The Average Gamer

MotorStorm RC Review (PS Vita)

MotorStorm RC is the latest racing game from developer Evolution Studios but with a big twist. It’s the first MotorStorm game to feature radio controlled cars. And who doesn’t love driving RC cars? [Me. I don’t love driving RC cars. They hit me in the feet and the controls do my head in – Ed]
MotorStorm RC - Snow Track
The game features 48 events on 16 tracks spread across 4 festivals (Monument Valley, Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge and Apocalypse) from the previous games. You control your tiny RC cars using the left stick to steer and the right stick to accelerate/brake.

I was able to practice using these RC controls around a handy playground area packed full of the kind of obstacles you see in a skatepark. There was even a football pitch complete with two goals, footballs and a moving wooden goalkeeper. I spent more time that I’d care to admit trying to score a goal with my car.

Learning The Curves

I found there was a steep learning curve before I was really comfortable and vaguely competent at driving. [See? SEE? – Ed] When my brain finally accepted the idea that the right stick controlled my acceleration rather than trying to push forward with the left stick or use the buttons the game became a lot less difficult.

There’s a decent variety of events on offer to keep you busy. Race against up to 7 opponents, beat the hot lap times, overtake a set number of opponents in pursuit and take part in drift competitions. Each event has 3 medals to collect which are used to unlock new events and vehicles.

A quick tap of the triangle button allowed you to cycle through the extensive selection of different camera angles. My personal favourite was the aerial view so I could see as much of the track as possible. While I was flinging some of the speedier cars around tracks I seriously had to think one or two corners ahead to minimise speed-sapping brushes with the track walls. They’ll kill a good lap time almost instantly.

The game’s pitwall feature brilliantly brings your PSN friends list to life. Not only do you get to see all your friends times and global positions but the actual route they drove around each track represented by a moving line. Beating my friends lap time “snakes” (see screenshot below) became a bit of an obsession and a massive source of frustration when I failed to keep up with their snakes.

Unsurprisingly, getting all the medals on each of the events is lot easier said than done as MotorStorm RC, just like every MotorStorm game before, is notoriously unforgiving. If I tried and cut a tiny bit too much off a corner I found myself staring at the underside of my car or else have it stopped dead by an annoyingly well placed bit of scenery. Damn you Evolution Studios track designers! Thankfully, it only takes a couple of seconds to restart an event. Something I did a lot.
MotorStorm RC - Snakes

Scumbag Brain

Overall, I learnt that it was futile playing MotorStorm RC when either:

  • Stupid
  • Tired
  • Grumpy
  • Beery
  • Engaged in conversation with another animal, mineral, vegetable or human*

*Talking to myself not included.

There were – occasonal – times when I’d whizz around the tracks, beating my friends’ times left, right and centre and earning 3 medals without an event restart in sight. On other occasions something as simple as driving round a 180 degree corner would completely out-fox my brain. Where many games use on-screen prompts to get you to take a break, MotorStorm RC had me walking away after destroying my dreams of actually being good at a MotorStorm game. But it didn’t stop me coming back for more (punishment).

The only thing bad thing about the whole game was the soundtrack. Track after track of terrible breakbeat music, which sounds exactly like the equally rubbish dubstep to me. Fortunately, like WipEout 2048, MotorStorm RC supports the PS Vita’s custom soundtrack making my music woes short-lived.

MotorStorm RC is a great game that is both challenging and rewards practice. It feels like a modern version of driving classics such as Super Sprint (Arcade), Ivan “Ironman Stewart’s Super Off-Road (Arcade) and Super Cars II (Amiga).

At £4.79 it’s an absolute steal especially as you get the PS3 version (including 4-way split screen multiplayer) for free. The 48 events (Pro-Am Festival DLC adds another 16 to this total) will take an age to master and with the added frustration challenge of beating your friends, there is plenty of re-play value.

MotorStorm RC is out now for PS Vita. Both the Pro-Am Festival and Festival DLC cost £2.39

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