MotorStorm RC PS Vita Review

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Developer – Evolution Studios – Genre – Racing – Players – 1 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

MotorStorm was a PS3 launch title which was followed by three sequels. I’m sure that many will agree that the sequels, while adding to and altering things slightly, are much the same as the original game. It falls to MotorStorm RC then to change things up for the series, and it has done just that – this is like no MotorStorm game that you have ever played before.

MotorStorm RC shrink’s things down considerably, being that the vehicles here are supposed to be remote controlled. Indeed, Big Rigs are no longer the bulky and screen filling machines of past MotorStorm games, and all the other buggies, rally cars, racing trucks and whatnot are also minute in comparison to other MotorStorm games.

The vehicles look even smaller as a result of the top-down camera angles, bringing to mind everything from Micro Machines, Super Skidmarks to Mashed. There are a total of four camera angles available, and it may require you to swap camera angles for some time to find one that you are truly comfortable with.

The game also has two control schemes available, each of which you’ll get to try out as soon as you boot the game up. As the game makes use of the dual sticks of Vita, you’ll even feel as if you are truly in control of a remote controlled vehicle – steering with the left stick and accelerating and slowing down with the right stick.  It may take awhile for some to become used to, but, coupled with the arcade-style handling, it soon becomes second nature.

Like previous games in the series, the Festival mode is the place where a large chunk of your time will be bitten into. Events are split into Monument Valley, Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge and Apocalypse, all of which are inspired by locations from the previous four games in the series, with a total of 16 tracks. Clearing an event will earn you one to three medals, with accrued medals going towards unlocking new events. There are a total of 144 medals up for the winning, and you’ll have to ace each and every event to claim the lot.

There are four different event types – racing is everything you’d expect it to be, Hot Lap has you striving to beat three ghost cars to achieve the best time, Pursuit has you overtaking a specific amount of opponents within a time limit, and Drift finally has you drifting around corners, wracking up points and hopefully earning enough to see you through.

Tracks are very well designed, and the vehicles feel different in terms of their handling. There are plenty of these vehicles and tracks and the Festival mode has plenty of content to work your way through. Given this generous volume of content, it’s astonishing that Sony decided to release the game at the cheap and cheerful price of £4.79.

On Vita, there are sadly no multiplayer options whatsoever, but there’s still plenty of competition from real life players to be had. As long as you have your Vita set up to connect to the Internet, MotorStorm RC will always be connected, allowing you to compare and beat the times of other players, with their ghosts showing up as arrows.

This is something I was unable to test properly, although the cheap price gives you access to both the PS3 and Vita versions of the game. This means that you can flit between both versions, with your data carrying over and online leaderboards remaining seamless between them both.  If you didn’t already know this, you are probably thinking that it sounds even more of a bargain now, and it is.

The visuals are sadly a little bland and characterless, and a little more personality certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss. Don’t get me wrong, it is an attractive enough game, but, in terms of both beauty and personality, there’s better examples of the handheld’s visual capabilities in other games on the system.

MotorStorm RC may look a bit bland in appearance and is lacking in multiplayer, although it is still a little racer that very much deserves to be played. The breadth of content is wonderful for the wallet pleasing price, and the enjoyable handling and intuitive controls makes this an essential early Vita game, and, thanks to its superior controls, it’s a game that is actually at its best on Sony’s new handheld.