Motorstorm RC Review
Game: Motorstorm RC
Developer: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available on: PlayStation Vita & PlayStation 3 (Reviewed on PlayStation Vita)
Cast your mind back to to 1991, dear reader. If you’re old enough to remember it, there was a game series based on the wildly popular Micro Machines toy range, where you raced these dinky little toys round courses in monochromatic bliss. To be honest with you, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a racing game as much since those early Micro Machines days, forever wanting that sheer joy to return. Thankfully though, Evolution Studios have stepped up and created something that is so exemplary in its design and execution, that the joy I felt playing all that time ago has been reborn.
Sometimes games don’t have to be complicated (even if, secretly under the hood, they actually are), sometimes the simplest of things can give the player a ridiculous level of joy. With Motorstorm RC, simple is the key word. There is no complex control scheme to get used to, you simply use both analogue sticks, pick from one of two control schemes – the left stick is used for either turning the wheel left and right, or for going in the direction you wish to move – and you go.
The genius lies in everything that is layered on top of the game. At a base level you are just racing round small tracks one by one, progressing throughout a career mode of sorts and trying to collect the best medals you can. However, if you can actually achieve a silver medal and happily move on, then you are a better man than I. You see, as you are racing there will be coloured lines flying around the track, corresponding to bronze, silver and gold awards. You’ll probably grab the silver standard on the first or second lap, but then that gold line will be ahead of you, mocking you. Are you going to take that from a coloured line?
But that isn’t even it, because once you’ve grabbed the gold, Motorstorm RC will throw in another line; someone from your friends list who has a faster time than you. Right then and there the bait is set, the player is hooked and multiple PS Vita recharges will be required.
On top of just grabbing the fastest lap time, there are plenty more modes. Of course, at times you’ll just be racing around the track against other AI drivers, which is usually pretty simple, but everything is tracked. Even a simple race has leaderboards! Then there are the “Overtake” events, where you have to overtake a set number of cars in – again – bronze, silver or gold standard. Again you will be facing off against that leaderboard, and let me tell you, there are already some fiendishly hard times to beat on there.
Motorstorm RC is a social experience too. There is a hub world – a playground – where you can just explore your vehicles and relax whilst you tear around, jumping and trying to nudge a football past a mechanical goalkeeper. All the while there is a ticker in the upper left of the screen telling you who has beaten your time, but should you wish to challenge them, all you need to do is hold the X button down and you’ll be taken straight to the race.
If you don’t fancy unlocking multiple RC cars or progressing through the festival campaign, you can just go through the tracks in the Wreckreation mode, simple time trials where you can choose whichever type of vehicle you want, be it a super car or one that drifts like crazy and attack the track repeatedly until you’ve gotten a time you are happy with. You can also have a go at free play in the Wreckreation section, selecting which AI, difficulty and vehicles you wish to go up against.
Of course there are the usual trophies you can chase as well, but the longevity for RC really comes from having a good friends list that plays regularly, or simply trying to top the global leaderboards. There are a decent amount of tracks to choose from that will have you losing sleep over how you take that corner a little better and they are split up into tracks from the previous Motorstorm titles.
VERDICT: If you look up “value for money” in the dictionary, there should now be an image of Motorstorm RC in there. Ignoring the fact that buying one copy of the game enables it on both consoles, the price of admission alone puts bigger, boxed titles to shame. If you grab Motorstorm RC you won’t be able to put it down. The one-more-go hook of trying to beat a time or get the gold medal is like a drug and you’ll find yourself playing it whenever you get a spare moment in your day. An absolute must-own title, whichever system you choose to play it on.