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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Motorstorm RC (Vita)

One of the cheapest games currently available for the PlayStation Vita is also up there with the best. Motorstorm RC is fast, bite-sized fun, and an excellent showcase of just why the Vita is worth buying over the other mobile gaming platforms.

The secret here is in the dual-stick setup. With one stick for acceleration and the other for steering, this is a game that, with some practice, becomes as natural as breathing. Whipping around tight corners, hitting those perfect racing lines, and leaving the competition in the dust are all so much more thrilling when there’s such precise control on offer over your car. That the game saves fastest laps to the .000th of a second is even more encouragement, since at every opportunity the game lets you know where you rank amongst your PSN friends list.

The racing itself is a modern take on the Micro Machines formula. The game features very short tracks (over in half a minute, on average), and a vaguely top-down camera keeps reminding you that you’re in control of tiny, ant-sized toy cars. The real sense of fun comes from the sheer variety of the tracks and cars. Environments range from an apocalyptic wasteland through to icy mountains and leafy jungles. Cars range from Minis right through to muscle cars and elite racing cars.

In the main game, players are presented with a set of challenges. It could be a simple race against the clock time trial, or it could be something a little more exciting, like trying to overtake a certain number of opponents within a set time. Depending on how you perform, you’ll be awarded one to three stamps, which will unlock more challenges, cars, and tracks to play on. While the variety in these challenges isn’t huge, they’re easy to sit down and play, and because the pace of the game is so frenetic, it’s hard to grow tired of anything that’s going on.

When it comes to racing time trials, the game pulls, via the PSN, some “ghosts” for you to race against. Rather than represented by cars on the track, though, the game uses coloured arrows to show you exactly what course these racers took to get their times, and for some reason, trying to beat those damned arrows is one of the most addictive racing experiences I’ve enjoyed in years.

There isn’t a huge amount extra to this game; not that it needs it, but despite the rumours that apparently this was originally destined to be a full-priced retail game, I can’t see how that ever would have worked. This game is over in a few days, and aside from the leaderboards, there’s not a lot to come back to.

But the sheer value is still there. It’s a cross platform game, so buying it on the Vita allows you to download it for free to the PS3 as well, and the leaderboards are taken from the two consoles.

But all up? Good, honest fun.




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Review: Motorstorm RC (Vita)
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