Sony Launches Official English MotorStorm Site

MotorStorm on PS3

The game is out in Japan, where it’s scoring somewhat less than enthusiastic reviews. The online-enabled US version is not all that far off, and to celebrate this Sony has launched the official MotorStorm site. Hidden within its annoyingly flash-based innards are a series of new high-res screenshots, along with some new based videos of the game in action.

The title is currently (read: tentatively) penciled in for a late-February release here in the US. But, that is of course contingent on developer Evolution Studios getting the newly added online play squared away. That shouldn’t be much of an issue…assuming of course this doesn’t turn into another GT4 Online. Read on for more ludicrously high-res screens.

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MotorStorm “Most Featureless Racer” Ever?

MotorStorm on PS3

So says IGN’s Anoop Gantayat, who has spent some quality time with the import edition of MotorStorm and written up his impressions:

Based on its Japanese release (and I’ll remind you that the version I’m writing about isn’t the one that’s due out in the West), Motorstorm is the most featureless racer I’ve ever played. There are only a couple of options, for adjusting the sound and screen and switching the motion sensor controls on and off. Missing are options for adjusting the number of opponents and track count, and such standard modes such as free run and time attack.

The game doesn’t even have any form of multiplayer racing. While we knew about the lack of online in the Japanese version, there’s no multiplayer what-so-ever, not even split screen!

Motorstorm also shipped to Japan with some of the glaring problems from the demo still in place. Load times prior to the start of a race can take up to 45 seconds. Car selection requires that you wait for new car models to load up, and you can’t even see your car’s stats on the selection screen (the stats are available in the manual). It’s exactly like the demo, and is unacceptable for a final product.

He goes on to be a bit more positive about the game overall, but ultimately it’s hard to imagine paying full price for this. It’s even harder to imagine paying even more to importing this when, hopefully, the US and Euro releases will be a little more well-rounded.

MotorStorm Top Selling PS3 Game in Japan

MotorStorm on PS3

Evolution Studios is proudly announcing that they’ve managed to claim the top spot in the Japanese sales charts with their decidedly non-Japanese MotorStorm. No word yet on just how many titles sold that equates to, or how exactly that compares to the general Japanese sales charts (so far no PS3 game has cracked the top 10), but, it’s a good sign for the title at least.

Of course, the European and American releases of the game have been postponed until sometime next year to include online play. Still no dates are available, but according to the press release “Release dates for America and Europe will be confirmed shortly.”

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Pictures of Japanese MotorStorm Release

Japanese Retail MotorStorm

Courtesy of Game Planets come these four new screenshots of the Japanese release of MotorStorm, which has just hit retail stores today…or rather yesterday…what with the whole time zone thing. Anyhow, these four shots are looking a mite bit more impressive than the demo, though still a good bit short of last year’s pre-rendered vid. Oh well.

Additionally, Ricardo Torres from GameSpot has written up a new preview of the game sadly containing no new info, but those pining hard for this one may want to check it out:

Based on what we played, MotorStorm is shaping up to be a tasty PS3 game. It features a solid gameplay foundation that’s satisfying, albeit straightforward. The visuals and audio complement the action well and do a good job of holding your attention. The promise of online play and downloadable content (provided we don’t get charged an arm and a leg for it) should definitely help the game find an audience.

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New MotorStorm Footage and Sequel Planning?

It’s never too early to start talking sequel, and apparently less than a month after “next-gen” becomes “current-gen” isn’t too early to start talking about the next, next-gen either according to Evolution Studios exec Martin Kenwright:

I know people are looking at PS3 now, and I’m not being glib, but we’re actually looking at PS4. I’m thinking where will it be in five years, how will we get there? What will the marketplace be like, the games, and who’ll be buying them?

Anyhow, sticking with the nearer-term future, has some new footage of MotorStorm, showing off some of the dramatic physics effects, also talking about some of the AI’s more charming aspects, such as flipping the bird and running you off the road. You can watch the video above, or get the high res version at their site.

IGN Chats with MotorStorm Developer

IGN has had the opportunity to sit down with UK-based Evolution Studios and chat about the past, present, and future of MotorStorm, probably the most interesting looking racer on the platform. According to Evolution’s Martin Kenwright, the game was spawned out of their highly successful WRC series:

When Evolution first started and we began working on what we wanted in our rally game [which later became WRC], we actually ended up defining PS3-spec game designs for the start of PS2. We looked at what made a great driving game and started afresh. Obviously we couldn’t include everything we wanted to for various reasons and while we were creating WRC there was a feeling in the background of what could we do if we had the freedom. It’s was like a pressure cooker of ideas, with the team constantly thinking of all the things we could squeeze into a game.

Before you start dreaming too much about what WRC on the PS3 will look like, you should check out the rest of the interview at IGN.

Is MotorStorm the Ultimate Evolution of the Racing Game?

According to this video it is, and not even the real MotorStorm, but that faked CG one shown at E3 two years back. Similarly, the video claims the pre-rendered Killzone 2 video is the pinnacle of the FPS. Okay, so we can disagree on those points, but the video is still a very interesting trip down memory lane, and an impressive vision of just how far we’ve come.

Thanks to reader Notorious for the heads up