As a child, I used play with and collect toy cars and trucks. Back then, nothing fascinated me more than watching Richard Petty fight for first place at Daytona and reading books about racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats and the Baja 500. When I got a little older, I received a black Nikko radio controlled Dune Buggy as a gift. Around that time, I was also renting RC Pro AM for the NES. That was back in good old days of 1988.
Twenty Four years later, we have the Internet, high speed connections, 3D graphics, this great new device called the PlayStation Vita and an Internet based shop called the PlayStation Store. A little over a week before I wrote this review, the new Radio Controlled racing game, Motor Storm RC
was on the PlayStation Store. With some sponsoring from Toyota’s Scion division, Motor Storm RC can be downloaded for free for a limited period of time (PlayStation Vita Version Only. The PS3 version is $9.99). Currently, the game is still for free so if you have a PSN account, make sure you grab this before Scion decides to end the promotion.
In real life, higher quality radio controlled cars use remotes that have two four-way programmable joy sticks. Motor Storm RC mimics this setup by assigning turn left and turn right to the left analog and accelerate and reverse to the right analog stick. These controls are fully customizable and can be set by pausing the game and going into options > controls.
When playing Motor Storm RC, the first thing you will notice is that like real Cars and RC cars, each model handles differently. When approaching turns, you can’t just hold the accelerator down because you will crash. So when a turn comes up, briefly let your finger off of accelerate to enter and then hit the accelerator when exiting. Like any other racing game, this method of play will help you drive a better overall line and will give you more control over your ride.
In the beginning of the game, since the free download is sponsored by Scion, we get to race an RC Scion on the first level. After completing this race, more tracks and some new cars will unlock. As you get better lap times and placement, you will obtain medals. In order to unlock everything in Motor Storm RC, you will need to get all of these medals.
After the tutorial levels, when you boot up again, the game instantly takes you to a park where you freely play with any of the RC Cars on the field. As you win more medals, occasionally, you will open up more areas of the park as well as more RC Cars to play with in that area. The park is filled with Tony Hawk style skate ramps, an empty swimming pool, a test track, basketball hoop and a soccer field. This lends to some fun meta gaming as you try to score a basket by driving your RC through the basketball hoop or try to get some big air on the skate ramps.
Motor Storm RC features tons of tracks and vehicles inspired by every game in the Motor Storm series. The game sports some great variety with Dune Buggies, Monster Trucks, Mini Coopers, Tractors and even Stock Cars. All in all, there are 165 cars to unlock and 16 different tracks. Even after the track is complete, you can still compete with your friends on PSN for the best track times.
Overall, playing Motor Storm RC is a rewarding experience especially when you master the unique handling of different cars or get that better line and beat the lowest time. This game is also cross platform compatible so you can race other players who own the PS3 version as well. At the super low limited of time price of free, I highly recommend that everyone who owns a PlayStation Vita downloads this game. You can’t argue with free so there is no excuse not to. Even if this game wasn’t free, I would still recommend it because of its sheer amount of play modes, content and extras. This wonderful homage to the legendary RC Pro Am is an excellent game in short bursts and long play sessions. Evolution Studios has crafted a fine offshoot of the Motor Storm series that I would not mind seeing a sequel to.