on 03-09-2011 04:24 PM
I've been planning this post for a few weeks in my head, finally getting the chance to put "pen to paper"
I'd like to congratulate you on the best MS game in the series so far. I've owned and enjoyed every release since 2007, but this is the best so far.
MS : MV was an exceptional PS3 launch title. The graphics, physics and design realy hit the nail on the head. The PS3 needed a standout title to get people buying a £300+ console and MS : MV did it in spades. It was early days in terms of online on consoles, and the online part of MV got a lot of things right. Custom servers meant I could set up a pure Buggy race if I wanted, the netcode was pretty good as well. But it lacked in visibility of ranking up. Everything seemed very arbitrary and although I got to Godlike, I couldn't relate any particulars of my racing career to my achievement. It all felt a bit empty.
Move on a couple of year and MS : PR is released. Graphcis...although still 720p...massively improved. The vehicle roster is now huge, including lots of custom paint jobs. The campaign is well thought out, terribly difficult to complete, but a superb single player experience. The Multiplayer however was a disaster for me. Ranking up is now transparent, but it's insanely hard to rankup unless you're a superb player, with a bucket full of luck, playing against people ranked way below you. Many an evening, I would play for an hour and gain 10% rank, only to lose it all in a couple of bad races and end up LOWER than when I started. Players play games to enjoy themselves, but MS : PR online was just too difficult for many. I'm sure that those who were truly godlike at the game appreciated the challenge, but PS3 was designed to be a mass market console and I would bet a lot of half decent players quit out early on the multiplayer.
Now I come to MS : A. I played the demo and thought "meh, seems OK". Demo track is a bit weak, I think I'll wait a while. A couple of months later, with a Play.com sale on and £18 burning a hole in my pocket I decide to give MS : A a try. Fly through the campaign, some better tracks, the comic book style isn't for me but the racing is fairly solid, if a bit easy compared to MS : PR.
But I move onto the multiplayer and the whole game changes. It's one word, repeated several times:
FUN, FUN, FUN!!!
Finally, a racing game that doesn't just depend on you coming first every time to achieve something! Just racing and enjoying yourself will get you further up the ranks! Like to play as Monstertruck while everyone else uses superbikes? No problem....you won't lose rank if you just want a chilled out race by choosing a daft vehicle. Fancy taking out lots of other drivers? No problem, oh and here's some chips for your trouble! Want to drive like a maniac, drifting and jumping everywhere? Have some rank and new car parts to go with that! 5am and you can't find an online race? Just download the challenge packs and the weekly challenge races and earn some chips offline!
You have turned a pretty sour genre of online racing into something that everyone can enjoy, from top racers to casual sunday drivers. I still get frustrated and not coming top 3, but at least I know I'll get something for my efforts. Plus if I've chosen my oponent carefully I should still get some good chips too.
There's still some work to be done on stabilising the servers and connections. I must have lost around 500k in chips from binus pots that die when the server dies. But overall it's simply the most enjoyable online racing I have ever played.
Good luck for future patches and hoping it won't be the last Motorstorm
on 03-09-2011 04:41 PM
...There are too many problems with online play, and they seriously weakened the single player/local multiplayer of the game compared to Pacific Rift.
There is no doubt the online is a lot more accessible.... but for my tates, it's nowhere near as good as Pacific Rift, in any tiny part of the game... except maybe the 3D ... but... you know
on 03-09-2011 05:17 PM
I think I went through the weaknesses already, but overall it's still the better version. MS : PR was simply too unfriendly to play online for anyone less than Jensen Button in terms of skills. Raging because you came 6th in a race is bad enough, but to find out you just undid about an hour's worth of progress was simply unacceptable.
The server issues are a big problem online for MS :A but this is always a moveable feast and very hard to tie down. The full game is easy to test in the closed environment of the studio, and it's obvious this was tested to death pre-release. But as we all know, real world network scenarios are almost impossible to recreate in the studio. I can't think of many online PSN games that haven't suffered at all in terms of network problems.
I can understand why some prefer the online of PR, but it's too focussed. I like the fact that MS : A rewards ALL players regardless of skill. Top players still get rewarded the most so everyone should be kept happy, and that's what makes it a success in my mind...
on 03-09-2011 05:53 PM
Great post FxAxF. I think I have much the same opinion as you (and Pacman).
But although things considered. I am very sad that I can't even finish 2 races hell not even 1. Worse not even connect to. Because of the servers (I think)
and that really takes my on an rampage. If you know what I mean.
Like yesterday night. I wanted to race with my friend ka0s in a party. Fine 1 race came 3rd. next race didn't even start. tryed to get in (no kidding) like 15 times or so. but NO. it kicked me every single time. or else it said there was a problem connecting to the servers.
and when the only way you can get new vihecles, and have fun with your friends is via online play.
it really is frustrating.
but this is not aimed at you. this is purely my frustration about the online functionalities of this game.
also i'm glad on your behalf that you like this game series. and will continue too. as will i...
on 03-09-2011 09:56 PM
I love Apocalypse, best racing game this year I've played.
And if it wasn't for any other Motorstorms, or maybe GRID I would say it's the best racer this generation,
But purely because it absolutely has to be compared to Pacific Rift, I just always feel dissapointment when playing it Too much time focusing on making it friendly and adding 3D to it just left it in tatters... compared to Pacific Rift... in my eyes.
on 28-10-2012 10:23 PM
Hit the nail on the head, FxAxF!
I played the Apocalypse demo. It did nothing for me. No buy. Recently, I subscribed to PS+ and downloaded Apocalypse as one of the free games available. Amazing game, so much better than the demo and the multiplayer is awesome! I feel guilty now that I didn't buy it.
I'm also very sorry to hear that sales of Apocalypse were poor. I think it was a mixture of no release in Japan, a rescheduled launch date and a poor demo that doesn't give a good impression of the full product.
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