A few months before the PS Vita’s launch into the western world, Sony announced that Evolution Studios was working on a brand new MotorStorm game for the PS Vita. The developer of the MotorStorm series replaced the large off-road and street racing vehicles seen in previous titles, and have gone in a complete new direction by using RC vehicles. At first, I was a little unsure this would work.
The aim of MotorStorm RC is simple: earn medals to unlock harder tracks and progress to be the best RC racer in the world. There are four types of game modes: Race, Pursuit, Hot Lap, and Drift. Each track offers up to three medals with 192 to collect altogether. Some of these can be ridiculously hard to get, but it’s so addictive that you will be glued to your Vita trying to get every last one of them.
Instantly MotorStorm RC brought back memories of the crazily addictive Micro Machines on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in America) with its top down view and fantastic track designs. What makes MotorStorm RC so good that it utilises tracks from throughout the MotorStorm franchise and re-creates them into an RC junkie’s playground. On the subject of playgrounds, you are given a cool little world to try out different RC vehicles and work on tricks; you can also open up more of the playground world which unlocks extra RC vehicles and more areas to explore. It’s a nice little touch.
Although the game does not feature online play against other players, their ghost play is recorded on each track and you can beat the ghost play then brag that you beat them via PSN. I think this is a fantastic idea and works a treat.
Cross play exists on MotorStorm RC for the PS Vita but it’s nothing to shout home about, all that this feature does is it let you continue your progress into MotorStorm RC on the Vita on your PlayStation 3. I found this a bit of a letdown because it would have been so cool to race on the PlayStation 3 and have a friend race you on the PS Vita.
I have found with some Vita games that the load times can be rather annoyingly long, but that’s no issue for MotorStom RC which seems to load really fast. Another thing to note is just how well this game controls. Evolution Studios have really gone to town with the PS Vita’s twin analogue sticks, so much so that the touch screens and most other buttons are either not used or rarely needed.
On a graphical note this game is truly beautiful and looks stunning on the PS Vita’s OLED screen. Tracks look breathtaking in some situations and you also can change the view to experience the game in a new perspective.
The music is one big track of awesomeness that really does get your toes tapping and also gives you a sense speed. This is real racing music and I am sure developers who make racing games can take a cue from Evolution Studios on this.
Last year’s MotorStorm Apocalypse was in my humble opinion the best game in the series at that point, but MotorStorm RC has taken this franchise to a whole new level. This is an essential purchase for any PS Vita owner (which also lets you download the PlayStation 3 version for free) or racing RC fan on PlayStation 3.
Do you have a PlayStation Vita? How about a PS3? Do you enjoy improving scores by increasing your skill? Do you like mobile games that play small, but feel big? If you answered yes to either the first or second questions, get this game. I’ll get back to the latter two in a moment. MotorStorm RC is an excellent racing game, and this is coming from someone who does not normally consider themselves a fan of the racing genre.
Something else to note is the variety of tracks, and cars to race on them. I’ve attempted time and time again to beat someone’s score with one vehicle, and found success when I used a different type of the vehicle used on that track. When you progress through the game tracks, you’ll unlock more vehicles. You’ll have more at your disposal when taking out your rivals, the other MotorStorm racers in your friends list. Or, take on other rivals that show up on your challenge wall. I’ve actually gained a few friends just from competing against those near me in my overall ranking. This complete package is what makes the small game of small cars feel big in presentation.
The PS Vita and PS3 versions feature cross play, like Richard mentioned, which is a great feature for a game like this. What happens in this case is you pick up where you left off, either at home or on the road. While it is the same game for different systems, each version does have minor differences. The PS3 includes an additional control option, and also local split-screen multiplayer. Both games control great, by the way. The PS3 does have the advantage of being played on a big screen, so being able to race against your friends in the room is a welcome feature. The Vita uses the front touch screen and rear touch pad as an additional control method aside from the cross for manipulating the assorted modes. The Vita version is also free in the US, as of this writing, sponsored by Scion. This means the presence of the Scion iQ vehicle both in various screens and as an exclusive Vita RC vehicle.
If you’re a racing fan or even just enjoy the simple gaming of improving a time, you owe it to yourself and your new Vita to take this game for a spin. If you have a PlayStation 3 with multiple grandiose games, this is a great PSN game that still provides plenty of replay value. Evolution Studios has done a great job adding their style to a remote-controlled racing game that can hold its own with other MotorStorm games in the franchise.