Motorstorm RC Review
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita.
So you’ve picked up a shiny new PlayStation Vita, but you’ve yet to grab a game. Whether you just simply couldn’t afford it (don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there!) or your retailer of choice didn’t carry the one you want, you’re going to need something to tide you over, right? Well, look no further, as there is a free title sitting on the PlayStation Network just waiting for you to give it a test drive! “What game is this?” you might ask. It’s the latest installment in the MotorStorm series: MotorStorm RC!
This free (yes, you read it right: free) spin-off title comes to us courtesy of its sponsor named… well, you’ll find out soon enough, as it’s advertised every load screen. Regardless, this racing game comes to us in a bit of a different form: remote control cars. Players take part in various events across multiple areas, all in an attempt to be the fastest one out there. Interestingly enough, each area is designed after a previous MotorStorm game, such as Pacific Rift or Arctic Edge. This gives a kind of throw-back feel, which will make any fan of the series very happy.
As for the events, they’re quite varied. In total, there are four event types for gamers to try their thumbs at: Hot-Lap (a time trial mode where players must beat target times), Overtake (a certain number of cars need to be passed in order to finish), Race (a flat-out run to the finish against AI opponents), and Drift events for the side-ways enthusiasts (a point total must be reached to finish, with longer, sharper turns awarding more points). Depending upon how well you do, medals can be earned, and the more you collect, the more events you’ll unlock. All of them are fun little games for you to keep yourself busy with, either at home or on the move.
To keep each event feeling fresh, different vehicle styles are used in various situations. There are eight in total and each handles in their own unique way. The models are: Supermini, Racing Truck, Monster Truck, Buggy, Rally Car, Big Rig, Muscle Car, and the crazy fast Super Car. Each type has various bodies, colour schemes, and colours to choose from, and unique models (such as a Gnome riding a go-kart) can be unlocked by meeting certain criteria in game. Learning how each car handles can take some getting used to, but for the most part it’s very simple to figure out.
If you’re feeling in need of some practice with your car, the Playground will help you out. Here, players can take the various cars for a test drive around a combination skate park/basketball court/soccer field/dirt track to get the feel for how they handle, or just take them off some sweet jumps. When you’re just in the mood for a good race, Wreckreation is where you’ll want to head. Here you can race any car, on the track of your choice, and in any style you want, making this mode a great choice for players who want to memorize a course or just set a new best time.
While the title has no Ad-hoc or online play capabilities (meaning you can’t race a buddy over PSN or from across the couch), MotorStorm RC is a Cross-Play compatible title. This means that you can also play the game on your PS3 at home, and you can carry over your data to your Vita for racing on the go. Many PlayStation fans will love this flexibility, as it allows them to enjoy the game wherever and whenever they choose.
To further ease the no-online pains, the PS3 version has a split-screen option so two players can go head-to-head for all the bragging rights. For both Vita and PS3, “ghost-arrows” will appear in any event that a friend has recorded their best time on. These arrows will show the exact route that your buddy traveled, and finishing ahead of it will ensure a faster time on your part. I personally spent hours trying to beat the times of friends and co-workers alike; it’s a very addictive and competitive feature!
On the audio/video side, everything is at full battery power. Each track has its own personality that sets it apart, and the whole thing has a nice degree of polish to it. You won’t see any texture pop here. For audio, you’ll be hearing a lot of RC engine revs and the light sounds of the tiny tires on the track (be it a solid surface or dirt). If you’ve got your headphones on, these noises will make you feel like you’re actually there racing a toy car.
The soundtrack is made up of upbeat techno tracks that, while well composed, may become annoying over long periods of time. I found myself turning on my Vita’s personal music collection when I played for any longer than five minutes. A little more variety would have been nice on the ears, but hey, one can’t complain too much about something they got for free.
So when the checkered flag is waved and all the RC cars are put away to charge, MotorStorm RC is a great first title for any player to grab up. Be it due to a tight budget, or the simple love of all things free, this game is a definite download for gamers of all ages. Strap on your helmets, rev your battery-powered engines, and get ready to drive your heart out!
Final Score: 4.5 / 5.0 and shiny gold plated RC remote!
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