Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RC Rally: "Physics are for losers!"

Hey fellas. As a lot of you probably know by now; I own a PlayStation 3, but have mostly been doing it for Playstation Home, whenever it's trying out their free titles or blowing $300 on virtual crap (when I'm not playing adventure for free items), I always find something there to do. I've play many games there, some I fell in love with and were eager to see updated (Novus Prime and Sodium 2: Project Velocity), others I tried once or twice and immediately ditched it (No Man's Land; gotta love limited movement). One of the games I want to discuss is a little gem from Heavy Water known simply as RC Rally.

On the surface, it's a racer with a simple simple premise: Take one of 12 vehicles (4 models in 3 colors each), tweak them to improve their performance, and race them on three different tracks built in an empty/abandoned lot. The game features objectives that when completed, earn the player the ability to race on tracks 2 and 3, parts to upgrade the vehicle of the player's choosing, and in few cases, a few Playstation Home rewards, mostly companion versions of the different vehicles you can race, some harder to obtain than others. For someone that loved the heck out of Hot Wheels as a wee young lad, it's not surprising.

Each track features five main objectives, all of which deal with the presence of cups on the course. Besides completing two laps on each course under a preset time, you also have objectives on each course: avoid all the cups, knock over all and only the cups of a certain color (must be done thrice, with colors, red, yellow, and blue) and knock over every cup. Finishing all these will get you to the next track a few more parts, and a personal item. Once you get the equipment, you can re-race the courses to get better times and unlock more rewards via "Advanced Challenges", and also race with up to three others online (when will they find local multiplayer needs to be something in Home?).

However, RC Rally seems untested at times, as the collision detection when it comes to inclines, walls, etc. is god awful. Touching most walls, no matter what speed you're going, will cause your vehicle to either spaz out and lose much desired time, or even suffer a crash. Thankfully you do respawn, but the crash will respawn you so much further back from where you initially crashed, making some parts of the game stupid hard. You could make the argument that RC vehicles in real life are very sturdy and can wipe out easily, but these seem like every other thing you try to do is prone to making the poor truck commit suicide through the scenery. And while minor, the sound the vehicle makes when it accelerates is just a series of clicks, not a constant battery motor running like it is in real life. If you're also playing of a SD/non-widescreen TV, the font in next to unreadable, and in multiplayer, the opponents lag terribly.

Aside from friendlier collision detection, better controls, respawn points being closer together, a "quick respawn" button to quickly save oneself from crashes, more lifelike physics, a few more tracks (like six additional ones, one I have plans for showing off), and a few premium items, vehicles, colors, parts, and tracks to purchase/unlock with cash, RC Rally could be one of the better games of PSH. But where it stands currently, it's only mediocre and decent at best, though I'd still play it because I love racing games.

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