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Moto GP 09/10 Review
Review Score:

Full speed ahead to the finish line

As I write this, the girl behind me needs to learn to speak properly and reading wouldn’t go a miss either. I was hoping to write this in serenity because I chose the quiet zone but unfortunately in today’s disruptive anti-social Britain these notices go completely unnoticed or are completely ignored. Fortunately they have just left the train, so we can now get down to business. Fucking bitch, what I need now is to feel the wind in my hair and the smell of petrol fumes up my nostrils whilst the sun beats down on the asphalt and warm rubber etches the road like charcoal on thick paper.

Take a look at those bike renders, pre-cum anyone?

What does this all mean exactly? Well, lately I’ve been playing Capcom’s Moto GP 09/10 a game I hadn’t touched since it was on the black brick Xbox. I didn’t take too well to the first game I played, Moto GP 3, mainly because of the learning curve involved in controlling a brute between my legs. Fortunately my throw away attitude towards motorbike racing has vastly changed and that is thanks to Monumental Games. To start out with, in the Championship, Arcade & Career modes you will be contending with the 125cc bikes and they aren’t exactly hair dryers. When reducing draft tucking in on straights your screen would blur and you would feel fragile, whilst corners and braking would always require your judgement.

As you progress within the game the other racing classes will open. 250cc requires you to be more alert and on the ball with breaking and 800cc is butt-clench time. Not only do you need to contend with the blistering speeds and hair pin turns, you also need to sure that on heavy revs your bike doesn’t try to pull a wheelie that will throw you off the machine. It’s a nice homage to the attention to detail that Monumental have gone to and it’s a great way to show boat at the finish line especially when you can front wheelie as well. Drafting and streamlining are essential practices to learn to ensure that you work your way up the grid and you’ll often be rewarded for pushing yourself further and taking chances but with the elemental risk of landing in the sand traps and walls.

Touching base upon the graphics, the weather effects are nicely detailed and the general tracks are put together with a nice ambience. The game isn’t as over the top as Moto GP 07, and has gone down the avenue of using its licenses and realistic Moto GP circuit creation as its main draw for purchase. Moto GP 09/10 offers 17 official circuits from the racing season and the game is set for a free data update when the new season is due to start, meaning the game will stay up to date with real life statistics and drivers. For the Moto GP enthusiast this is a welcome addition as Capcom haven’t directly used this as a micro-transaction quick buck.

Those long straits, tuck yourself in

Now, the arcade mode itself is probably the best addition to the series, it allows you to jump in and be rewarded for the way you drive, as the Arcade season progresses you’ll be given set challenges to complete which will aid your overall progression. Championship mode follows the Moto GP season in a set format and given the realistic A.I it makes for an interesting leader board throughout the season, you’ll often sit towards the back of the grid in your first few races and watch yourself climb as you get used to the controls and get more confident with your skills. Great tracks are faithfully recreated like the legendary Le Mans and Donnington, even minor details like adding the Ferris Wheel at the side of the track in the iconic French track. The A,I always feels fair, if you forget to streamline and tuck prevent draft on straights they’ll take over you from behind, if you take a corner to the edge you’ll gain time on them, this just feels great when your jostling for position at the front of the grid, it’s truely exciting and not many single player modes do that anymore.

For those that like their opponent of the human variety split screen multiplayer is provided as well as online ranked matches and quick match options. There is an online career mode, but this is essentially a clever way of re-wording the ranked based system. It keeps a target of your statistics, wins and places etc. Online is smooth but it’s already suffering a little with attachment rate. We often had to wait 5 odd minutes to get a race, as the match making options were forcing us to the same lobby each tine. This would suggest that the game is either bugged in this department, or more likely that there wasn’t a huge amount of people online. We played around with this at several different intervals but had the same problem, hardly something you can blame on the developer though, just seems that people like there races of the four wheel variety. Now, if we were to look into improving this game, I would look more at the crashes. They are all a little underwhelming and don’t really give the fragility of being a racer whom only line of defence is leathers and steel knee cap protectors. I’d like to see some nice rag doll physics in future iterations and if the carnage is a little squeamish, so be it. I’m not asking for blood or anything of that type, just more shocking factors, such as the player flying into the stadium, or sliding into the gravel traps with ferocity. There are no animations around corners either that suggest that the bikers are steeling it to the floor trying to get the best turning angle as possible, no sparks flying at all. So, food for thought no doubt. It maybe also worth noting that this game does have a distinct lack of weight attach to the bikes, you don’t feel as though you are having to force them through the corners, it’s no SBK, but SBK is frustrating as hell.

Tearing up the asphalt

What Moto GP does better than any other bike racer out there is give real accessibility, sure the Moto GP 800+ cc races are a real challenge, but the 220 and 125’s are really enjoyable and provide close matched races like no other game out there. Another reason why we like the game so much is that they have tied in background music tracks into the game, a risky move perhaps but one that works. The ambient and electronic sounds that grace the game are all very fitting with the high octane racing styles and none of the artists are too familiar that you can call it a bit of a sell out, something that EA’s soundtracks suffer from, given they have used the opportunity to form a label to push bands out onto the arena.

Overall Moto GP 09/10 is the very best of the series has so far, it doesn’t delve into bike tuning to a degree that would make your head hurt and it’s career mode is a little minimalist, but it lets the racing do the talking and because that is down to a tee, it’s all the more enjoyable. Despite the game would on the surface have a lack of game modes, it makes up for that in the fact that not only will it provide a data update for the new season, the championship feels so competitive that it’ll drive you back for more. I’m not even a fan of Moto GP fan but this game has perhaps converted me to some degree to actually watch it on the TV some time, well executed, highly entertaining and a must purchase for those looking for something different. This isn’t just some shoddy yearly update, for those that have been a little dismayed by the series, now’s the time to jump back on board. Call this if you may, bike racing equivalent of when FIFA 08 jumped onto the scene and shocked everyone. A class act.

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Moto GP 09/10 Review, 9.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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