MotoHeroz - First Impressions

posted 15 Sep 2011, 19:18 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 15 Sep 2011, 19:26 ]
Can you picture Sonic the Hedgehog getting swapped out for a monster truck? Neither can I. But that's about the best way I can describe MotoHeroz. Sending monster trucks through loop de loops may sound a bit stiff, but that all changes when you actually get to playing. It may not have the speed of a Sonic game, but as a hybrid racer/party game it sure has spunk.

Instead of following normal racing game practices, MotoHeroz attempts to do something different with its blend of platforming and racing gameplay styles. The vehicles in this game conform to a rather bouncy physics system where a small dip can overturn your car if you're not careful. Players get to use the +Control Pad to tilt the wheels on their vehicles either forward or back to prevent this very thing from happening. Since any little dip along a portion of the track can cause your truck to tip over onto one side, it's important that you learn to control just how much your chosen vehicle is affected by the terrain.

Levels feature assorted design elements like large spinning wheels, and even trees that can be knocked down to create a crossable platform. On a regular basis, you'll find coins lying around for you to collect, as well as special blue orbs that are usually not found along the main path. These items are referred to as Ancestor Spirits, but at this point I'm uncertain as to how they relate to the story. As the level designs continue to grow, pick-ups like parachutes and springs also appearover time in select stages.

Much of my time with the game thus far has been spent in the Story Adventure mode, but I did test out the online component as well. Essentially, you have a small list of challenges that you can complete for a limited time only before more challenges open up. Completing a run will earn you points towards an overall worldwide ranking depending on where you fall on the leaderboards. I have encountered two types thus far: One-Stop and Unlimited. With the former type, excluding any pre-event practice sessions you participate in, you only have one shot at submitting a good score. With Unlimited challenges, however, you're allowed to try as many times as you want until the challenge is no longer open. Other than completing online challenges, you can also organize an online group with friends without the use of Friend Codes. You just create a group name and assign it your own secret password. It seems like a neat way of organizing matches.

After nearly two hours of initial playtime, with more than half an hour being spent just in the online mode alone, I think it's safe to say my confidence in MotoHeroz wasn't misplaced. I'm having fun with the game thus far, and I look forward to seeing how else the game will try and hold my attention. Worth $15? We'll see!