|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Milestone||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-12||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Attempting to bridge the gap between arcade and sim motorcycle racing, Moto GP 08 loses something. That something is fun.
There are those that feel an arcade racer is too simple and therefore not challenging enough to pursue. On the other hand, some find that sim racing is too time-consuming and difficult to master. It only goes to show that fun is subjective. But theres one thing that Im sure most of us can agree on, and that is Moto GP 08 is just not much fun at all, regardless of what style of racing appeals to you. The fault lies in the generic approach to racing, both arcade and sim. The gameplay and the presentation lack personality. Theres nothing unique about this game at all, and most of that can be blamed on Capcom, which took the franchise over. I expect more from Capcom and Im not going to be happy until I get it.
Moto GP 08 doesnt lack ambition, it lacks execution. Its as official as you can get in terms of riders, tracks, and events from the 08 season. Bikes are included from the 125cc, 250cc, and GP classes. Classic and new racing circuits such night drags in Qatar and racing at Indianapolis have been added to the series. In the Career mode you can create your own rider and put him or her up against any of the officially licensed riders included here. Points earned from winning events can be used to upgrade skills and your bike. Its not easy to earn these upgrades in the more difficult modes, and they are limited to four main features: braking, traction, acceleration, and top speed. One of the main elements should have been handling, since its far too easy to lose control of your machine in the Advanced and Sim mode. Just taking a corner can cause you to wobble a little, which ultimately sounds your death knell. Once you begin to wobble, its game over. It seems that once it starts, there is no way to correct it. This is not what good racing is all about in my opinion.
The three difficulty levels, or difficulty modes, are Arcade, Advanced, and Simulation. The Advanced mode combines elements of sim and arcade, which you would think would be the best of both worlds, but the only thing it will get the best of is you. Basically, the difficulties do just that, they increase the difficulty. Arcade mode is easy enough to pick-up-and-play, while the Advanced mode is less forgiving. Any mistakes you make will be immediately processed into bad karma, read: Crash. Simulation mode requires that you perform perfectly. Its this inability to correct your mistakes on the fly that seriously reduces the games realism and fun factor.
The A.I. performs in a very predictable manner. Its like entering a well-choreographed parade formation. They rarely stray from their positions, seldom taking risks or making mistakes. Overtaking positions is like playing a mobile game of Operation, where you try not to make contact with the other bikes that more or less hold their same positions. The collision detection can be incredibly inconsistent when bumping another bike. Sometimes, a mere graze of another bike or rider will send you into the guardrails. Other times, you can practically ride atop your opponents helmet. For the most part, you never know what might happen, so its best to avoid any and all contact. Because this game features licensed bikes and tracks, there is no damage modeling. If Im going to be involved in numerous accidents, they should at least look and sound spectacular.