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Aqua Moto Racing 3D (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Aqua Moto Racing 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Nintendo are making their digital platforms easier and easier to develop for, getting some strong editions of mobile games. Just released by Zordix, AquaMoto Racing 3D is a 3DS version of the popular iOS jet ski game at £8.99. Those looking for some jet ski gaming fun this summer may want to read on…

AquaMoto Racing 3D does what it says on the tin. Pictures of guys riding jet skis, an icon of a guy riding a jet ski, and then when the game boots up, demo footage of a guy racing a jet ski. That's what the game's about and it doesn't complicate that. The touch screen shows simple menus that aren't the prettiest in presentation, but are easy to navigate. Usual racing game modes are all there, like Championship or Quick Race (choosing any course freely), Garage for buying better jet skis, and a tutorial introducing the simple controls. This simplicity is a refreshingly good thing for pick-up-and-play sessions. The A button is used to accelerate, the Circle Pad turns, and X lets players turbo boost once the turbo gauge is full, making the game very easy to get to grips with. There are no confusing water drift mechanics here. You bought a jet ski racing game, and you're getting a jet ski racing game.

The game has six Championship cups to race through, each with three different courses. Playing through the courses and championships nets medals, money, and achievements depending on accomplishments earned in a race, and are ideal for those who want a little more substance for their buck. Money can also be found dotted about within races, similarly to Mario Kart's coin system, meaning that if there's a newly-unlocked jet ski in the garage itching to be bought, good navigation of each race could net that shiny new kit much sooner. The gameplay itself is simple enough, indicated by the simple controls. The goal is to navigate to the left of yellow buoys, and the right of red ones, taking on a different circuit in each race. Missing the buoys or heading around the wrong side of them earns a penalty, and three penalties means disqualification. It may sound tough at first, but it's really just a way to keep everyone on course during the race, as those familiar with jet ski racing games may be already aware. Not just that, but the tighter the buoys are passed, the better the score and turbo reward. The turbo gauge is filled by passing closely by a buoy, or doing a stunt off a ramp; every time a ramp is used, a selection of buttons appear on the touch screen designated to a one-to-three star stunt. Three star stunts take longer to do and need more air, but offer more turbo if pulled off, and as more jet skis are unlocked this becomes easier and easier to pull off. Experienced players may find themselves doing more than one stunt in one jump for a great turbo bonus, because using a turbo, especially soaring off a ramp, is quite satisfying indeed.

Screenshot for Aqua Moto Racing 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Of course, being a jet ski game, almost all the action takes place on the water, usually off-coast. The simple visuals sometimes provide a pretty backdrop with a beach or seaside locale, while some appear a little more rugged, like a jungle. The waves also differ depending on the stage; some stages have calm, almost flat waters, making navigation easy, but most stages have regular waves which, unfortunately, rather than being used to help make cool stunts or giving momentum-based speed boosts, too often feel repetitive and impeding to the race. Starting off slow while bobbing about on waves makes acceleration difficult to achieve at times, especially with the game's simple physics. This is even worse when the usually optional "storm mode" is activated, an option for Quick Races that makes the waves even more hectic and dark, meaning much more bobbing about and a lot less actual racing. This is perhaps a mode for the curious or the completionist more than anything... and likely a laugh in busy multiplayer. The waves can give a bit of air, perhaps offering a bit of soaring after a well-aimed boost, but unfortunately stunts off waves are a no-no, no matter how high players jump from them. Luckily, these repetitive waves are the worst factor that AquaMoto has to speak of, and they're not even that bad.

Speaking of multiplayer, AquaMoto Racing 3D offers download play multiplayer for up to six players, which is very generous for a download title. Racing with friends can be fun, particularly when competing over those tight corners or ramp bonuses, and there's something amusing about seeing a friend's jet ski fly into the distance as they went off a ramp a bit too high. Therein also lies one of the game's subtle challenges: if the pro player happens to want to find a way to dominate the variety of tracks in the game, perhaps the unlockable jet skis will prove even more interesting. The more difficult to navigate a course is, the riskier it is to use a very fast jet ski that can speed right past those crucial turns. What initially looked like a nice raise in stats may hinder speed demon players, adding a potential interesting element of strategy to picking the right speed jet ski for the right stage.

Of course, it's summer, so maybe, despite the risk of going off-course, going all out and getting some crazy air while turboing over a ramp sounds like fun anyway!

Screenshot for Aqua Moto Racing 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Easy to grasp gameplay that does what it says on the tin, playable to anyone. The total lack of button control on menus coupled with the big lack of touch screen control in races feels a bit confusing sometimes, however. Why not both? There are also slight collision issues; approaching ramps at the wrong angle can occasionally end in crashing into nothing, and the physics aren't anything special.

Graphics

The visuals are solid and the locales feel just right, but the "3D" part of the title leads to some extra-distracting water spray as well as a noticeable frame rate drop while the 3D is turned on, so many players may find the experience more comfortable with it off. Money can also be hard to see on the course.

Sound

Catchy music that rarely sounds annoying and makes decent use of the hardware, with the occasional unnecessary but fun voice clip from the racer as he expresses joy over a nice boost or stunt. "Come on!"

Value

There's a fair bit to do: six cups and a mirror mode, a good batch of unlockable jet skis, and the opportunity to play any course in a strange storm mode with or without five friends. Those looking to master the stages may want to try and figure out the best jet ski for each, too. It's a shame the package lacks an online mode which could have rounded everything off well.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

AquaMoto Racing 3D is a fun little racing game for quick bursts on the go that's made a comfortable transition from phone to 3DS, though, unfortunately, has not made the best use of the 3D in its name. As a game, it's definitely quality minus a few small presentation issues, but its simplicity is also its problem as there's not a whole lot to get very excited about. Thankfully, download play means players can jet ski with their local 3DS pals for only £8.99!

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06.07.2013

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Also known as

AquaMoto Racing 3D

Developer

Zordix

Publisher

Zordix

Genre

Driving

Players

6

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Who owns this game?


Adam Riley
I own this game View All

Who wants this game?


RudyC3
I want this game View All

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'm very tempted by this one. I miss Wave Race on Nintendo consoles...

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

RudyC3 said:
I'm very tempted by this one. I miss Wave Race on Nintendo consoles...

It's certainly not bad, just a bit lacking on the exhilaration.. the water is much too bouncy at times Smilie

Also after submitting the review I loaded up the game to find that I'd lost some progress I made the other day, not sure how to make sure it's saved. It's crashed once in a race too since then but it doesn't seem too common. Just thought I should mention those things. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I thought I would clarify something, its a common question we get.

FAQ:
Download Play: 5 players can download the game from a 6th player that owns the game. All of Tropics environment playable and all vehicles playable.

Local Play: 6 Players can play all vehicles and all environment.

Enjoy, play and win!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

@zordix - thanks for the information.

Has anyone else made a comment about losing save data or the game crashing? The reviewer - as mentioned in the second post - had this problem.

( Edited 06.07.2013 18:14 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Not losing data but we had a guy that had the game freeze between races. For some reason it went away if he renamed his rider or turned off Street Pass. We have theories that 32Gig memory cards of certain brands might be the culprit, or it might be that the memory cards in question is a bit damaged. We are working on it though. Only thing i can say is that turning Street Pass off might lessen the stutter problem between races.

(Of course, neither we nor Nintendo found the error in lotcheck before releasing the game.)

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

zordix said:
Not losing data but we had a guy that had the game freeze between races. For some reason it went away if he renamed his rider or turned off Street Pass. We have theories that 32Gig memory cards of certain brands might be the culprit, or it might be that the memory cards in question is a bit damaged. We are working on it though. Only thing i can say is that turning Street Pass off might lessen the stutter problem between races.

(Of course, neither we nor Nintendo found the error in lotcheck before releasing the game.)


It's not a common error, I've only gotten it once after quite a lot of play.

Info for what it's worth, I have StreetPass turned on for the title and a 16GB SD Card.

Not sure what could have caused the loss of save data, but upon loading up one of my completed cups was still locked as were a few of the jetskis I'd bought. Like the crash, it's only happened to me once, other loadups have been fine (also fairly sure the two incidents aren't related, the data loss happened before the crash).

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

What brand and make is the SD card?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

zordix said:
What brand and make is the SD card?

SanDisk SDHC.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Thank you for the help. we are looking into it.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

zordix said:
Thank you for the help. we are looking into it.

You're welcome! Smilie Best of luck ironing things out, and good luck on future titles, quite enjoyed this one.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Snow Moto Racing 3D should be the next game, but I'm also hoping the team does an F-Zero style game in the future Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

We do have some pretty far out there ideas for games in the action genre. Snow Moto is of course our next game out but first we have to get Aqua Moto Racing 3D out the door. We still have the NOA market to release in. You 

The code base from Aqua and Snow Moto racing is a good foundation for the future. We won a competition with our Box Car Kids -entry and have a prototype running. Box car kids is the kids from Lawn Mower Kids that with the help of Mr Mowman builds carts to drive around in their strange 50s themed suburbia where area 51 is real.

An F-Zero style game would definitely be a good fit for our code base. We also have two other pretty far gone concepts for games that would actually be quite new to the world. They are years away though..but on the other hand if someone comes up with financing we could definitely make them real.


Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Thanks for the updates Smilie Are you still working on Furiae as well?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

It is still in our developer computers and there is actual debugging going on still. The scope of that project makes it hard to work fast and it will take the time it takes. I feel like a Valve representative when i give that answer Smilie

great title i missed this one let see if i can get this now.thanks for bringing that up.

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