in the title indicates that it’s not quite a 100% finished game but it doesn’t seem that way when you play it as it’s polished and incredibly playable. It’s fast, smooth sprite-based racer (using the same visual style as Sega’s arcade classic) and feels just the way you’d expect Out Run to if it were running on a Vita – with just one little twist. Along the route there are obstacles that crop up in your path that you can either avoid or deliberately drive into for bonus points and as the title suggests I’m sure you can guess what they are… yes, Bambi had better watch out with this one! It’s a little on the gruesome side watching hundreds of deer explode on impact with the front of your station wagon and it makes me wonder just what was going through the mind of the developers when they wrote this, but it doesn’t take away from what is still a fun racing game.
The only real let-down for this is the sound – the music certainly takes some getting used to but for such a playable racer this is forgiveable and it’s an incredible bargain, especially at just 40p and this has got to be an essential purchase for everyone!
Title: Oh, Deer! Alpha
PlayStation TV Compatible: N / A