Top-down racer Reckless Racing was a hit on both iPhone and Android when it skidded onto the App Store late last year, scoring Gold Awards on both platforms.

Now it's been optimised for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play handset, so it's time to give it a third lap around the Pocket Gamer test track. Will full gamepad controls make this the ultimate version?

Gussied up in high cotton

Let's start with the basics. Reckless Racing was and is a stunning top-down racing game.

The backdrops are immaculately drawn and full of dynamic little details like water that splashes and picket fences that fly loose when you smash into them.

Each of the six redneck motors handles distinctively, and the courses are nicely varied. A shortage of tracks is made up for by a variety of modes, including a well-implemented Time Trials section (complete with ghost car of your best time to chase), and both online and local multiplayer.

Even after you complete the slim single-player offering there's plenty to keep you coming back.

Xperia Play, y'all

Reckless Racing already went out of its way to make the player comfortable with the controls before the Xperia Play was even a glint in Sony Ericsson’s eye.

Well aware of the difficulty people sometimes have with touchscreen controls, the iOS and Android versions of the game provided no fewer than five different control schemes, from tilt to steering wheel to touch buttons.

Suffice to say the Xperia Play gamepad trumps all of these for accuracy, and the PlayStation controls can be instrumental in shaving seconds off your lap times, and getting the edge on people in multiplayer.

If you don't like the new controls, the various touchscreen options are still available. You can even make a weird hybrid by using the face buttons to accelerate and brake while tilting the phone to steer.

It's still a little on the slight side, but even so Reckless Racing on Xperia Play is the definitive version of an excellent mobile racer.

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