Whether you have an interest in
racing games or not, Moto GP deserves your time. Personally Im not a huge fan of
racing games, especially motorcycle ones. Thats what makes Moto GP special. It made
me sit up and take notice. I would have dared to call it the Gran Turismo of the
motorcycle-racing arena if a couple things hadnt been overlooked. Still, this is a
strong title with all its bases covered. If youre a fan its going to be pretty
tough finding a better game than THQ and Climax have produced.
definitely the spice of life and Moto GP hits the nail on the head with a mammoth
selection of riders-29. If you followed the action last season youll notice all the
familiar faces of 2001 as the developers made sure all were accounted for. The riders have
more differences than the stickers slapped on their bikes, too. Each rider has skills
broken up into cornering, braking, top speed, and acceleration. Their hogs made the cut
also. Each bike has its own strengths and weaknesses. Youll notice their rides are
all real models, too. Moto GP doesnt skimp on the licensing which really enhances
In addition to the established roster you will be able to create your own rider. Doing
so will allow you to manipulate just about everything about him except his favorite food.
Players determine the riders name, age, country, number, team name, bike, and
leathers. There is a hefty choice of bikes and riding leathers to choose from with more to
be unlocked. Your choice of color is almost intimidating. You also have the option of the
color picker automatically matching your leathers to your bike.
that the cosmetics are taken care of you get to form a foundation of riding skills for
your rider. Initially you start out with 10 credits to distribute among the four skills
mentioned earlier. Prepare to spend a long time with your rider. Even if you threw all of
your credits into one skill it wouldnt max out. Right off the bat you can earn more
credits by undertaking the games training scenarios. There are five scenarios for
each skill with the ability to earn a silver or gold medal in each. Silver medals are
worth one skill point and gold ones are worth two points. After you successfully complete
the training scenario, the credits you earn will automatically be plugged into the skill
youre training in. Now youre ready to play with the big boys.
I hope you packed your bags, too, as Moto GP takes you around the globe to ten unique
tracks. Locations include Japan, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Australia,
Netherlands, and Great Britain. Track conditions may vary, too. The weather can range from
bright, sunny conditions to intermittent cloud cover to outright rain. Naturally, in light
of the conditions your bike will handle differently and youll have to adjust your
strategy. If you choose a quick race youll only have three tracks to choose from at
first. Competing in either the Arcade Championship or the Grand Prix Series can earn you
points to unlock tracks, riders, etc. As you progress through the game youll have
the option of racing the tracks backwards as well. As you can see Moto GP is well put
together, but how does it stimulate the senses?
GP is a joy to look at. Each bike is faithfully reproduced with the sponsors intact. The
riders are detailed as well, each with his unique style. The graphics are very quick.
Often youll find yourself weaving in and out of several bikes with no slowdown in
the action. The tracks are rendered well and provide an enjoyable environment. The weather
conditions are also created nicely without overkill. I know its cool to see rain,
but some games will overdo the effect to the frustration of us gamers. This game is a
study in balance. Bravo Climax and THQ.
The sound effects are all faithfully rendered. The music isnt really anything to
write home about, though. If youve been recording your own music to the hard drive
of your X-box, then nows the time to use it. Moto GP lets you plug your own tunes
into the action. Taking first place while being serenaded by the Beastie Boys is truly a
moment of salvation folks. The controls are rock solid as well. The controls are mapped
out well, but you can still tailor them to your own needs. There are also several views
that you can choose, from the standard behind the rider view to the cool but
scary first person view. Riders can also perform tricks such as wheelies and endos.
GP is a solid title with all the bases covered, but there are some things that I would
have really liked to see done that didnt make the cut. Bike damage would have been a
really welcome option. Even some sort of meter that measured the abuse you dealt your ride
would have been nice. True, there is an engine heat meter that rises with abuse, but come
on, if I slam into a wall going 150 mph I want something more. Lets see some debris
and flames please. That goes for all racing games.
I also would have enjoyed some more freedom to explore my bike. Gamers should be able
to tweak their bikes performance a la the NASCAR series. I want to
get under the hood of my bike and mess with my parts to tailor to my style.
This doesnt automatically have to be an intimidating chore either. Gran Turismo
provided a great scenario for tuning your ride.
Moto GP is a tight game, though, and it does deserve your time. Even if youre not
into the racing scene, the craftsmanship in this title will be apparent to you. Im a
diehard RPG fan and I had a great time with Moto GP. If you are into this scene then the
purchase is a no-brainer. If not, then its still definitely worth a weekend rental.