MotorStorm RC really nails that desire to outrace your friends while also providing simple and addictive gameplay.
MotorStorm RC’s initial announcement confused me at first but it didn’t take long until I was totally behind the idea. Ben said it best in the “Likes” section of his review for the PS3 version of the game when he referred to it as a ‘miniaturization of the world of Motorstorm’, quite frankly that’s exactly what it is. Everything down to the handling feels like you’d expect MotorStorm to feel. (You’ll likely want to modify the controls to your liking however as the default setting feels a little weird.) The only difference of course is that everything is tiny.
MotorStorm’s campaign is split into four different festivals. Each of which put a focus on the four MotorStorm games that have been released thus far. Each festival contains four different tracks with sixteen races and a variety of vehicle types. Race types within MotorStorm RC are your usual suspects: Race, Time Trial, Overtake and Drift. Each of which should be self explanatory. Each race has three medals to unlock as well as it’s own leaderboard populated by your friends.
And that’s where the real fun begins. MotorStorm RC feels like the next logical step for things like Autolog. No matter what you’re doing in the game you are always made aware in numerous non-obtrusive ways how you compare with your friends on any race. Outside of a race that might mean the leaderboard that is connected to each race, you might be looking at the Pitwall (a wall feed displaying which friends are beating you on which races) or perhaps you’re driving around in the freeplay area “Playground” when a notification bubble pops up on the screen. This bubble might say something like “DJ Naylor destroyed you on ‘Mixing Bowl’”. At that point you can hold down the X button for a couple seconds and are immediately whisked off into the race to prove yourself. Throughout that race (or any other race) you’ll see two to five different “Ghost Lines” at any given time. These represent your best time, the next best time on the leaderboard above you (usually a friend’s best time) and the times you’ll need to beat to get a first, second or third place finish. Instead of being transparent models of cars racing around the tracks these ghostlines are colored arrows that swerve around the track. If it’s someone on your friends list their avatar will display next to the arrow to make it easier to see who it is your racing against. After finishing a race the game will tell you which one of your friends you destroyed in that race as well as options to share it with Facebook or through PSN messages. I never bragged through Facebook or PSN but it was really funny to watch how many different ways the game could come up with to tell me that I beat my friend in a race.
With such a focus on competition between friends it seems really weird that there’s no online multiplayer at all. It’s a really obvious omission but luckily doesn’t damper the overall experience too much. MotorStorm RC is still just downright a blast to play. There is no such thing as “I’ll just play one race real quick” with this game. Topping your friend’s best times will absolutely keep you coming back for more again and again.
Something of note is of course the relationship between the PS3 and Vita versions of the game. All your progress and data is automatically synced between the two versions. It’s of course made sweeter with the fact that you can get both for the price of one. I did however notice on the Vita that the game seemed to occasionally skip just a bit from time to time as well as some screen tearing issues. There was a patch that mostly fixed this but I still noticed a few little graphical issues just not as often. For that matter while I think the tracks look really great the cars in the game I feel could look a little better.
MotorStorm RC is a brilliant game that’ll satisfy fans of the series as well as newcomers. Those hungering for something akin to Micro Machines and challenging all of their PSN friends on the leaderboards should look no further. While the lack of multiplayer can be a pretty big omission for some it’s strongly eclipsed by just how well the leaderboard competition within the game is done. Throw on the fact that this is one of the cheaper (still FREE in the US for now) Vita titles available right now and it’s a no-brainer.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.
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