Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Moto Racer 4

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **

Moto Racer the popular motorcycle racing video game franchise from the late '90s is making a comeback with an updated version for a new generation of players on Sony Playstation and Microsoft XBOX home entertainment consoles.  MOTO RACER 4 is being released for the XBOX ONE and PLAYSTATION 4 video game consoles on January 24, 2017 but the video game's publisher MICROIDS provided it to my kids in advance to try out and they've really been enjoying themselves playing it.  Spectacular graphics make viewing the race courses within this video game just as much fun as the aspect of striving to have the fastest time steering your virtual motorcycle through challenges as you compete in the game.   These great visual elements combined with advanced computer processing that allows players to experience a 60 images per second frame rate enhance the simulated feeling of riding a motorcycle in this arcade style game.

While MOTO RACER 4 provides a great virtual motorcycle racing experience it isn't a complex, in-depth simulation full of difficult control features to learn and master making it a great video game that a family can play together.  A control knob steers your bike left and right, a button controls the gas, another the brake and another jumps and tricks....simple as that!  Within 5 minutes my 8 year old twins were racing each other like two kids who had already earned their drivers licenses.  Soon my wife and I joined in and everyone was having fun seeing who would win the bragging rights for being the best racer in the family playing the video game.  MOTO RACER 4 has a split screen feature that lets you race head to head against someone in the same room or an online feature where 2 - 10 players can join in to race against one another at the same time.  Players can also participate in solo matches where they are pitted again AI (artificial intelligence) opponents.

My kids really like that there are a variety of colorful characters to choose playing as in the game with each one having unique outfits and traits.  One character may be better at handling the bike making it easier to steer while racing but may be slower than the opponents on the track putting you at a disadvantage.  On the other hand, another character might be able to go really really fast but isn't as adept at handling corners on the track. and may be more likely to crash letting a slower racer pass you by.  Picking a character that best fits your own game playing style adds a bit of strategy to your races.  A nice touch is there are plenty of female characters available to select from so this isn't a completely guy focused game which my daughter really appreciated.

Another nice feature our family really enjoyed is the ability to either race on asphalt on a motorcycle or go off road to race dirt bikes.  With the dirt bikes there are lots of jumps and stunts you can do while with the motorcycles you'll be challenged weaving through cars and trucks as there can be traffic on the road.  Whether racing on asphalt or dirt there are several competition modes to choose from:

KING OF THE HILL -- each rider starts with the same time on the clock.  As time runs down for the leader the other racers get extra turbo speed.  The player in the lead when the clock reaches zero wins the race.

LAST MAN STANDING -- the last player to pass each checkpoint on the race course is eliminated.

SURVIVAL -- the race starts with a minimal amount of time on the clock.  Each time a player passes a checkpoint time is added to the clock.  In single player mode the goal is to survive for a specific length of time.  In multi-player mode it is to be the last racer with time left on his or her clock.

CATCH UP -- Your opponents start the race with a head start and you must finish the race in first place.

WOLF PACK -- You start the race with a head start and must maintain it without being passed by an opponent.

GOLDEN HELMET --   Competitors must earn the one golden helmet up for grabs during the race.  To do this, they must be first to go past the initial checkpoint.  Once a player is wearing the golden helmet if another player knocks against them while racing that opponent gets the helmet.  If a player wearing the helmet crashes or falls off their bike the golden helmet is transported to the next checkpoint where the first player to reach the spot gets it.  The player wearing the golden helmet crossing the finish line wins the race.

Of course in addition to these special modes, players can also just compete in a normal race where the fastest person to complete their laps and cross the finish line first wins.

MOTO RACER 4's non-violent game play and simple controls make it a great game for children and parents to play together.  The game's multitude of vibrant courses that are as fun to explore as to race through, its numerous competition modes that provide a variety of challenges to players, and the ability for each competitor to have its own unique sense of style and racing skills combine to provide  a family with hours of entertainment having fun together playing this video game. MOTO RACER 4 definitely gets  A Geek Daddy nod of approval for being a great kid-friendly video game to play!

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