Asphalt 9 Legends 2020 Review and Guides
Everything you need to know
Is it worth playing?
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Except for the smell of gas and burning rubber, the Asphalt racing game series has it all, and Asphalt 9 Legends is the latest release, which turns two soon. Virtually all the titles enjoy critical and commercial fame and they’ve conquered multiple platforms, coming to mobile as well since Asphalt 4: Elite Racing. Now, we take a look at the game today, after updates, some minor changes to the gameplay, new cars, and many things that still make A9:L trending. Also, we will compose a guide list, based on the community’s most commonly asked questions and answers with the highest rating, as well as our own.
This game series has conquered virtually all of the platforms that exist or have existed so far…
The entire Asphalt game series has been developed by various parts of Gameloft Studio, with the collaboration with Virtuos on Urban GT 2. Gameloft also handled the publishing on all, with some help from Ubisoft and Konami, for different platforms. As mentioned, this game series has conquered virtually all of the platforms that exist or have existed so far, from Nintendo DS and BlackBerry to PC, macOS, Switch, consoles, and now Mobile Devices. This naturally includes both Android and iOS, and this makes Asphalt among the most spread out gaming series in the industry.
Asphalt 9: Legends was developed by the Barcelona Studio branch of Gameloft, who also worked on Adrenaline and Airborne from the series. The studio chose the well-known Jet Engine as the game engine and the Bullet physics engine for this game, which is what gives it its atmosphere and allure. Licensed soundtracks are also very important, as they are traditionally in every installment of the franchise. A9L came out in July 2018, so the game soon turns two. As far as its reception goes, on Google Play A9L Android has a 4.5-star score from over 1.3 million votes, while the game’s iOS version has an even higher 4.8-star score on the iTunes App Store and it is Editor’s Choice.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The player feels like he’s just at the thin border between controlling the car and losing all control, or between life and death…
A game’s atmosphere is created with appropriate sensory experience and A9L hits the spot more than any other title in the series. The engine noise, burning tire, the blurred vision due to speed, collisions, the weather… It all adds up in one blended mix of sensory overload that gives perhaps the most extreme race driving experience out of any title in this or similar genres. While racing, the player feels like he’s just at the thin border between controlling the car and losing all control, or between life and death, as most situations definitely will take us there, like trains that zoom by, or other obstacles. However, the feature that influences the experience of playing the game the most is undoubtedly the control schemes, and that’s where we enter gameplay aspects.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The game has many of the trademark elements any typical racing game would…
A9L has many of the trademark elements any typical racing game would and it perhaps shares the most with Asphalt 8: Airborne. When the game was launched, it had only 48 cars, but as of the latest update, there are 84 cars to choose from. Naturally, they are all sorted into classes and when you begin, you start from the bottom, with some cash. The goal is to progress up, get more cash, get more and better vehicles, and climb the ladders. To obtain or unlock new cars, you need the blueprints, and after you unlock a certain car, the blueprints are again used to star it up. Cars can have from 4 to 6 stars, which increases their capability, stats, and performance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There are 3 different control schemes for the mobile platform version…
We mentioned the control schemes as the main feature that governs the gameplay experience, and they surely are. There are 3 different control schemes for the mobile platform version:
- Tilt to Steer
- Tap to Steer
- Touch Drive
With Tilt to Steer, the player can tilt their mobile device to the side to which they wish their car to turn and Tap to Steer allows you to control the car by tapping. Both of these are familiar to the players of previous installments of the series. However, a brand new control scheme was introduced in this game, and it’s the Touch Drive, where the car does most of the basic driving by itself and the player only chooses which of the branching paths to turn to, and of course, uses the Nitro Shockwave and the drift.
There are three different types of races: Classic, Hunted, and Time Attack. Classic is a traditional race mode, known to players of previous installments of the series or other racing games. The Hunted mode sees the player driving to escape the law, as the police pursue you in their car. In Time Attack, you compete against time to finish the race.
There are also various currencies in the game, like Credits, Tokens, and Trade coins. Credits are the basic currency, and it enables upgrading cars. Tokens are for filling the gas tank and other stuff, while trade coins are used for the Legend Store, where you can purchase epic car parts and more.
Car upgrades also play a vital part in your success throughout the races. Car Stats are upgraded with Credits, while higher levels of a particular stat enable you to add Import Parts. Import Parts are found in Card packs, like Blueprints and other valuables, while they can also be bought in the Legend Store. Every car in has 4 basic stats and they are as follows:
- Top Speed
Top Speed and Nitro make the car go faster, while Acceleration and Handling make it more responsive to player commands and easier to control.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Might just be the best-looking racing game on mobile devices…
When we said that the atmosphere in a video game is made by a combination of sensory signals a game sends our way, one chunk of it is made by visuals of course, and A9:L might just be the best-looking racing game on mobile devices. It is even better looking than many PC titles of this genre. The animations and the entire blur effect gives the feeling of speed, while we don’t even need to talk about car models. They are detailed, polished up to perfection, and incredibly realistic. The entire experience is high-class and you get the feeling you are playing the most modern racing game on the market currently. The tracks and surroundings are the best in this installment, compared to others from the Asphalt series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Asphalt 9: Legends is not a demanding game…
Despite the high-graphics and demanding physics in the gameplay, Asphalt 9: Legends is not a demanding game. At least not for Smartphones that came out in 2018 or later. We played it on a Huawei Y7 Prime 2018, which has Snapdragon 430, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 505. It was a middle-class phone when it came out in 2018, and it runs this game perfectly. Providing your device is in good condition no reasonable gaming Smartphone shouldn’t have any trouble with this mobile game.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There is no hard paywall here, while the in-game currency is used mostly to upgrade and refill your cars…
The premium currency in are the Tokens, and they are earned very slowly, mostly through achievements and limited stuff in-game. Credits are earned in an abundance and one can experience the entire game with just using them. The best value and the most expensive pack you can buy for real money here costs just under $100 and it gives 3000 tokens, while 2000 tokens can buy you 527000 credits. All cars are exclusively unlocked by obtaining blueprints, which cannot be bought for any currency and are exclusively gathered through play. So, there is no hard paywall here, while the in-game currency is used mostly to upgrade and refill your cars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Asphalt 9: Legends undoubtedly the best racing game on the mobile gaming market currently…
The fact that this game scores big time on each of our categories and looking at its scores in reviews, makes Asphalt 9: Legends undoubtedly the best racing game on the mobile gaming market currently. It has everything a racing enthusiast wants, the atmosphere, steering by tilting your Smartphone, the immersive and engaging gameplay, no paywall, and it works like a charm on most devices. No wonder it is still Editor’s Choice after two years on the iTunes App Store and its high scores are no surprise.
How to improve your gaming experience and gameplay…
Note: Use the button “GUIDES” in the lower right corner to jump back to this section.
Here is the part when we get a bit more in-depth. We compiled a list of useful guides, tips, and tricks that will help you throughout your gaming journey and hopefully make it more fun and easy! Enjoy!
Use links below to jump to the guide sections. Use links in the lower right corner to jump back.
- How to escape?
- How to do 360?
- How to do shockwave?
- How to get cars?
- How to play with friends?
- How to get blueprints?
- How to install?
- Touch drive – pros and cons?
It is quite challenging to escape the cops in Hunted Mode. The game community has been raving about it ever since it became a thing. Using Nitro Shockwave is the way to go, but you need to try and fill that bar as often as you can, which means drifting whenever you can. When you are on the straight road and you are not using your Nitro Shockwave, try to drift left and right, just for a little bit. Once you learn this, it will make your car more stable, while drifting refills the Nitro bar as you know. Also, use the nitro on a Jump Ramp, and for that, you need to master the track. Additionally, when cop cars bunch up in front of you and your Nitro is full, we don’t need to tell you what to do!
Doing the 360 serves different purposes in different situations. 360 spin is performed differently in different control schemes. In Touch Drive, you just double-tap the Nitro button and the car will do a 360 spin. In Tilt to Steer, you need to tilt the mobile device to either side like taking a sharp turn and at the same time tap the drift button. In Tap to Steer, you double-tap the break to do a 360 turn. Doing a 360 turn is useful for those situations when cop cars surround you in Hunted Mode, or when breaking through against other opponents in a usual race.
Unlike the 360 turns, shockwave is done the same way in all three control schemes. Regardless if you use Touchdrive, Tilt-to-Steer, or Tap-to-Steer, Shockwave is being performed by Double-Tapping the Nitro icon, when Nitro is full.
Getting cars is a matter of farm i.e. game progression. There is not hard paywall in this regard, but naturally, people who spend real money on Tokens and Credits can progress easier and get their Blueprints faster, while if you are not spending any real money you need to do everything “by foot” sort of. Each stage offers a different Car Blueprints as a reward, while they are also awarded for special achievements and checkpoints. Every car in this game requires a certain number of its Blueprints to be accumulated, like 5 or even 40 for some epic cars, and after you acquire a sufficient number, you can unlock the car.
To play with friends, you must be in the same club. The game allows up to 8 club friends to play together in the same race. One Friend should create a race so that others can join. If you want to join a race created by someone on your friend list, tap Club Chat on the side of the main menu and the invite message should be there with a button you tap to join.
If you want to create a race, in the Home screen, find the My Club tab and tap it. Then, you can see the Club Race option on the bottom menu. Tap it. The Create button should be on the top-right side of the Club Race screen. Once you tap Create, it will open up the create race screen, from which you can customize and select various options, and invite friends.
In A9:L you race to play the game, but the name of the game is getting better cars. You need the Blueprints to get cars. Blueprints are awarded after races and for completing various achievements, but they can also be bought for Tokens. Usually, a limited-time featured car token costs 75 tokens, which is a bit costly. However, it is still the best way to get the blueprints for the designated car and others, for you may also get other drops. Just wait until your desired car gets featured at the shop and buy 10 for 750 Tokens if you can. There are 3 different types of blueprints:
Uncommon is the easiest to obtain and cars that use these Blueprints are the fastest to rank up, which is something you need to consider. Rare is in the middle, while Epic is the hardest to obtain, and Epic cars need the most blueprints to get unlocked. Many Blueprints are only available on limited-time offers and events. You should follow these and always do all Daily Events to increase your chances.
A9:L is currently available on Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Mac. For a short while, the game was only available in the Philippines at launch, so there were numerous ways of bypassing this obstacle, which is why this question remains highly popular among the community. However, players today should not concern themselves with this. To play the game on any of the platforms featured, you just download it, install, and play. It is free-to-play on all.
One of the toughest and ultimate conundrums you will have after you master all of the gameplay mechanics and stuff is which control scheme to choose. On one side you have the traditional Tilt-to-Steer and Tap-to-Steer, which are familiar from the previous installments. But, an innovation that came with A9:L is the Touch Drive, and this is where the conundrum begins. When having trouble with a certain race, players have reported that switching to Touch Drive enables them to fry the competition and blaze through to #1 with no problem. It does make racing a lot easier as you only control your car’s special moves, like Nitro and Shockwave, and you simply choose which path to follow out of several branching paths.
One must only get familiar with the tracks and the chance to reign supreme is a few Touches away. However, some players argue that this takes the essence of the racing genre away from the game and most competitive players like the full experience of the racing, along with the complete car control and every turn, every drift, and every crash even. However, the one positive thing about Touch Drive is this – it enables fast Blueprint Farming, as players who use this control scheme will be much more successful in every single race. And, the atmosphere of the race is still maintained, with the experience being just slightly lesser. A drawback no doubt, but considering obtaining better quality cars and playing A9:L completely free, it is worth it maybe.