So recently, this was on sale for $1.99 on the Switch eShop... and I happened to have $3.00 worth of gold points.

Moto Racer is a series I've had a history with. The original Windows 95/98 game is actually one of my favorite racers for PC, but I recall not liking Moto Racer 2 as much for some reason, and then never played the third game at all (I think there were actually more than three but whatever). Since I got MR4 for basically free, I wondered if it would be a return to form for the franchise.

The idea of Moto Racer is that it's basically Ridge Racer, but with motorcycles. That means its not very realistic. That's a good thing--realistic motorcycle sims are basically unplayable for me. I recall playing the PS2 game Tourist Trophy and any time I took a tight turn, I would fall off the bike, and never understood what I was doing wrong. Moto Racer does not have that problem.


It's good, but I hesitate to call it great.

One problem I immediately had was I had to get used to the handling. This is actually not the first time I had this problem on a cheap Switch racer (Xenon Racer was the other). It feels like it takes effort to make the bikes turn. Of course, there are different playable characters who each handle differently, plus there's a thing where the A button does a drift of sorts which is supposed to help you handle sharp turns. In my experience, the latter works better when you just tap instead of holding it.

There are, of course, unlockable characters, and maybe I'll unlock one that controls to my liking. As it is I found either "Skewer" or "The Truth" (yeah there's a racer named The Truth who is implied to be a robot... since when did Moto Racer have lore?) to be the best fit for me, but nobody controls as well as the best-handling bikes in the first game.

That said though, I wonder how much of this is the game, and how much of this is me having never played a racing game with the Switch's controllers?

One issue I did have is the game sometimes doesn't communicate stuff to you well. For example, I saw on the controls that there's a stunt system, and loading screen hints say doing stunts gives you a speed boost... but it seemed like I could never get them to happen. Then I found out you can only do stunts on dirt tracks.

For the most part though, its exactly what I wanted: a straightforeward arcade-style racer where you hold down the gas pedal and try to be first... in most cases anyway. There's a career mode which seems to have a mission-based structure, sort of like Outrun 2006 Coast to Coast (dear Sega: why isn't Outrun 2 on the Switch? Do you hate life or something?) I just need to get used to how the bikes handle.

For a game I got for free, I've got few complaints so far.