A Moto Rush GP review on the Nintendo Switch – an arcade first-person racer from Baltoro Games.
Currently available on the Nintendo eShop for free, regardless of my opinion in this review, you can download now unless a) you already have it, b) you’re allergic to motorcycles.
An arcade racing experience that borders more on the mobile side of gaming, how does Moto Rush GT fare on the Switch? Will you be hooning through the streets, butt firmly clenched, or scratching your head asking why this was free in the first place?
Moto Rush GT Review
Motorbike games are fun, but as much as the adrenaline rush dashing past the peasants in their cars, the almighty risk of coming off your bike is so much, that often these games are too fast to enjoy or crashes are frequent.
Crashes in the game can be frequent, but not unreasonable. You’re more likely to go full speed into a bollard or straight into the back of a truck: there’s no need to fear falling off your bike through steering (TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2 anyone?).
There’s no fanfare of showroom menus or extravagant cutscenes. From the menu, you have the option to ‘Just Drive’, Career, Arcade, Time Trial, Garage and Statistics. They’re all self-explanatory, but we can cove them if we must.
The Just Drive option is like a free roam, but the moment you crash, it’s game over. After each turn, the same applies to the rest of the game; you’ll get a status screen that gives your score and distance. This is further broken down into near-misses, how long you’ve driven in the opposite lane, how long you’ve travelled at high speed, combos and stunts.
A Lonely Road
How Moto Rush GT differs from other racers is it feels a little on rails as you only go forward in first-person mode – no backtracking or choosing your path. The gameplay is within five lanes: moving with the traffic on the right, and against it on the left – sometimes all in one direction.
At your disposal is the classic wheelie to give you points, though, from a first-person perspective, the front of the bike blocks your view, so you do it at your own risk. You can accelerate, decelerate and apply the horn, but if you’re using the latter for a purpose, it’s probably too late, and you’re about to crash.
The principal gameplay then is swerving in and out of traffic, performing random wheelies and covering the odd jump when a ramp pops up, stringing together this routine for a combo.
To add a bit of challenge and variety, the Career mode sets an objective for each progressive track. Perform stunts that total 50 seconds, beat the clock, or get away with x near misses.
Jumping back to that stats screen, the higher the number, the more XP you’ll get. Level up to unlock new bikes and upgrades to power, handling and brakes, plus a few other colour customisations and skins for both your bike and a near pair of gloves.
Items in Moto Rush GT can be purchased with the money you earn through each course, and to be honest, it’s quite the grind to get enough money/levelling to either upgrade or even unlock in the first place.
Of course, it’s a requirement to upgrade your bike with the right amount of power as you get onto the more difficult levels. You didn’t think it was just cosmetics, did you?
Ride With Me
Admittedly, the game changes a bit as you upgrade with faster bikes and tighter handling. Throw in the jumps and streamline boosts and weaving in and out of traffic becomes like a crash test dummy course.
The handling though is surprisingly good (in a short distance, that is). There’s no over sensitivity or the screen rolling left and right; the screen remains firmly in place and just the bike moves, a relief for those who get motion sickness.
Sometimes you might find yourself on one side of the screen and need to navigate to the other side. When covering a longer distance, the bikes feel sluggish, or the scrolling is too fast for the bike. In a game where the premise is avoiding obstacles, I’d like it to have been a bit more control.
Visually Moto Rush GT is ok. It feels like a Switch title in that it’s no-frills, so don’t go expecting something on par with the Ride series, but it does the job, the animation is alright, and there’s a broad selection of music genres that play in the background. The sound effects weren’t as good. The bikes don’t feel like they’ll tear you a new arsehole with their demon-like speeds, and instead, they feel a little generic, but, it’ll pass.
Most of the levels don’t feel very long, but it gets very repetitive, playing one after the other. I felt like I had played the game for an hour or two, but when I’d looked at the time, it was only about 20 minutes or so. It just feels like a bit of a grind.
There’s about 100 tracks/challenges in the Career mode, and you’ll unlock new areas to play in Arcade as you go along. However, despite the number of challenges, items to unlock and DLC, Moto Rush GT feels pretty repetitive and somewhat monotonous – especially if you play track after track to level up.