Don’t let the title and helmet logo fool you, Motorstorm RC is a Motorstorm game in name only. The weirdest part is, that’s actually a good thing! I’m a relatively new Motorstorm fan with 2010’s Apocalypse being my introduction to the series. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances that game suffered a last minute delay which ultimately lead to a disappointing retail performance. For that reason it’s uncertain whether we’ll ever see a traditional, big budget Motorstorm game again but rather than give up on the franchise Sony has allowed Evolution Studios to reinvent it on a much smaller scale, both figuratively and literally.
As the title suggests, Motorstorm RC is a racing game starring teeny-tiny radio controlled cars. It’s more Micro Machines than Motorstorm but the game still retains its off-road roots and features levels based on all four previous games in the series. The action takes place from a top down perspective which is sort of a throwback to 16-bit era racing games but MSRC has enough modern traits to help it feel contemporary, even amidst the slew of other racers that are currently available on the Vita.
The controls take a bit of getting used to but once they click for you you’d be hard pressed to find a racer that feels as slick or responsive. The game retains the Festival structure found in previous Motorstorm games and bite-sized challenges which lay within makes MSRC a great go-to game when you’re short on time. The Festival mode is broken up in to 4 different areas; each of which represents a Motorstorm game that came before it (Monument Valley, Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge and Apocalypse). The structure is pretty simple, each area contains a variety of challenges that must be completed in order to unlock new ones – so on and so forth. For the most part you’re simply required to zip around each circuit as quickly as possible, earning the fastest lap or overall time but elimination and drift races are also present to mix things up. There are 48 challenges in total and you’ll have a blast trying to conquer them all.
There are two things that transcend MSRC from a game you should consider to a game you absolutely need to buy! The first of which is the price. If this was a £10 game I’d say it was great value for money, but at £4.79 ($10) MSRC is the best value propositions currently available on the Playstation Vita. Furthermore, if you purchase the Vita version you’ll be able to download the PS3 game for free and vice-versa.
Secondly MSRC takes asynchronous multiplayer to a whole new level and is a great use case for the 3G enabled Vita. Although the game lacks a traditional multiplayer mode, playing the game while connected to the Internet will automatically import ghost data from the leaderboards in to your game as represented by coloured arrows. Now instead of only racing against the AI racers that are currently on the track, you’re essentially racing against the entire world! This is also a great learning tool as you’re now able to pinpoint exactly how the best players in the world handle every corner and manage to shave precious milliseconds off their lap times.
This review was based on a retail download copy of the game for the PlayStation Vita provided by Sony.