|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|
The smaller classes of 125cc and 250cc engines is a great way to start. These bikes are easier to handle in virtually every aspect. They are slower and the response to braking and turning is more realistic. You will receive tips from the in-game tutorial, but the game has to be paused to access the information, which disrupts your concentration and destroys the momentum. But everything you learn is eventually traded in for a ruthless physics model that overreacts to your slightest move. Taking a corner at too fast a speed and at too much of an angle will result in an accident. Its unfortunate that what constitutes too much appears arbitrary. Its almost impossible to judge these parameters by the sense of speed in the game simply because trying the same moves as the A.I. at the same speeds does not always work in your favor.
Racing modes include Quick Race, Time Attack, Championship, Career, and Multi-player. Career mode only lasts five seasons. Nevertheless, its easily the best mode in the game in terms of long-term challenge. On the other hand, the multiplayer mode leaves a lot to be desired. While it will accommodate 12 racers, its limited to single, one-off racing. There are no championship modes. Check to see what the server offers in terms of options as you may or may not be able to import your fully upgraded bike into the race. I did experience some latency online but not with my bike or control system. The other racers took time to refresh their positions which had them popping in and out of the race like a stiffly animated anime cartoon (like theres any other kind). If you experience this, try disconnecting and find another race. When it does work, its a lot more fun than racing against the A.I.
No one is going to be impressed with the graphics. This is a PS3 game for crying out loud and it barely eclipses a good PS2 game. There is a general lack of background detail, elements that are inconsequential to the gameplay but very important psychologically to capture the excitement of live racing. Flags dont furl, crowds are static, courses are sterile, textures are grainy, and to add insult to injury, there are some framerate issues. There is no denying the bikes look fabulous. They are virtually photo-realistic, in some instances even better-looking than showroom condition, and, unfortunately, due to lack of damage modeling, they always look that way. Night riding is done well with spot-on illumination simulation, casting various degrees of intensity commensurate with the position of the lights in relation to the track. While I cant pretend to know what each bike sounds like, there is enough variation of engine sounds to give each one its own sonic signature. They whine, they roar, and at times, they sound like theyre going to explode. Now if only I could make that happen.
Moto GP 08 lacks an identity. In an effort to be all things to all people, it ends up being not much to anyone.
CCC Senior Writer