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MotorStorm RC Review

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Graphics:

 

8.1

Gameplay:

 

8.9

Sound:

 

8.7

Control:

 

8.3

Replay Value:

 

8.7

Overall Rating:       8.5

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

SCEA

Developer:

Evolution Studios

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Genre

Growing up in the 80s, I was a big-time fan of Micro Machines. Remember that fast-talking guy in the commercials? Sold me every time. That’s why even though MotorStorm RC deals with remote-controlled cars, they’re small enough on my screen to get me all nostalgic for my Micro Machine collection. This new effort from Evolution studios manages to stay true to its arcade roots while delivering a satisfying and entertaining experience and a lot of bang for your buck.

Although the game doesn’t push either the PlayStation 3 or Vita in terms of visual capacity, MotorStorm RC has plenty of old-school charm and several nicely detailed tracks. I have a small issue with visibility, in that regardless of which of the four camera angles I use, I sometimes have difficulty keeping a close eye on my wee racer. It’s a little disconcerting whenever it goes under an overpass, for instance. But this really is a pleasant, charming graphical presentation overall.

To supplement those solid visuals, Evolution has implemented a good soundtrack that emphasizes the silly albeit highly competitive nature of the game. There are a lot of electronic and techno beats that fit the retro RC style perfectly, and the audio balancing is spot-on. In terms of sound effects, the developers took a mostly minimal approach, which sort of makes sense. I mean…all RC vehicles kinda sound the same, right? And there are no intense, crunching metal-on-metal impacts we get in bigger titles. But like the graphics, the sound works very well.

If you’re familiar with the series in question, you will likely recall the names of the four available arenas in MotorStorm RC: Monument Valley, Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge and Apocalypse. Of course, you aren’t actually taking little remote-controlled cars out on those giant tracks; these are much smaller versions of their full-size cousins. So for Arctic Edge, as one might expect, there’s plenty of snow and ice; for Pacific Rift, welcome a distinct jungle feel. I had hoped for a few more circuits, though.

The control is quite good, but it may take some time to nail down the exact combination of accelerating and decelerating that works best for you. Braking usually isn’t necessary and only hurts your lap time, but you still need to control your speed through the more complex turns of any given course. Furthermore, these diminutive vehicles can’t handle much abuse, and they’re quite light to boot. Therefore, they can flip over, get jostled around, and spin out relatively easily.

So you have to walk the fine line between aggression and caution. There are also four different classes of vehicles and perhaps surprisingly, each are quite distinct. Racing trucks aren’t as quick as the buggies, for instance, but the trucks have more weight and are consequently better around turns. This means that if you’re not performing particularly well on a course, you should probably change vehicles; it can make a drastic difference. And that’s great, because it means the various classes have a significant impact on the gameplay. You'll definitely want to experiment.

There are four event types: the standard Race, which is straightforward; you go up against seven other opponents and the first across the finish line after four laps is the winner. Hot Lap tasks you with turning the fastest possible lap, Pursuit has you chasing down racers (the faster you catch and pass them, the better), and Drift is looking for stylish driving with plenty of power-slides. There are three medals to be awarded in each event, and these medals are used to unlock more events and vehicles.

In total, you’re looking at 48 challenges, which isn’t bad, especially considering the cost of the game. Plus, the main appeal of the whole production doesn’t rest on getting those medals (that’s typically easily done, and it’s mostly only for progression purposes). No, the meat of this title lies in competing against friends online. Although there is no true online multiplayer, your best performances are recorded and compared against those on your Friends list, and you always want to beat their best performances, too.

It’s the same philosophy as the Autolog, which made Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit so damn addictive. You can even see the ghosts of your Friends on a course after completing the medal challenge, so you can gauge your performance as you drive. Hence, there’s going to be a lot of— “Oh damn, ‘insert Friend name here’ is ahead of me…how’d he get that far ahead?” Plus, given the fact that leaderboards can be accessed on either the Vita (when on the go), or on the PS3, you can always stay connected and always face new competition.

MotorStorm RC is well worth the $9.99 entrance fee. The sheer amount of content and high fun factor means you’ll be playing it for quite some time, especially if you have a lot of friends who are also playing. The control is good (if a tiny bit loose), the tracks are well designed and challenging, the different events mean you can always stay diverse, and the various vehicle classes do indeed have a major impact on your racing. I’m not the biggest fan of any of the camera angles (although I eventually stuck with the top-down one), and the production isn’t as slick as I might’ve expected, but…

The game is fun. Simple.

The Good: Nice track design. Good soundtrack. Solid control and significant vehicle variety. Plenty of bang for your buck. High fun factor. Fast load times. Topping your Friends never gets old.

The Bad: Not overjoyed with any of the camera angles. Steering can be a little iffy. No online multiplayer.

The Ugly: “I flipped over again…damnit.”

3/12/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

coverton341
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 9:56:26 PM
Reply

My only real complaint with this one is also the camera views. Other than that, I have had a good amount of fun with it on the go.

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tes37
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 10:14:08 PM
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This game is free for a limited time courtesy of Scion. If anyone owns a Vita and doesn't have this title, they may want to grab it before the promotion ends.

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jimmyhandsome
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:01:16 AM

is it free for the PS3 as well?

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tes37
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:01:42 AM

I'm pretty sure just the Vita version is free.

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Shams
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 10:28:04 PM
Reply

Yep, I got the free download. Though Evolution's other product, Wipeout 2048, delivers my racing fix.

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archs13
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 10:52:04 PM
Reply

This game is needed if you want a cute fix lol. I did download it though and it is pretty fun. It's just the camera angle that kinda puts me off, I started using the top camera angle which has the best view.. but then I started to think it's too far away from the car.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:03:11 AM
Reply

Regarding the camera angle, if I understand you all correctly, this is *exactly* how it is driving a RC car on a track!

Ideally you stand at a location where you see the car as much as possible, but there's always the occasional lamp post, barrel, other persons or objects that hiders view of the car for a split second now and then. And the feeling of sending the car into a "dead spot" (like the mentioned driving under an overpass) is a kind of chilling experience, not knowing *exactly* where the car pops into vision again on the other side.

So if it's that kind of camera angle issue we talk about here then everything is fine. It should be like that.

On the other hand, it's a tragedy that this game is single player only. *That* is a major bummer.

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___________
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 5:32:15 AM
Reply

i was going to get this.
then $ony announced their usual BS, US gets it free where EU yet again gets the finger.
for that i refuse to purchase it!
this is how they want to thank their hard working fans then thats fine ill take my money where i am appreciated!

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Axe99
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 6:08:39 AM

The reason the US gets it for free is because Toyota are sponsoring it (= giving Sony lots of money) for a limited period. If you wanted to give Sony a similar amount for Europe, we'd all get it free as well ;).

And suggesting that Sony shouldn't take the sponsorship money in the US because it doesn't extend to Europe as well is lunacy, and would be you giving the finger to US gamers.

Seriously, the price for Motorstorm RC is great value for one system, let alone two (one purchase for DLs on PS3 and Vita), and the game is awesome, really good fun. It takes some adjustment because of the camera, but if people are willing to get over their preconceptions and learn something a bit different (and if we never do that, we'll just be playing CoD again and again and again and so on) then there's a lot of fun to be had.

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___________
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:23:07 AM

so why arent they doing it here?
i dont give a royal $%#@ what their excuse is!
its $onys game, they publish it, so if they REALLY gave a sh*t about their fans in EU they would at least say hey heres a 20% discount.
at least its something!
if this was the first time they did something like this i would not care.
but its not.
if i had a nickle for every millionth time $ony had offered something to the US and not anyone else id have enough money to buy out the big 3 20 times over!

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tes37
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:08:54 AM

At time frame 1:13 in the above video it says, "pay once get both". If someone in the US wants both versions, it still costs $9.99. We would have to pay for one to get both, just like you would.

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Axe99
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:36:22 PM

It's not an excuse, it's the reason, and it's Toyota's money, not Sony's. And they give customers in the EU discounts the US doesn't get all the time (30% off the price of Trine 2 because of the delay in releasing, for example).

Strangely enough, the world isn't a level playing field, and never will be. Make the most of what works where you are, and let slide what doesn't elsewhere. Games and consoles in Australia are over-priced compared to EU or the US, but they're still worth it for me to pay what they cost here in terms of how much enjoyment I get from them, so I do. That's what you should be thinking, rather than letting your 'it's not fair'/'entitlement' mindset talk yourself out of something you'd enjoy. That's just crazy. Like irrational, insane crazy.

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___________
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 8:49:45 AM

first trine 2 is discounted because its taken SCEE so long to bring it over.
thats why it was discounted, id be unfair for SCEA to get a discount because it was not delayed for them.
secondly how does 1 time make a even playing field?
for every time EU gets something the US does not, the US gets 50 things we dont.
just look at the US store compare to ours.
or the uncharted 3 beta codes, and the subway PROMO which were exclusive to US.
or the early access bundle for the vita.
or the taco bell PROMO for the vita.
or the vita rooms.
or uncharted 2 fortune hunter edition.
or resistance demo codes on that movie disk.
or the journey beta codes they were given out on the blog but only on the US blog and you had to have a US account to get one.
or the starhawk beta codes.
or the SOCOM 4 beta codes.
or resistance 3 beta codes.
in fact almost every ps3 exclusive in the states the past 2 years has had early access to a upcoming ps3 exclusive.
and how many of these has EU received?
NONE!
as i said before i would not care if they did this once every blue moon.
but they dont, its almost every week there announcing something for the US.
and of course EU gets the finger.

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Gamer46
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 8:58:09 AM
Reply

Never been a big fan of MotorStorm but since Sony, Evolution and Scion were generous enough to get together and offer this for free it was a no brainer to take a chance and I'm glad I did, the game is highly enjoyable. I'll be downloading some of the extra content because I'd like to thank the developers in some way for giving us this masterpiece.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:47:05 AM
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Anyone remember Super SPrint at the arcades? It rocked because of the steering wheel. You would spin the wheel, like 720degrees, it made it a whole lot of fun. When I tried this RC Motorstorm I found myself really missing that classic arcade interface.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:16:46 PM

Oh yes I remember! I had to google it, but then I saw it was that same game I thought of when I read your post. Amazing how those old game titles ages ago stick.

So it gave you that feeling? Heck now I *really* want this one.

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trumpetmon65
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:33:52 PM
Reply

if you have a plus account it's pretty darn cheap

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