MotoHeroz (WiiWare)

Game Review

MotoHeroz Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Peter Willington

In pole position

If there's one letter of the alphabet that, when included at the end of a title should instantly tell you not to buy that game, it's the letter “z”. The quality of a product with a name that has the linguistic audacity to inappropriately replace the sensual sweeps of a sexily shaped "s", is for the most part awful: just see the Petz, Babyz and Horsez titles as evidence. Similarly, when a developer starts mucking around with grammar and form, such as missing or substituting a letter for effect – we're looking at you Driv3r – the alarm bells should also be ringing. MotoHeroz commits both of these grammatrocities, but don't let its way with words fool you; RedLynx's latest effort is not only one of the best games on WiiWare, it's one of the strongest on the entire platform. Full stop.

The team behind the game has a strong pedigree when it comes to the racer genre: Trials HD and DrawRace 2 are both RedLynx titles that successfully utilise the hardware on which they appear, whether it's the online infrastructure of the Xbox 360 or the immediacy of iOS touch devices. The developer has taken a similar approach with this physics based racer that has a puzzle edge, yet with only sparing use of motion controls.

Movement of the default wheeled model of your vehicle is a doddle. Holding the Wii Remote on its side, buttons 1 and 2 handle acceleration left and right respectively, the D-Pad shifting the weight of the buggy and affecting its angle of pitch. There are several bonus pick-ups in the game too, all activated with the A button, ranging from nitrous boosts, to causing explosions surrounding the car, to a spring that launches it into the air. The Minus button restarts the race completely (which you'll be using a lot) and the one use of motion control is to right yourself when upside down with a shake of the controller. Later on in the lengthy single player experience there are underwater and helicopter sections that intelligently alter the handling scheme, providing a welcome break from the ground based action.

Not that you'll tire of it in the first place. The courses, taking place upon four themed and distinctive backdrops, are so well shaped, so perfectly formed, that they take on the feel of puzzles to be outsmarted, speed conundrums that the player will take several attempts to understand and several more to overcome in the requisite time limits. While most racers within a similar vein are happy to simply provide huge ramps and tricky landings to contend with, MotoHeroz goes several steps further and by the end you'll have loop-the-looped, driven vertically up vast stretches of walls, rolled down a hill in a makeshift toboggan, floated across the sky on helium filled balloons and a whole lot more. The title is so crammed with variety that often it only has the time to cover an idea once before moving on, keeping the participant in a constant state of anticipating what challenges it'll throw at them next.

All of this only works so well because of the robust engine at the game's core. Within a half hour of play you'll know exactly how your vehicle will behave in any given situation, accurately predicting the exact speed required to take a jump, in order to squeeze through a hole not much bigger than your buggy, saving precious seconds on runs. Conversely when you fail, you know it's your fault, the physics system is too robust to ever let doubts about it creep into your mind.

In most respects, the presentation is a continuation of this title’s excellence. The different areas are chunky in design, highly detailed and feature a bold colour palette, all smoothly presented with little to no loss of frame rate. Subtle little lighting tricks and effects further lend this title an aura of high quality, as does the audio, the engine noise penetrating the play and serving as the audible equivalent of a speedometer. Yet there are rare occasions in which the background and foreground can become confused, and it's never pleasant to have an attempt at a time ruined by slamming into what appears to be roadside décor. It only affects a handful of tracks and you'll avoid them on a second attempt with ease, a minor blot on otherwise excellent design.

Single player is not all MotoHeroz has to offer though, we haven't begun to discuss the game's online and multiplayer offerings. The title features easily accessible four player local competitive racing on a huge number of tracks with any car you've unlocked in single player, though online competition is not an option. This, however, is more than made up for by the compulsion brought about by daily time trial tournaments. Logging onto the multiplayer, you're given a number of challenges to participate in and asked to set times for the world to see. With only 24 hours to post a score, it all but guarantees that MotoHeroz will be on the front page of your Wii's main menu, dipping in regularly to see how well you did and to continue ploughing twenty minute sessions into it long after you've seen everything it has to offer. Of course there's also DLC on the way, so "everything it has to offer" may well end up being much greater than you might expect.


Despite the absence of competitive online multiplayer and the occasional minor visual issue, it's difficult to see where the developers could have improved upon this bumper racing package, such is its completeness. Maximising its use of the Wii hardware in key areas and reigning it back where it's not needed, MotoHeroz flourishes in every aspect: it looks great, plays superbly and makes you want to return to it time and time again. Had this been released on disc at full price, it would be a strong recommendation. Even at the premium price of 1500 Nintendo Points, it's unmissable.

From the web

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User Comments (93)



MarioMario said:

Considering the restrictions Wiiware developers have to work with, I'd say this is a pretty impressive title all around. I've been thoroughly enjoying it and it's actually quite challenging every now and then. It's also nice to see they have future plans for DLC. It will be nice to get even more content later down the road



RoryLee said:

I'm gonna go download this now! I've been waiting for a review first before I give them 15 bucks.



y2josh said:

You all shouldn't be surprised. RedLynx is one of the best indie developers out there.



XCWarrior said:

OK then, that means its worth a download, thanks for the review. Sounds like a top notch racer, retail or download. That's hard to come by. Hopefully word gets out and people pick this baby up.



Colors said:

I wanna download that, so effing bad,
I'll race all kinds of machines I never have.
doo doo do, doo doo do
I wanna be on the cover of, Moto Magazine,
standing next to a Buggy and a Jeep.~

I need monies NAO D:



Slapshot said:

Trials HD is amazing and I had no doubts that this game would get high ratings as well.

Fantastic review Peter and as soon as I finish up WayForward's BloodRayne: Betrayal on PSN and push my scores way up in the worldwide leader boards, I'll be buying this.



Punny said:

I knew this was going to be a good game, but a 10!? I'll have to consider downloading this game!
Now that you mention it, the letter "S" does look kinda hot.



Corbs said:

Guess I need to try this Trials HD now. It seems I've been missing some gaming goodness and that I can't have.



komicturtle said:

Another game that works within the limits of Wiiware unlike some games developers are too lazy to do.

I have not downloaded a Wiiware game in a long time (have to download the two Gajin Games and others).

I wish this was on 3DSware. It needs this more than Wii.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

Great review and a well deserved score for this game! I picked it up last night and this could have been a full release retail game. It rocks!

Even though 1500 Nintendo Points is a bargain for what you get, I was bummed that you could not just buy 1500 points but had to buy 2000 points. I made the most of this by picking up this game and with the 500 points I had left over I picked up Kirby for the NES VC which also ROCKS and because of the Wii I have NES Kirby in 480p which looks great I could not display the game like this with the orginal NES.

WiiWare and VC still have a back log of so much gaming goodness I know I often forget.



Xkhaoz said:

I'm happy to see RedLynx supporting WiiWare with such a great title. If only other third party developers would follow suit.



AbuJaffer said:

Looks amazing but as mentioned before, I'd like a demo. Also as mentioned above, the 3DS sorely needs titles like these to push the service. A port, perhaps?



TeeJay said:

The intro led me to think this game was awful, and then took the complete opposite direction, lol.



accc said:

I'd only give this a 5 tbh, the dpad controls stink (should've used tilt) and the physics make it impossible to play the races with any consistency. The game has other problems too, like how sometimes your vehicle gets obscured by the ghost racer or some foreground objects which prevents you from adjusting its angle appropriately. I'm glad the reviewer enjoyed it so much but I can't help but feel ripped off by it.



SamuraiShyGuy said:

Up there with World of Goo and Cave Story as the best WiiWare games. I haven't stopped playing this since Thursday.



Scissors said:

I'll be honest with you this game hasn't caught my attention too much, but all this glowing positivity makes me want to buy this.



tinman said:

I didn't stick to my initial reaction (said I wouldn't buy for 1500 points) and bought MotoHeroz after the first reviews! This simply is one of the best games you can get on WiiWare and the price is absolutely justified by the addicting gameplay and polish to be found in the game. Buy points, buy the game, compete online! Doing a good run can be tricky, but you'll get better with practice, practice and practice.



Slapshot said:

@Corbs Yes, you've indeed been missing out on one of XBLA greatest downloadable titles. Trials HD is absolutely superb!



cyrus_zuo said:

We've been playing this at work during lunch. It's the best wiiware game since World of Goo. If you don't have it you should get it now or trade in every game system you have and never play again...b/c there is no point in being a gamer if you don't buy and play the best, and this is it!



FonistofCruxis said:

@cyrus_zero That is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard in my life! So I should give up gaming because there is one supposedly great wiiware game that I don't want to play? There is no game that everyone will like and while a lot of people have been praising this game, I have noticed some people that didn't like this game and this does not look like a game I would like. I would love it if more people experience the masterpiece that is Tales of Symphonia but I don't go around telling people that they should give up gaming if they don't play it.



Kid_A said:

WHOA. Looks like I'll be buying a Wii Points card this week Excellent review, Pete.



Bassman_Q said:

Damn I need to buy this once I have moneys for another points card.

And so my Wishlist for WiiWare grows bigger... So far I need to buy Fluidity and EscapeVektor, and now this. Man, if only this were 1000 points...



bauckster said:

This does look pretty cool. Add me to the list of people that definitely want to try the demo out before I commit to it, however. I really do hope a demo is on the way...



TKOWL said:

I was expecting an 8, or at least a 9, but a 10?!?
Still need a demo to be fully sold on it though.



Ren said:

Not at home now, but I can't wait to go back now and get this. I think i even have some unused points sitting around because I'm just so overwhelmed by the backlog of stuff I want to get. Where to start?!



longtimegamer said:

@Rorylee: I've had this since day one, oon after I saw how much Corbie liked it.

I haven't played as much as I would have liked so that I could make better scores online. I do agree it's a pretty fun game. I think I actually like it better than excitebike. Alot of stuff to it. This is why I wasn't on GoldenEye very much lately. Still have to try the buddy league on it though. There's humor in this too.



TheGamerKnight said:

Hmmm, looks like an interesting game. Maybe I should consider buying it, but we'll see. I want a game I can play with my siblings and cousins, that will offer fun, but challenging gameplay, that won't get old fast. Thanks for the review.



vdallos said:

I'm sold...I'll try it... but the issue now is which 500 points wiiware game get?



cyrus_zuo said:

@mariofanatic128 - sorry it wasn't more obvious. Tales of Symphonia is another great game. I think you're right that poeple should hand in their gamer badge if they don't at least try it .

In all seriousness though not nearly enough people play WiiWare games. From all reports it is a wasteland for developers b/c there aren't enough people buying the games, so being over exuberant is still too calm .



Popyman said:

D: Really surprised this is so good, going to have to buy this the next time I plug up the Wii.



IronMan28 said:

This game is awesome, I'm glad I didn't wait for a review (that sounds a bit trollish, so attack me if you must) I can't wait to see if more developers start backing the Nintendo download services more...(I hope they do, there are actually a lot of great games to be had on DSi and WiiWare respectively, heck even the only eShop title is pretty good).



WolfRamHeart said:

Great review! I'm still waiting for my Nintendo points card to arrive in the mail so I can hurry up and download this game. Really looking forward to playing it for myself!



JimLad said:

I don't know if Nintendo are still allowing WiiWare demos. If they are I'm sure RedLynx will be making one up right now, it will benefit them massively.
Personally I have enough faith now to buy it after this review and what people who own it have said.



Luffymcduck said:

I was 8th in the global ranking this morning. I´ve raced almost every daily challence so far so it´s not too hard to get there. More people have to buy this great WiiWare game.
Heh, this was actually the first finnish game I´ve bought.



WiiLovePeace said:

Wow that was a suprise! I knew this game was going to be good but 10/10? ... Wow. I'll have to buy it now! (Not like I wasn't going to already )



Omega said:

It doesn't look like a game I would want to play at the moment. But it's nice that some are happy with it. Everything that keeps WiiWare alive is good, right?



bboy2970 said:

So I got it. Its a really great game for sure but its not a 10. Its about on the level of Bit Trip Runner. That also wasn't a 10 to me. Both games are very solid 9s. IMO the only 10/10 WiiWare game is World of Goo. Anyway, game seems like its got quite a bit of length on it. I really like collecting ancestors (A task which is rarely easy) and reading about them. They tend to be quite humorous. Its got a similar appeal to me as the Almanac in Plants vs Zombies. I'm slowly but surely becoming addicted



rjejr said:

Looks good, actually considering it, but as others have said that 1000 or 2000 point option on Wiiware has got to go. I've been sitting on 200 points for so long I forget its there. I'm not going to have 700 points sitting around forever. (Buying something else I don't want doesn't make it better.)
Also, my 4 1/2 yr. old Wii has been running hot and requiring reboots, wish Nintendo would finally allow for a quick and easy free transfer option. At this point, if my Wii died tomorrow, I'ld just wait for a WiiU.



LordTendoboy said:

Buying a 2000 point card isn't a big deal. Just use the leftover points to get another game. There are plenty of NES games out there, you know.

The only 10/10 WiiWare games for me are Mega Man 9 and 10. Everything else is good, but not up to the standard of Mega Man. /fanboy rant over



Sneaker13 said:

It's a good game, but no way it's a 10. Same with Bit. Trip Runner, which also was a good game, but no way near a 10.



GotWii said:

Sounds like a great game, but I have got a bitter taste in my mouth for WiiWare lately form cost vs quality. Also like @65 rjejr said, issues about transferring, and/or upgrading to WiiU. Plus as many have mention $15 is steep for online downloads. At this time most CD titles for Wii are selling in stores for $20.
WiiWare is dying for many reasons; A lot of garbage games, priced way to high, no updates, very few demos. I was once an avid WiiWare buyer but now most of my online buying is on Apple I-Store, and Android Market. Much better pricing, almost all have demos to try before you buy, updates are constant unlike WiiWare were games have serious bugs that never get fixed.
At $10 this game is still expensive compared to other online gaming, but I may have got it for $10.
For $15 I have to stand on principle and say NOPE!



Number_6 said:

Well, I had been kinda wanting Faxanadu, and with 0 points, this mandates that I spend $20 to get 1500 points, so looking on the bright side, glass 1/2 full, sunny day and all that...I guess I'll let Nintendo squeeze $20 outa me when I only really want a $15 game. Even though it is Finnish (just kidding Luffymcduck, keep up the good Finn games and I'll do my part to increase the USA's trade deficit.). Yet another game that I would not have been likely to purchase but for a great N-Life review.



fishman100 said:

Woah, I think this is the first 10/10 I've seen for a WiiWare game! Even with the stepp price of $15 this one seems great!



Corbs said:

@Sneaker13 - If ever two games deserved a 10, it's MotoHeroz and BIT.TRIP RUNNER as they are the epitome of what WiiWare should be.



Jono97 said:

The first time I read this review I stopped because you said that games ending with "Z" is bad. XD Why don't they make this on dsi ware or 3ds? This is more of a single player game.



Omega said:

I agree with Sneaker13. Bit.Trip Runner surely isn't worth a ten. It's much too repetitive. After beating it I would've given it a 7 at best. For Moto Heroz I don't know. It just don't looks like my kind of game.



Otty_Ott said:

Got this. The graphics are good, but I don't like the game at all.... Having to beat a ghost time isn't something I like....



Wolfenstein83 said:

I agree, this game is great, but I am not sure it deserved a ten out of ten.
I think it is among some of the best Wii-Ware titles, but for me, it gets difficult way too fast, but the good thing is you can always go back and collect things that you missed, like those weird ancestor orbs and all the coins.
I think it's a little unfair that the ghost you have to race seems to pull off a flawless victory nearly every race, and the most frustrating part for me was when I had to use the parachute.
Regardless, I really like the art style of the graphics and characters, they really managed to pull off alot, considering the limitations of most Wii-Ware offerings.
It's nice to have something comical, and not totally serious like alot of mainstream games.
I wish there were online races instead of just challenges, and when you first get into it, the controls can be a little frustrating, but it could just be me?
I enjoyed it, but not enough to warrant a perfect ten, but that is just my opinion.
Despite some of it's little quirks, I would still say it is worth a download.



y0ss4ri4n said:

Great game. It does get difficult but I've yet to find a course that has completely foxed me. The courses I've done so far I've found that the ghost isn't always perfect and if they are then there is a shortcut to be found! Careful use of acceleration and reverse is key too. Mashing accelerate doesn't get you very far in this game.



mitya said:

10/10? Come on... the game is innovative and fun, and the physics is spot on, but the game does have its faults.
1) The single player. Clearly this is less of an emphasis than the multiplayer but the difficulty curve is somewhat off. One minute you're doing fine, then you get to 'run for your life', which might well be one of the hardest segments of any game I've ever played in 20 years. Fun? No - frustrating. The single-player campaign is further let down by the fact that (at least from what I've seen so far) you can't use upgraded cars that you buy - they're for use only in multi-player.
2) The game lacks any sort of freestyle or training mode, meaning the action - fun though it is - is dished out in small doses in the form of short races. How good it would have been to have a freestyle mode where you can pick a course and just dash around, no timer, no opponents. An even better extension to this idea would be a level editor.
3) Multiplayer: since it's single-screen, if one player falls too far behind he reappears at the position of the opponents further ahead! Thus you could be lagging badly, then suddenly you morph into first place.
4) Items. Some of them are questionable additions; the bird and parachute come to mind.
5) Whilst the courses are mostly great, some of the obstacles hinder the action - particularly the fences where you have to break it down to procgress. What this translates to is just sitting in front of it holding down accelerate waiting for it to fall down. A pointless stoppage to play.

It IS a good game. I'm focussing on the bad parts because it seems very few have. But it's no where near a 10/10 - if any game should ever get the perfect score at all.



WiiAboutU said:

With a premium price tag already attached to this title, how much cash does RedLynx think they're going to peel from our wallets when the DLC becomes available? If this ends up being anymore expensive, it might as well have been a retail release. I'm still very undecided on this matter, but I don't want to be. I want to be sure this isn't another let down, sometimes the ratings awarded to WiiWare titles are inaccurate due to a bias opinion. I have the points, but I don't have enough reassurance. )<:



Kev2380 said:

How do you change trucks? I bought another one in the garage but when I start a race I still only have the original truck.



mitya said:

@Kev2380 - see my comment above (84). This would appear to be one of several shortcomings of the game not covered in this very rose-tinted review.



James said:

@mitya If no game should ever get a perfect score, we'd have to trim the scale to stop at 9/10, and you could argue no game should ever get that score, and so on



SKTTR said:

Now that I finished the story mode 100% in 25 hours, played online challenges for more than 15 hours (global rank 13), and played local multiplayer for countless hours of fun with family & friends, I can finally have a word on it.

This is the best WiiWare game to date, BY FAR, considering I own 89 WiiWare games and have played 120.

Whoever is still on the fence is making a big mistake. In more than 25 years of gaming I've never played a better 2D-racer.
Congratulations, RedLynx!
I really hope you get the sales you deserve and bring more games to Nintendo!

Can't wait to expand the experience and spend more money on it. Yeah, 75 solo tracks, 30 multiplayer tracks, and 4 new online tracks (daily) are outstanding content for the price already, but the game is so good that I still want more. When is the DLC released? New tracks please, and some new cars, and I hope some surprises like 1 or 2 cool new items or something

This is my fourth 10/10 for a WiiWare game and my first 10/10 for a WiiWare racer.

Pure excellence!



rjejr said:

My thoughts after downloading the newly released - 2 montsh late - demo.

Motoheroz was such a good demo for the first 18 seconds or so, until I realized I was holding my Wiimote sideways to play a 2D side-scrolling racing game that is built on the idea of "tilting" your car forward and back, BUT titling the Wiimote doesn't affect your car, you have to use the D-pad. The biggest video game WTF moment of my life. I am SO freakin' glad I didn't purchase this. I woudl be writng everybody I know demadn a full refund of my $15. An embarrassment to videogame makers everywhere.



GARF13LD said:

I am pretty sure this only a demo in the States as I have not seen any demo here in the UK for it every time I look on the shop channel I see no demo for this game.



ToxieDogg said:

@93 (rejr) You're hating the game on the grounds that you have to use the accurate D Pad instead of (often not 100% reliable) tilt controls and calling it 'an embarrassement to videogame makers everywhere' just because you had to adjust your usual playing style slightly? Wow. You sound like one of those weird user reviews I saw on Amazon that rated Xenoblade Chronicles 1 star because it didn't control like Zelda. Have you actually even played any games on any other console asides from the Wii? For what it's worth, I think it's a really good game...maybe not a 10 but certainly a solid 8 and still worth trying/buying

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