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MotoGP

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Climax Group
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

This game was meant to look real, and the courses and bikes reflect that notion well. So real, in fact, that the helicopter view of replays would easily fool someone just taking a passing glance at the screen. The weather effects play a factor in the game by both pleasing the eye and affecting the race. Rain and shine are double-bladed swords, as they will obscure your vision from time to time, just like on the real track. But whether you're dodging spray from the bike in front of you or watching from 200 feet above the race, MotoGP looks excellent.

You won't be bothered with the music during the race, as every turn commands your full attention. However, the menu music isn't all that bad, and it won't make you hastily choose your options to rid your ears of its presence. The sound effects are the ambient audio experience here, and are done well, though the whine of the bikes' engines are mostly what you'll be hearing. Skidding, crashing, and different surfaces all emit different sounds, reducing the redundant noise of the motors.


Gameplay:

MotoGP has many different options, and not all are superficial. Amongst them are an Arcade, Quick Race, Grand Prix, Time Trial, Multiplayer, and Training mode. In the Arcade mode, you race through a series of 10 tracks, racking up on your score in hopes to unlock special 'fun' features like wireframe, toon, and pop video modes, as well as new riders, to name only a few.

Starting a Grand Prix series will bring you to the biker creation screen, where you customize your biker from the bike to his clothes to the number on his back. Here is also where you allocate skill points between 4 riding skills. These skills can be upgraded later by completing the Training challenges. Once your biker is complete, you begin the series on the same 10 tracks that are in the Arcade mode. You can opt to qualify for a starting position or just settle for 20th place right off. The Grand Prix series also allows you to unlock special features in the game, but is far more difficult than the Arcade mode.

The Quick Race, Multiplayer and Time Trial modes take more advantage of the unlocked features than do the other modes, though they can be used on any venue. Here, though, the racing is less demanding than that of the Grand Prix or Arcade modes, and leisure can be afforded in the form of fun extras.


Difficulty:

You don't need to know a lot about bikes to play this game. The usual goal is to get to the finish line ahead of as many other people as possible, which is usually accomplished by faster bikes and better skilled riders. But unless you know all the tricks of the trade about racing, getting the hang of MotoGP will take some practice. The instruction manual and practice sessions could have provided a little more information on practical racing skills instead of teaching the proper way to pop a wheelie. However, if you can perspire through getting blown away for the first few races, getting the hang of things shouldn't take too long.

Game Mechanics:

But without practical actions to occupy those buttons, the configurations would be worthless. Fortunately, every action associated with racing games is incorporated in the controls, including front and rear brake buttons and also plenty of views.

Aside from being able to choose from many different professional bikers, most of which are locked at the start of the game, you can choose one of the many realistic bikes the game offers. Though the bigger and better ones are unlockable, the earlier ones are all pretty much the same, where the biggest difference between each one is usually the look.

Anyone who is a fan of motorcycles or motorcycle races shouldn't miss MotoGP, despite its initial difficult learning curve. However, if you're a casual race fan and you stick with this game, it will be sure to please in the long run, as it offers good gameplay with above average replayability.


-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

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