Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moto Rush

My apologies for the twenty-four hour delay in posting this review. I know my tens of fans around the world were waiting anxiously for another rant at the expense of a poor, defenceless game. If it's any consolation, I was busy with this.

Actually, that's probably zero consolation.

Anyway, since I find myself with bugger all time this evening, let's get right to the point on this one - especially as that will get me away from Moto Rush as quickly as possible. The whole tilty truck/balancing game has been done a hundred times before, so what does Moto Rush bring to the table that's new? Why should you spend your time on this rather than any of the other myriad games just like it?

That's a question with no apparent answer. Unless you count the pitiful attempt at customisation (you can choose whether you play a male or female character, and change the colour of your vehicle) this is in no way different to any other game of its type.

You can play as either a motocross rider or snowboarder; if you want to ride cool stuff like monster trucks and bears, you'll need to win races and unlock them. This is disappointing, as the monster trucks are the only vehicle I really like to play in these games, and where else am I going to have the opportunity to ride a bear like a motorcycle?

Albania, maybe...

There are two modes of play, Timed and Challenge. Since it's always a good idea to get to grips with your vehicle before making a fool of yourself in races, I checked out the Timed mode. The first thing you notice is that it looks decent but unoriginal. Indeed, some of the artwork is downright boring, with little detail on your riders. The second thing you realise is that the controls are as sensitive as a fourteen-year-old emo kid. Since these are timed challenges, it would make sense that you try to complete the courses as quickly as possible, right? But it's hard to keep a steady pace, as going too quickly will send you flying head over feet into the dirt (literally - the rider just keeps falling, as if through the ground itself.)

The snowboarder is actually easier to control, but the same problem remains - because the controls are so sensitive, you'll get caught on the same sections again and again. On the bright side, you have an infinite number of lives, so if you do crash, you can always just try again. But consider how quickly boredom sets in after the eighth failed attempt, losing your balance on the same dirt ramp or snow drift that screwed you the previous seven times.

Challenge Mode is really just an attempt to make you play the same levels twice, albeit with a few minor alterations and the addition of competition. As you can see, this competition consists mainly of carbon copies of yourself, with the occasional ninja or Viking thrown in for good measure. The problems that plague Timed mode are still fully present in Challenge mode, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I had better luck against my clones than I did against the clock, actually winning a few races.

But let's not fool ourselves into thinking this somehow redeems Moto Rush. Despite a few original quirks, it's still inferior to many similar titles. It demands a certain amount of commitment if one really wants to unlock all the vehicles, but is it worth the effort? Having played the game at length I can tell you now that the answer is a definite "No."

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