Gather round and let's begin with a quick history lesson because in this case, the context really helps… The Moto Roader games, it turns out, were a trilogy of top-down racing games released on NEC’s oft-forgotten TurboGrafx-16 console (also known as the PC Engine) in the late 80s/early 90s. Some of you may be familiar with the series, seeing how it made some sporadic appearances on the Wii/Wii U Virtual Consoles over the years; Moto Roader MC was the third and final game in the trilogy originally released in 1992, and now, 30 years on, has somehow found its way onto the Nintendo Switch.
Overall, I have to say the gameplay is pretty fun once you get the hang of the controls. The single player mode involves you racing against four other NPCs on a variety of colourful tracks, all of which fit onto the Switch’s screen in their entirety. Similar to the Grand Prixs in Mario Kart, you’re awarded with a number of points depending on where you finished in the race. Then, after a number of races (usually around five races in any given Grand Prix), you of course are placed on the overall leaderboard and you better be on the top step! As well as trying to outpace your rivals, you are armed with some handy rockets and pipe bombs which you can use to blast them away. The combat is probably the most fun aspect of Moto Roader MC as it leads to some crazy first corner pile-ups with cars heading in all directions and rockets flying everywhere!
The single player got quite tedious pretty quickly but the multiplayer is a lot more fun. Racing against your mates is a lot more engrossing than against the NPCs, whose AI is quite basic. There’s also a mode called Omake which is basically Rocket League but 1 on 1 and 2D, however it is bloody-good fun!
- Chaotic and fun racing action
- Fun multiplayer, especially Omake
- Colourful, if limited, graphics
Well, I haven’t played the original Moto Roader MC, so I can’t really compare that with this version, but I would be extremely surprised if this wasn’t a direct port with no enhancements whatsoever. I say that because it looks, sounds and plays like a Genesis game. It all just feels a bit lazy if I'm being honest. For example, on the main menu screen, it still says ‘Press Run’. After some research, I found that the ‘Run’ button was a button on the old TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine controllers, so they couldn’t even be bothered to change that!
In the races itself, there’s no position indicator and the only way you can work out if you’re first, last or somewhere in-between is when each car passes the start/finish line, it tells you how many laps they have left. This means you have to keep a beady eye on other cars crossing the line in order to find out if they’re ahead of you or not. Just… Why not have an indicator?
- Feels incomplete
- No in-race position indicator
- A lazy attempt on a 30-year-old port
Final Score: 4/10
Moto Roader MC is fun in places and will appeal to a small audience, such as fans of Super Sprint and Micro Machines. The multiplayer will also keep you and a couple of mates entertained for a few hours, at least. However, I am left asking myself if we really needed this game in 2022. Sure, we all love a nostalgia trip every now and then but Moto Roader MC just doesn’t really bring anything to the table.
Thank you for checking out our Moto Roader MC Switch review, thank you to Ratalaika Games (via PR Hound) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: