There’s no pretence with Hotshot Racing. The menus are clear, visuals even clearer, and there’s every mode you’d expect available right from the off.
Utilising a low polygon visual style similar to Virtua Racing, it’s a game that focuses on offering tight arcade style thrills – and for the most part succeeds in that aim.
You have a selection of loudmouthed characters to pick from (their voice clips played during races do tend to get tiresome after a while – okay, almost instantly) and many cars that have a range of different strengths and weaknesses.
There’s Grand Prix and Time Trial modes, but also slightly different options in the form of Cops and Robbers and Drive or Explode – which work exactly how they sound, and are something a little different to the norm.
This is all well and good in terms of set-up, but where a game like this lives and dies is how satisfying the actual racing is. In this regard Hotshot Racing finishes on the podium, but falls well short of top spot.
There’s a great sense of speed, and the controls are tight. Drifting however takes a while to get used to – mastering it is essential to get boosts – but it never feels as tight as in something like Ridge Racer or OutRun 2006.
The track design is also a tad underwhelming, with great locations – yet very little is done with them. Instead you see fairground rides, dinosaurs, and much more besides whizz past – but they’re all safely nestled behind barriers where they can’t act as interesting hazards or obstacles.
Yes, the game may not be attempting to be that wacky and ‘out there,’ but it doesn’t offer enough of a tight experience to compensate for that.
The actual tracks aren’t particularly memorable either, with no sections really sticking in the mind.
It all results in a game that is enjoyable enough while you’re playing it, but it doesn’t leave a massive or lasting impression.
At a discounted price it’s well worth looking into if you’re after a solid arcade racing package – but it doesn’t do quite enough to be a must buy.