Wednesday, March 7, 2012
MotorStorm RC Impressions
So, as we know, MotorStorm RC was free this week in the Playstation Store update and, as anyone would, I jumped right on that because it was a free game and while I didn't know it at the time I've learned it has a Platinum Trophy which only sweetens the deal. I doubt I will ever -get- that Platinum trophy for all sorts of reasons, but at least the idea is there, ever-present. A carrot to lead me into insanity, I'm sure, but at the same time I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have to go for all of the Platinums, so I might be well and truly fine with leaving my experiences with MotorStorm RC 'unfinished' as it were. Possibly in dramatic fashion, as in not getting much more than the pithy 2% I'm at currently. Especially since I'm concerned it just might not be 'my kind' of game as I suspected it might not be.
I guess I should start with the positive first, because there is quite a lot on that front. The graphics are pretty nice for what it is and the presentation itself is rather smooth. The interface is simple and offers basically only the information you need while racing or, if you're in the Playground, it constantly feeds you information on your friends as shown off in the above picture of Kaseius beating one of my scores that I believe had beat one of his scores. Maybe. I remember beating at least one of his (and the scores of a few other people as well, and on my first attempts, some of them!) because the interface with that is fairly unforgettable and intuitive.
Basically in the 'Hot Lap' types of races, it gives you three times for the three medals and completing a lap in the desired amount of time will net you the medal. If you get the shortest time, you get all three, the second shortest, you get two, etc. These are then represented on the track by arrows with avatars above them highlighting the course taken by the driver to get that time, proving that these times -are- possible regardless of what you might think in frustration. It's a nicer take on just having 'ghost' cars on the track, I think, and the top-down camera angle makes the best use of it as it could.
It's really really nice, honestly and while I don't like racing games and certainly still don't after my experience with the game, I enjoyed it. Mostly. I wondered for the entire time that I played earlier today, 'Why is the right stick the thing to use for Acceleration? That's dumb!' and while the answer is sensible enough (no pressure-sensitive buttons on the Vita) it doesn't make it any more usable than it was when I just thought it was dumb. I was eventually instructed that you can remap the controls almost completely which is certainly welcome and I took advantage of, but all my experience has more or less been based on using the Right Stick for reasons I could not fathom. I think one of the main reasons I don't like Racing games is because of the sheer precision they require, and the OCD-like levels they can drive you to trying to get just .021 of a second shaved off of your lap time or things of that sort.
This is certainly not helped by the inclusion of an ice area which, as you might expect, makes navigation much harder than it needs to be. I hadn't done all the races in the first section and just sort of happened upon it which might also attribute to the difficulty curve I faced, but after winning the first actual race I was in (against other cars, rather than the ghost time arrows) so handily I passed the sixth place car (out of eight) before finishing, I was not prepared for the next actual race I was in to get so trounced. The serpentine half of the track literally requiring you to make seven precision turns in a row on ice just sucks so tremendously and required at least 20 minutes of my time. I don't even remember if I ended up actually finishing it in first or if I gave up in frustration. I just remember that another track in the same area that involved a lot of crossing the same sections (and consequently not letting you take shortcuts) caused similar amounts of frustration because I kept missing the top medal by less than a second.
As I've said, racing games just aren't my thing which should be pretty obvious to anyone at this point. Still, I'll plug away at it a little more before finally starting Uncharted: Golden Abyss because I think I've put all the time I'm going to tolerate into Dynasty Warriors Next. After potentially discovering that you -can- swear a Sibling Oath with a woman and a Spouse Oath with a man by playing as a Female Ruler, I threw my hands up in frustration at the amount of time this bullshit (and that's exactly what it is) is going to take. Maybe if the core mechanics of Next were a little better, I'd be more apt to give it a shot, but they're not, so I just can't be bothered whatsoever. Like I can't be bothered with trying to figure out the best way to race ice tracks.