Game: Moto Roader MC
Genre: Action, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on PS4 & Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Masaya Games | Ratalaika Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $6.99 | UK £5.99 | EU € 6,99
Release Date: February 25th, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to PR Hound.
Moto Roader MC is an arcade racing game that was originally released in 1992 for the TurboGrafx CD. A console I had very little experience with. I honestly don’t even remember seeing it in the UK when I was growing up. So it’s pretty great to see games like this get another chance to shine on modern consoles. And as a retro guy, I was very happy with my time playing this racer.
Start Your Engines
The game plays as a top down racer with some car combat. You race through various tracks aiming for the top spot, but this is no standard racer. Each car is equipped with two weapons, a rocket that shoots out at the front and a pipe bomb that drops from your rear. Hitting a fellow car will cause them to spin out of control for a bit allowing you to either get ahead or maintain your lead.
Controls are very simple to pick up and play. You can choose two movement control styles: you can go for either a directional mode, where you accelerate and point with the analogue stick where you want to move. Or you can use a more traditional turn mechanic which is probably what most players will be more familiar with, myself included.
This is an easy pick-up and play arcade racer suitable for all ages and skills. There are a few options to let you customize your experience. You can choose the number of AI racers and turn on car collisions and super slides. You can play with up to five players locally making this a pretty good pick for a game night with some chums. But if you opt to go alone you can play against the AI, which unfortunately only has one set skill level. You find it a bit fierce to start with but with practice, you can come out on top.
The game offers twenty-five tracks total which is pretty generous for a retro racer. You can play tracks individually in Time Attack or in a Grand Prix where the car that obtains the most points at the end wins. The tracks are grouped into five categories such as Circuit, which features tracks that look a lot like a traditional racer. Nature offers off-road style designs and the more obscure Special which offers obscure tracks including a very confusing dungeon style track that has the cars driving through portals.
It’s a very hard one to play initially but once you become familiar it’s a lot of fun. Tracks feature a variety of hazards and traps as well as turbo pads and even plenty of shortcuts to discover at your own risk. It has all the right ingredients for an enjoyable arcade racer. The game also offers a Omake mode which is basically driving a football into a goal. This mode however can only be played with other players and not with AI.
The graphics are presented in colourful retro sprites with a pretty decent soundtrack just as it would have been on the original TurboGrafx CD. As for this port, the game offers the usual flurry of features you would expect like save states, graphic filters and a rewind feature. I like how the game tells you to use the rewind feature to ‘grief’ your friends.
You can of course map the controls to your liking and even choose the car designs. All in all, it’s a solid port at a good price that runs well on Nintendo Switch and a great way to enjoy the game on modern systems whether you play on the original console or are trying it for the first time. It’s a shame this is a standalone game and didn’t come with other titles from this racing series.
Conclusion – The Finish Line
Moto Roader MC is a brilliant racer that I highly recommend if you’re looking for an arcade style fix. Racing games may have evolved a lot over the gaming years but I would probably pick Moto Roader MC over the competition. Sometimes simple still works just fine. An excellent game to enjoy in short bursts alone or with a bunch of friends. The game may be 30 years old this year but its fun core gameplay still holds up incredibly well. This port has converted very well to modern systems. It’s wonderful to see retro games continue to resurface and hopefully, the trend will continue.
Final Verdict: I Liked it a Lot