Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX Review
When I found out that Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX was coming to Xbox One I was pretty excited. What could be more fun than racing tiny cars around an off road track? This looked like a game that would take me back to my childhood and all the happy memories that I had.
Upon loading up, the game is very reminiscent of those early ninety classics that I hoped it would emulate. The graphics looked slightly more polished but the music and sound mimic these games perfectly. Unfortunately that is where the pleasures started to fade.
Racing around dirt tracks filled with lumps and small jumps you control a small boxy car and compete against seven other drivers. The objective is simple, cross the finish line first after a predetermined number of laps. On paper the racing should be frantic and action packed, like an evening at the stock car racing for example. Unfortunately, Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX fails to live up to these expectations.
Controlling the car seems simple enough but this is just an illusion. This is not a game where you can keep your finger on the accelerate and just keep going, careful slowing and braking will be required to get around most corners. Careful stick control is also needed for these corners as well as avoiding other cars. The lumps and bumps in the track can make you turn haphazardly and if you are not careful it is easy to get stuck in a corner. On the first lap first place can turn into last place very quickly.
The AI seem to have as much difficulty with the driving as you and seem to simply give up sometimes. Stopping in the middle of the track and waiting for some time before suddenly restarting without warning, usually right in front of you.
Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX is made up of five different cups, the North America Cup, Europe Cup, Asia Cup, Africa Cup and South America Cup. Each cup consists of four different tracks that form a championship. You unlock the next cup by winning each one. There are also five different vehicles that can be unlocked by completing the cups. I say that there are four different tracks in each cup, this makes twenty different tracks to play on, the game actually claims to boast 24 unique tracks. If this was really the case then it might add some variety to the game. Instead what you get is the same four tracks repeated, just with a slight variation where the lumps and bumps are and a different colour scheme or flag to represent the different places you are meant to be.
A second game mode adds a slightly different element to the game, a time trial mode where you complete the different courses without any competition to try and get the best time. This is a good way to get to know where all the lumps and bumps are in the tracks but doesn’t really prepare you for racing against the lunatic opponents the AI throws up. There are also online leaderboards which give you the chance to compete against friends and the world for the best time which can add another competitive spirit to the game.
One part of Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX that is fun, if only for a short time, is the local multiplayer mode. You and up to seven friends can compete for bragging rights and laugh as you slide and bash your way around the tracks. The only real problem is finding seven friends to share the experience with at any one time. With four people this game is good fun but only if your in it for the fun. If you take this too seriously then you are going to be a little disappointed.
There is also a training mode included which feels entirely pointless. You can test out the latest car you’ve unlocked but you might as well enter a race as this will give you a much better idea of how it feels to drive it.
The sound effects and commentary become tedious quickly. The music tries to add a tempo to the game that simply doesn’t exist and the commentator has five phrases that he seems to repeat at random no matter what the circumstances. This just adds to the frustration levels as you find yourself shouting back at him when your car gets stuck in a corner and he tells you that “this race is on fire”.
In the Xbox Store Rock ‘N’ Racing Off Road DX will set you back £6.39 which isn’t to expensive for an Xbox One game but you won’t get many hours per pound with this game. It could be a good purchase to play with friends though, just make sure your all just playing for fun, I would recommend leaving that competitive friend we all have out of this one.
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