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Thursday, March 8, 2012

MotorStorm RC Vita

MotorStorm RC for Vita was a free download sponsored by Scion, the Toyota car brand. Originally advertised as available free on the first day of release (March 6, 2012). I just checked (12:57 am March 8, 2012) and it still seems to be free as of this writing.

The problem with saying something will be available free or whatever "on the first day it hits the PS Store"... well, we all know the SAD TRUTH about PS Store updates: they don't happen at 12:00am on Tuesdays. Where I sit- Canada west coast Pacific Time- I find PS Store updates happen from 6:30PM to like 9:30pm, if not later some times. So if MotorStorm RC was only free on Tuesday, we'd have had like maybe 3-5 hours of availabilty. For time-limited stuff, they should say "available free for 24 hours from the PS Store update" or whatever.
MotorStorm RC Vita is a fun game, it reminds me a lot of Micro Machines but better than the PSP version. The dual analogue sticks are put to good use for controlling the RC cars, they really give a feeling that you're controlling a toy car. The big problem is the "alternate" control scheme where you're supposed to push the left stick in the direction you want the RC car to go-- it doesn't work as advertised. I switch the controls to alternate every few races to try to figure out HOW exactly they want us to use the stick. Default controls seem to work the best for me.

The biggest problem with the game is that it feels completely like it was made for the PS3 and ported to the Vita. The menus have type that is SO FREAKING TINY that parts of it are unreadable on the Vita screen. Clearly it was designed using 55" TV screens for development. Same with the cars themselves, they look so small they cause eyestrain trying to peer at them on the Vita screen. And the touch elements, while a good idea to have a rear touch tap go up in the menu and front touch to select, in actual use are sluggish to the point of near-unusable & feel totally tacked on.

But the game is fun at times, at its regular $9.99 price point I'd *almost* say it's worth it. Unfortunately, Sony devs think this price-point gives them an excuse to not polish a game up, so these games always feel bare-bones-- despite games of this level are at at least half the price on other systems like iOS and Android. As can be seen from the image above, the free version has the major Scion advertising/branding on it but I guess that's what you get for "free". And everyone's thanking Sony for the free download, but they said it was Scion who was paying the bill for the downloads. It's like Joe paying for a round for the entire bar, and everyone thanking only the bartender for it. The bartender is making all the money regardless, it's not like he's doing it for charity, right? Same with Sony.


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