Moto GP Review

By: John Doe

If other drivers weren't so damn dangerous on the roads my vehicle of choice would be the motorcycle, hands down. But people are so self centered these days and oblivious to the world around them that I just don't trust them to be paying attention to me on my two-wheeled cloak of invisibility. With the hip hop crap cranked and cell phones engaged, a motorcycle wouldn't stand much of a chance against a space cadet and his quarter-ton death ship.


The only safe place to ride a bike is out in the country where you can see what's coming and where you will only have yourself to blame for an accident. The only other safe place to ride is on the racetrack of your choice in the PS2 version of Moto GP. I use the word "safe" only in a virtual context of course. With a choice of 32 customizable bikes capable of speeds in excess of 200 km, you can experience the thrill without feeling the spill. One of the reasons why I like two wheel vehicles is the freedom of having no walls, windows or roofs caging you in like an animal. You're just straddling a rocket, and you're in total control. It's the closest sensation to flying since gasoline-soaked rags. That is until a bee flies in your mouth and you slam into the back of a camper.

Racing motorcycles is my favorite of the racing game genres. That's because of two main elements: the vehicle is half the size of a car and there tends to be a lot more open track space, and number two; a bike is so much more fun to operate than a car.

Taming a motorcycle requires a good sense of balance, especially when cornering at high speeds. Moto GP simulates the physics of such maneuvers with a healthy blend of real life sim and a tolerant arcade feel which will keep you on your seat even after you pull a few bonehead moves that would have cost you a severe case of road rash in the real world. But that's the fun of video games; you don't have to practice for 12 years to be able to steal the checkered flag from a pro. Granted there will be a slight learning curve if you're just a car racing nut, but the rewards will be worth it as you become one with the two wheels.

The backgrounds are incredible with various animated elements such as a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, fireworks and airplanes in the sky. The track distance is as far as the eye can see with no onscreen rendering. It's so smooth for a game loaded with such detail. If you scan the crowd closely, you can see your Aunt Jill lifting her shirt for the bikers in the pit crew. I was sure that was your aunt, I would recognize those scars anywhere.

The Arcade mode has been improved with the addition of five racing circuits which can be modified to your exacting standards. Choose a team in Season mode and see how you perform on the circuit for a virtual year. I found this to be somewhat limited with only five races per year and 15 in all. I guess the average racing career only lasts three years. And while I'm grumbling a bit here, let me add that the tracks do tend to get a little boring after a while regardless of what's going on in the stands. What one person calls monotonous one person calls consistent. Given that the bikes are all of the 500cc class and as such, the tracks in real life would vary slightly anyway, but this is a video game remember? And the rules can be bent or broken. We don't have to race around the devil's anus or anything obscure, but an off road rally and a street race mode surely wouldn't hurt.

Moto GP is a class act all the way. It's challenging without being difficult. With a little practice you'll be racing your way to the top of the circuit in no time. It's very addicting as you begin to feel the need to assert your superiority. You will find yourself becoming ruthless, aggressive and ultimately dangerous. And then you'll understand why people shouldn't mess with bikers.






Back To PlayStation 2 Index