Feel the Speed
As far as racing games go in general, a key aspect that will either make or break any game is the physics engine. If the player doesn't get a good "feel" for the racing, well then the game just doesn't cut it. Although much of it isn't too realistic, Moto Racer incorporates a superb physics engine, sweet-looking graphics and simple controls to create an overall damn good racing game. Unfortunately, its stiff system requirements will leave most low-end systems at either unplayable frame rates or horrible detail.
The most commendable aspect of Moto Racer's physics engine is the real feeling of speed that a player gets. From fishtailing around corners to slipping around on the snow on a motocross bike; from flying through tunnels to popping wheelies at that finishing stretch on the superbike, the feel is what really leads to the addicting gameplay.
The realism is not so up to par. In my experience, running into any object, be it a wall or another bike, will cause any bike on this earth to crash. In Moto Racer, the only way to crash a bike is to run into a wall while doing a wheelie or while in a jump. Fortunately, this lack or realism will save A LOT of frustration for beginning players, so the lack or realism isn't really a bad thing at first. However, there should be a way to increase that difficulty later, like in most flight sims.
Along with the nice physics engine comes simple game play and controls. Similar to many racing games, there are only a few basic keys/buttons to know: gas, brake, turn, and boost (turbo) which makes the bike "pop a wheelie".
Moto Racer offers 8 courses. Half of these, Speed Bay, West Way, Rock Forest, and Red City, are raced with superbikes (the faster ones that don't do tricks). The other half, Snow Ride, Dirt Arena, Lost Ruins, and Great Wall, are raced with motocross bikes. There are also eight different bikes to choose from, each varying in acceleration, maximum speed, grip and brakes. After beating (i.e. finishing in the top 3) all the courses, the player can then race them in reverse mode. After beating all the courses in reverse mode, the player can then race in pocket bike mode (little bikes driven by adults). After playing the same 8 courses over and over again... I can assure you that you will be pretty sick of every single course.
Moto Racer's graphics are just superb. All bikes have a slick appearance and high polygon count and the courses look awesome. The terrain and background as well as tunnels and arenas are just gorgeous. These impressive graphics can be experienced only if Moto Racer is run on a relatively fast system with 3D acceleration. Although it requires only a minimal P90, ALL lower end systems (lower than about a P166) without 3D acceleration will either run like hell or look like garbage.
Along with its good graphics, Moto Racer also includes the traditional game sounds now standard to most racing games. The hum of the engine, the squealing of the tires and the vocal commentary all do their job in adding to the overall racing environment.
Moto Racer is just a fun racing game. Although it's not incredibly realistic, the fast physics engine, nice graphics and simple game play all combine to create an addictive, fast-paced racing environment to keep any game fanatic on the edge of his/her seat. But only as long as that seat is in front of a damn good system.