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Game Info:

Moto Racer Collection
Developed By: Anuman Interactive
Published By: Gravity Europe SAS
Released: November 30, 2011
Available On: PC
Genre: Racing
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Number of Players: 1 offline, 1-8 online
Price: $10 new 

Special thanks to Anuman Interactive for sending us this game to review!

The Moto Racer games were a staple of my childhood. The CD for the first game is probably still at my parent's house somewhere. And the games themselves are still reasonably fun, if not very dated. The thrill of hitting a motocross jump, or reaching high speeds in a city is something not even graphical age can really take away.

But this collection is nothing short of abysmal. It's honestly amazing how little effort seems to have been put into this collection. Other than making sure that the games launch and adding a built-in joystick map for an Xbox 360 controller, it doesn't seem that any additional work was put into this collection.

First, there's the launcher. The launcher is the laziest part of this collection. It was very obviously made with Windows forms (So I doubt we'll ever see a Mac or Linux port of this), and was made by someone who spent maybe 15 minutes on it. It's just a drop-down menu that lets you pick a game, and sometimes the language. They didn't even change the default icon for goodness' sake! In an hour, I could teach a programmer how to make a better launcher than this...

Moto Racer Collection
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great fun when it works, raw arcade racing still holds up well
Weak Points: The launcher is poorly designed and doesn't launch the first game, control issues plague the second game, 15th anniversary game is simply awful
Moral Warnings: Motorcycle crashes sometimes cause non-graphic wipeouts, but they reset after a few seconds

But let's talk about the games. With the first Moto Racer, the launcher won't even launch the game! I kid you not, it launched my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (which I had forgotten I had installed). If you go into the installation directory and launch the game directly from the executable, it will work. Besides the issues with launching the game, it has not been changed. It's just as good as I remember it, but it's controller support has not been updated for modern controllers. Running it with an Xbox 360 controller, the turns are way too fast. You can get used to it, though.

Moto Racer 2 does not allow turning with anything other than a controller for me (Which has aforementioned sensitivity issues). This game is a marked improvement over the first though, even if it's not been changed since it was released. There are more tracks, and it's a tad more realistic than the first.

Moto Racer 3 is the first one so far to run without any issues! It's not as good as Moto Racer 1 or 2 though. The tracks are pretty boring, and the menu system is sluggish. Not a terrible game, but far from the best entry of the series. It could be worse, however...

Moto Racer: 15th Anniversary is, and there's no way to put this lightly, the worst in the series. It's a port of a mobile game, and it shows: Poor production values; bland and uninspired graphics; and very, very bad AI. There's nothing really enjoyable here. The tracks are simplistic and generic; the acceleration feels off (kind of like approaching relativistic speeds, which is horrendously out of place for a motorcycle racing game), and the graphics for the racers, while technically an improvement, make them look more like aliens than humans. The controls work, but the aforementioned speed issue makes it difficult to control well. 

Moto Racer Collection
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 58%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 98%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Even taking into account the age of these games, some aspects still work pretty well. The sounds of the motorcycles are loud and sound like the real thing, the voice of the announcer is clear and not irritating. The game has crashed a few times on me, but it was sparse enough to make me think they were flukes rather than an endemic problem. 

It should also be noted that Multiplayer mode on the first three games (15th anniversary does not support it) requires a direct IP connection to play, you can't just host a server that people can browse to. It's definitely a holdout from the 90's, and because none of my friends have these games, Multiplayer was unable to be tested for this review. 

As far as appropriateness goes, these games are quite clean. Motorcycles crash, which means falling off your bike (and if you hit someone, they fall off of their bike), but after a few seconds it resets you back onto the track. It does come at the expense of wasted time, though. I didn't encounter any language, and everyone is quite appropriately dressed for racing. Not much to say here.

In all, this is a poor collection of great games. If you want to experience the Moto Racer games, just get them from GOG. They'll actually work, and you can experience them without some of the bugs that plague this collection. Other than the launcher, the 15th anniversary game, and being bundled together, this collection offers no additional “benefits” to the version from GOG.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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