OC Racing Review: Who Said Racing can’t be simple?
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Racing games used to be the genre where the player’s goal was only to be the fastest and the best among the racers. However with the sudden success of underground racing games like the Need for Speed franchise, looking good while winning has never been so important.
OC Racing tries to deliver the thrill of the race and the satisfaction of having the most pimped up ride out there into a browser game.
Think of it and it shall happen
I have to make it clear though that when I said OC Racing tries to deliver, I really meant the game tries to deliver. The thing though is that the delivery of the racing and customizing experience fails to give you the experience you expect. Let’s start with the customization, usually when you have a car customization feature in any racing game, you get the preconceived idea that you would get to see how your car looks like when you purchase and attach the part to you car’s body. In OC Racing, you don’t. What the game does is give you a number of the customized parts you bought for your car with the default image of the car beside it. So the customization relies heavily on your imagination and nothing else.
Race? What Race?
Your imagination is also heavily needed in terms of the game’s races. Unlike racing games you don’t have control of your car when it goes to a race so it’s a stats game from start to finish. There are some random factors that the game takes into consideration but if you play your cards right you shouldn’t have to worry too much about losing to a carefully picked race. The idea of using your imagination and relying on stats and car capabilities seem to be a solid enough concept on paper, however, if you are a race game fan this doesn’t cut it. The game loses the biggest reason why racing games are sought for in the first place, actual human driving. However, the game in its entirety is not a total let down. It does redeem itself a little bit with other game features and it does provide at least a competitive atmosphere to keep you playing the game.
OC Racing not only provides browser-based racing and car customization, the game also provides alternative means of enjoyment as well. The first feature that is an entertainment feature is the racing team creation in OC Racing. You can look for or create a racing team of your own in OC Racing. There are no requirements except 10 credits which is the in-game currency. Racing teams in OC Racing serve only as an identifying feature for players so that they can feel they “belong” to a group.
OC Racing also has a licensing system that gives you the drive to play the game longer. With the lack of any player control, the way for you to earn your licenses is to earn credits. Under normal circumstances, earning your license by credits or by any kind of currency is a blasphemy to racing games, however with the limitations of OC Racing, you can let this one transgression slide. The game also has an “underground” system where you get to pay and trade for illegal products such as weapons, drugs, booze and cigars. I think this is an attempt for OC Racing to be “hardcore” but the emphasis on numbers makes this attempt fall short in terms of providing you the “underground” experience it tries to provide.
Another alternative for earning credits and provide you the “hardcore” feel of the Illegal Street racing lifestyle is the slot machines and dice games you can play in OC Racing. Personally, I do not see the point of including this into the game because it does not do anything significant save for an alternative source of credit.
The Good Side
With a lot of problems in terms of gameplay preference and even the delivery of any kind of experience to players, OC Racing has, in fairness to the game, a huge library of cars and parts you can choose from. This serves as the game’s saving grace, even though it fails significantly in the different aspects of gaming I can say that if you are a true car fan, you would enjoy the numerous car choices the games car shop has. Aside from the car choices, the cars are ranked in such a way that it would seem that the people behind the game did their research. The problem is that it may be quite possible that it could alienate some gamer car fans who are loyal to a certain car brand or make, there is a possibility that this could affect your view on the car categories and rankings. However I’m just nitpicking the tiny details that do not really affect the game’s overall fun factor.
The other thing you have to look at in OC Racing is the depth of the game’s customization. You can customize your car with actual car parts of minus the brand. This gives the game a sort of “authentic” feel that makes it an enjoyable gaming experience.
Overall, I must say that OC Racing is a game that is appealing for a short while however, the lack of the experience of being behind the wheel eliminates half the fun of the game. I must really say that it is a nice attempt to mix the underground side of illegal street racing to the idea of OC Racing however it fails in the delivery.
There are times when I ask myself if this game is a racing game that tries to add the illegal aspect of racing or that if it’s actually an underground racing themed game. However you look at it though, I can say that car fans would enjoy this game more than your casual gamer so if you are it would not hurt to try this game out.
– The huge car library can make a car fan squeal with delight
– The customization feels authentic up to a point
– There are other things you can do aside from racing
– Lacks the racing feel
– Races are a numbers game hereby making it boring and dull
– You don’t see your car customizations on your car.