IGN Review of Indianapolis 500 Legends
Along with Destineer's release of Indianapolis 500 Legends for Nintendo Wii, the company also put out a portable companion for Indy fans to enjoy while on the road. Following the same core design, Indy 500 Legends DS takes the concepts found in the console version and adapts them to DS, including everything from tilt (now stylus) control, pit mini-games, and legendary "true-to-history" racing. This means you'll be trading in the supercharged cars of today for the more dangerous, unreliable cruisers of the past. And while the DS counterpart capitalizes in a few key areas, it still boils down to a very basic racer that will inspire only the most diehard of Indianapolis 500 racing fans.
We've seen the basic "touch racer" setup numerous times on DS before, and again Indy 500 Legends goes the exact direction you'd expect it to. You've got a gas button, brake button, and can either control the game via d-pad input or on-screen touch control. Any gamer looking to play this one without touch control is in for a bit of a disappointing venture, as the game's analog feel isn't translated well on the "on or off" d-pad controls. Your best bet is to grab a stylus, get into a semi-comfy one-handed grip on the DS, and use the virtual wheel shown on the touch screen.
Unfortunately, the charm we found in Indianapolis 500 on Wii (basic, though it was) doesn't translate too well to DS. Since this historic racing harks back to generally slower cars and more technical races, it was absolutely essential to hit perfect lines and focus on drafting in the Wii version. On DS, the sense of speed is there for the most part, but the actual physics system isn't, so hitting a perfect line isn't needed, and the game becomes just another simplistic point-and-drive racer. In addition, AI cars seem to be locked in place, and while they'll move independently and attempt to cut you off or draft behind you, there's no actual battle to be had. You'll ram into the cars, and they'll stand their ground as if they're part of the level, and not independently running opposition.
One aspect that's actually stronger on DS than Wii are the touch-based pit actions. Since the Wii game featured IR-based mini-games for changing tires and filling gas during longer races, these touch-based actions translate better on DS than Wii, as you get an actual tactile feel. It's a very small aspect of the game, but it's obvious that both versions were designed with the same basic "touch interaction", and the Wii version feels similar to when Cooking Mama made the transition from DS to Wii. It works on Wii, but feels natural on DS.
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