Rock ‘N Racing Off Road DX (XB1) Review

This race is on fire!

It had a been a while since I played an arcade racing game like Super Off Road or R.C Pro-AM up until I picked up the Rare Replay and I remembered how much I really enjoyed those games when I was a kid. Rock ‘N Racing Off Road DX tries to capitalize on that style of racing, but ultimately comes off buggy, cheaply made, and not very fun.

Much like Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off Road, Rock ‘N Racing has a somewhat top-down isometric camera that shows off the entire track on one screen. Players must navigate their vehicle through different turns and jumps and finish a number of laps in order to earn points for a tournament standing. Simple stuff, really. Well, until players begin to see the physics and AI in action.

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Platforms: Wii U, XB1
MSRP: $7.99
Price I’d pay: I wouldn’t buy it.

This race is on fire!

The AI is pretty much insane. There are times they drive like a maniac that will crash into anyone and anything on screen, and then there’s times when they will do nothing. Literally. Multiple times I had my AI opponents stop in the middle of the track for no reason, or just start driving in circles. This actually helps out because if a car doesn’t finish the race after a countdown that begins after the first vehicle finishes, they earn no points in the standings. It then ends up being me and maybe two other racers with any points at the end of the tournament.

The physics are another hurdle to overcome. This being how floatly the entire thing feels. I get I’m on a dirt track and traction is not going to be great, but sliding back and forth in a relatively small turn is not needed. Then, jumping a hill can result in a four car pile-up if players aren’t careful. I could turn the vehicle in mid air, but that really didn’t matter because inertia seems to be doubled in this game’s world. This resulted in me having to constantly slow down when coming to any jumps so I wouldn’t lose control and lose my position.

This race is on fire!

The main mode of the world tournament is where players will also earn newer vehicles to use in races. When the speed of these increase with each new vehicle, racing gets progressively more difficult due to having to worry about speed even more. There are no upgrades for the vehicles at all. Funny how that is when people take into consideration that Ironman’s Super Off Road that came out on the NES had vehicle upgrades.

Apart from the world tour tournaments, players can take on time trials that have players racing on tracks and combine their times for an overall score. It’s basically the same game, racing only with one vehicle on the track. This I’m fine with. At least no dumb AI is getting in my way.

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While I do like the overall look of the game, it seems almost blurred out for some reason. The minimalistic and simple look of the tracks and vehicles is serviceable, but it can still be a glitchy mess in other aspects. Literally the second race I experienced I jumped my vehicle into the side of the track by accident, the game never reset my vehicle so I got to sit and watch this AI crash and do nothing until one finally crossed the finish line and the timer started counting down.

This race is on fire!

You may have noticed by now that I keep repeating the same line over and over again. That is something you’re going to have to get used to while playing Rock ‘N Racing. “This race is on fire!” is singlehandedly the announcer’s favorite thing to say. I swear I heard him say it over ten times in one single race on a time trial. I was ready to mute the game.

Even for eight bucks, I don’t recommend this title. It’s buggy, annoying, frustrating, and really just not fun to play. If there is one redeeming quality I could possibly give it is I like the art style of it. That’s about it. The mere fact there is an achievement for playing a race with six people locally is laughable. If you want a fun arcade racing game like this, I say stick to Super Off Road. The fact I’m suggesting playing an NES game over a current generation game says it all.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • The art style is decent

Bad

  • Floatly controls
  • Incredibly dumb AI
  • Annoying announcer
  • No options for anything
  • Buggy
2.5

Insulting

Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.
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