Happy 30th birthday Moto Roader MC! This re-release of the racer that originally launched on TurboGrafx-16 recently landed on Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch. I got to get hands on with this bright and zippy racer on the latter console, where I figured it would feel most at home. The title is short on offerings, but may be rich in nostalgia for some that crave to play a familiar title or revisit the racing genre in a classic light. Even with the game being one year older than myself, I still can remember playing stand up racing titles at arcades in the same fashion, with the pedals on the floor and the aerial view like the one in Moto Roader MC. This review will be short, sweet, and for what I believe is the first time on my end, scoreless. I am taking this approach as I feel it is the most appropriate to scale modern standards with a classic title and let my thoughts give you a clearer opinion of the game.
With this port, there are very few modernizations made to it. The game itself is, seemingly, a direct port. There are some adjustments you can make, like remapping buttons, adding a CRT effect, and adding the ability to rewind, which I found made my experience more enjoyable (more on that shortly.) You start off on a landing page of sorts where you can adjust these things before fully launching the game. Once in the game, holding pause will allow you to get back to these landing page, relaunch the game, etc. Players will see an offering of three modes: Race, Time Trial, and Omake. Race will see you race 4 other racers, either AI or local player. Same offering is in time trial, with attempts at breaking records with your speedy laps. Omake is a 1v1 or 2v2 soccer mode ala Rocket League, albeit 2D.
Race is where I spent most of my time. The classic control style can make it easy to lose your position, as do the scale and similarities of the cars. Once you get a little accustomed to it however, it then becomes more enjoyable. This is where rewind can help. I wouldn’t use it consistently to give myself an unfair advantage, because where is the fun in that, but rather to reset myself and get my sea legs back so to speak. Sharper turns with three or more cars involved can often get jumbled, and that is where this feature came in handy. You can also shoot missiles and drop pipe bombs to make things that much more hectic.
What I really liked most was the art style. While simple, I found it quite charming. The small details in the crowds, the bright popping color, and the variety of locales on display from map group to map group. City maps were decked out with neon lights, nature displays more trees and growth, and the special maps have these moving, breathing, deity like figures front and center. Some maps contained hazards, like oil traps, risky boosts, and even a train! Some fun songs accommodate the action, but the audio experience can be marred by the dated, often annoying, attack sound effects. The explosion noise on repeat can grow tiresome.
Overall, it’s a fun, but dated experience. It doesn’t cost much, but on the other side of that coin nor does it offer much. You can experience everything it has to offer within one sitting, and even fanatics would surely be hard pressed to come back for more without reason. For its age, it has a certain style and substance that makes its charm easy to recognize, but after a few races, you’ll have gone the distance with Moto Roader MC.
*Note: A copy of the title was provided for the purposes of the review
FINAL SCORE: N/a
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