I’ve always been a backseat fan of the Motorstorm series. Something about the way it looked and played intrigued me, even if I never felt like I had the racing chops to pick up a copy. Motorstorm RC has hit the Vita and for a cheap price I felt it was time to take the plunge. Although not a complete spin out, I think I may have picked the wrong time to jump on this party bus to frustration.
Motorstorm RC is broken up into themed categories based on the four prior Motorstorm titles. Each event has up to three medals that can be earned by placing within the top three, be it time trials or actual races. There are a good amount events to partake in, with the final count hovering just over sixty and each unlocks after getting more medals. Each competition is fairly short too and speedy to load, meaning you can get in and out rather quickly making this a great game to play in small chunks.
There is always something to do with a different event type to try out. Races are just that, hot lap encourages you get the fastest lap time, drifting is self-explanatory, and pursuit has you pass a certain number of racers in the fastest way possible. RC does a good job of mixing up the many tracks and gives you different objectives in almost every subsequent challenge.
Finding a manageable setting with the controls is necessary once you start racing. When I first picked it up, it felt like I was driving and actual car with my feet on the steering wheel. It was so bad that I nearly gave up and deleted the game. Once you can wrap your brain around how the game works on a basic level, it becomes serviceable for early races.
Once the challenge sets in is where the control problems magnify. Early events are actually pretty enjoyable since the early racer AI allows you acclimate to the sometimes dodgy controls. In later races, the AI steps up considerably and pokes all sorts of holes within the control scheme and camera angle.
While there are thankfully a few different camera options, each is an aerial shot that is high off the ground. This can cause an odd disconnect and can block vision of upcoming turns in faster races. You’ll be crashing into walls multiple times in every race because of this and due to the lack of a true drift and near helpless brake button. There is a brake button, but it doesn’t facilitate drifting easily, meaning it can feel very stop and go. In actual races further down the career path, it can be frustrating, but it can make the drifting events a horrific nightmare.
The physics can cause all sort of goofy mishaps. Flipping around becomes the norm in later races and getting knocked over happens frequently enough to warrant a frustrating restart. The cars are supposedly RC cars, but they feel too light like they have chassis made of tissue paper. Load times are fast and events are usually short, but that doesn’t excuse the annoying physics and the fact that you must restart a lot of the events.
Times of brilliance are few and far between with Motorstorm RC. I did have some fun with it, but said enjoyment was almost completely overshadowed by the amount of times the physics screwed me over or the countless times the hazy controls got in the way. Granular nuggets of that Motorstorm flavor can be found, but it isn’t close enough to what the series has done right in the past. It’s not quite worth a trip to junkyard, but this one may have a faulty steering wheel.
+Plenty of events to partake in
+Load times are short
-Imprecise controls hamper enjoyment along with a weird camera angle
-Physics/drifting can ruin a race within seconds
-Handling turns is inconsistent
Final Score: 6.5/10