The roaring sounds of revving up. The burning rubber. The elite competition. MotoGP 09/10 puts you in the seat of some of the most finely tuned motorcycles on the planet.
Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360
Replay Value: 9.0
Overall Score: 8.5
Pros: Nice remake of the series. Great graphics. Easier controls. Free downloadable content.
Cons: Could be more immersive. Could use a fantasy track or two. Racers need more personality.
In MotoGP 09/10, you get a smart combination of simulation with arcade-style racing, topped off with Hollywood movie-style graphics.
You first see this in Arcade Mode, which is all about timing … and danger. These bikes have only a few inches of rubber on the ground. Much of the time, your rider’s body is within inches of the asphalt as you turn. A blur effect to the graphics makes the races seem even faster.
In this mode, you progress through races with various classes of bikes. But you’ll fail if you run out of time. Probably the best strategy is to get to the front of the pack if you can and stay there. If you’re in the back, you might be part of a major crash, even if you don’t cause it. In front, however, you might speed too fast and spin out.
As you pass motorcycles and reach your top speed, you’re given more time to finish the race. But if some hotshot passes you, precious time will be deducted, and it will be more difficult to win.
In Career Mode, move up the ladder to fame and fortune by collecting Rider Reputation points. How do you earn them? Get behind another bike to slipstream or do a little showboating while riding. But don’t get too cocky. If you’re in a collision or you wipe out, you won’t get some cool upgrades to your bike that make it more powerful in races.
Another advantage of Career Mode is the ability to create your own player. Sure, it’s great to customize how he looks. But even beyond this, you’ll pretty much deal with every kind of pressure a real rider does, on and off the track. This includes hiring engineers and team managers to advance your career.
Perhaps the strongest feature in MotoGP 09/10 is Championship Mode. That’s because it feels so real and current. Capcom is giving free download packs based on real-life races that make your experience as up-to-date as it can be. The first download pack will include two new circuits, from England and Hungary. The second will update the riders, the bikes for 2010 and the liveries. (The livery is the color and graphic design of the motorcycle body.)
Online, you’ll be able to play against the best video-game racers in the world. And, as races go into the record books and the best top the online leaderboards, you’re able to download the racing lines of the winner. Can you beat him or even stay within a few feet of him as he speeds to victory?
What’s also intriguing is traveling to the many different countries for races, everywhere from Spain to China to Australia. Some of the tracks are really challenging, especially the one in Australia. And the track in Qatar is really fun to drive at night because the paint on the track seems to glow.
IMPROVEMENTS NOW AND LATER
Fortunately, the game makers threw out the difficult controls from the last version of the game. You had to use both sticks on the controller, which made you feel like you had to jump through hoops just to get started. Now the controls are more familiar to racing-game fans. Speed up with the right trigger, and brake with the left trigger. Use the left stick to move your weight from side to side on the curves.
Despite the many improvements, you still wonder if there’s a way to make the racing feel even more realistic in the future. Maybe there’s a way to give more personality to the racers in a cut scene before or after the race. Maybe there’s a way to create your own tracks or put some of the real-life tracks together to make your own fantasy track.
While the game is greatly improved from its previous version, there’s still a need to make the player feel more inside the whole MotoGP experience. But judging from the strides made with this year’s model, they’re probably working on making the next game even better.