Hotshot Racing (PC) Review

By Athanasios 28.09.2020 4

Review for Hotshot Racing on PC

Crafted by a team of people who obviously love their Daytona USAs and Out Runs, Hotshot Racing attempts to bring that special charm of old-school arcade racers to the modern gaming scene. With its more-than-decent soundtrack by Waterflame, the nice, and vibrantly coloured low-poly courses, and its great feeling of speed, this should be quite the recommendation, but sadly it lacks some other, more fundamental aspects in order for that to happen.

Play for a bunch of hours, and after four championships, a few single matches in the Arcade mode and its few variations, and finally a couple of online sessions, you will have experienced all Hotshot Racing had to give. This could easily be the main complaint here. It isn't though. No matter the genre, a game doesn't need to have tons of content. What it needs is content that can make players keep returning to what's on offer, and Hotshot Racing just doesn't got it, with the first reason being the place where everything takes place into: the courses.

Levels are simple, and as a result, not that exciting. More importantly, apart from the different aesthetic of each map, courses feel the same, as they don't stand out in one way or another. Speaking of aesthetic, this uses a fitting low-poly art style that, while relatively pleasant to the eye, lacks the necessary contrast that could make things really pop out. The OST by Waterflame is much better; a catchy assortment of rock, funk, and EDM. Kind of Ridge Racer-y, but maybe not Ridge Racer-y enough.

Screenshot for Hotshot Racing on PC

A second issue with Hotshot Racing is how it feels to play. No, the controls aren't bad - they work as intended, despite the small room for improvement. Drifting, however, which is probably the most crucial ability here, is not that fun to execute, as it is a bit too touchy, especially when trying to wield some of the vehicles on offer. Add to that how cars don't feel as if they are touching the ground, and it hurts the immersion quite a lot. At least the action is quite fast, which is one of this title's few saving graces.

In the end, the biggest problem with Hotshot Racing is how the AI behaves. In order to keep players on the edge of their seats, the developer has decided to implement one of the worst kinds of rubber-banding ever, with opponents always scratching the back of your car no matter how well you manage to perform on the asphalt, but don't follow a similar tactic when you stay behind. This means that the only way someone can feel as if he or she is doing well here, is to challenge their own selves on Time Trial.

Effectively, due to how AI acts, you are forbidden from doing any mistakes. In Normal you might as well restart the match if you crash or hit the dirt - in higher difficulty settings it means that the race is already lost. The only way to ensure victory? Besides driving as best as possible, one can "cheat" by keeping all four boosts (which regenerate by drifting), and then using them in the last stretch, right before crossing the finishing line - but where's the fun in that exactly?

Screenshot for Hotshot Racing on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Without its atrocious AI Hotshot Racing is okay. With it, it's a racing game to avoid. Genre aficionados, especially those who lean towards the more arcade side of the scale, will manage to quench their thirst for a bunch of evenings, but it's unlikely this will stay with you for long.

Developer

Lucky Mountain Games

Publisher

Curve Digital

Genre

Driving

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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   

Comments

Free on Game Pass if anyone wanted to give it a whirl Smilie

Flynnie said:
Free on Game Pass if anyone wanted to give it a whirl Smilie

I gave it a shot! It's pretty ace. The handling is excellent and the sense of speed exhilarating. I'd probably be verging on a high 7 or 8 (Obviously I have no measure of the content available after a short play around XD)

Regarding the handling I'm really confused. I've seen others like you saying its great, and I've seen others that like me say that it needs work - maybe it's a matter of gamepad chosen? ... I don't know.

But that's not my main issue here. The problem with this is content and AI behaviour, other than that it's a good racer.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

Ofisil said:
Regarding the handling I'm really confused. I've seen others like you saying its great, and I've seen others that like me say that it needs work - maybe it's a matter of gamepad chosen? ... I don't know.

But that's not my main issue here. The problem with this is content and AI behaviour, other than that it's a good racer.


Fair! I played with an Elite controller on Xbox using wire connection so maybe that helped it feel nice and smooth XD I personally liked the drift mechanic and found it exhilirating to pull off multiple perfect drifts in a row. It's a good review, inclined to agree with some of your points Smilie

( Edited 29.09.2020 14:39 by Sandy Wilson )

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