Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MotoGP 09/10 Review

Upon receiving Capcom's latest, MotoGP 09/10, I really had no interest in the game.  Although I love a good racing sim, (Forza and Gran Turismo Series), I've never been into a pure street bike racer.  This is likely due to my love of cars, but not so much of street bikes.  Not to say that I dislike, or even loathe street bikes, I just have more knowledge of the 4-wheel variety of transportation/racing.  However, after a few races, and then a full-on jump into the Career Mode, MotoGP has me hooked, and in some ways more than my beloved Forza or Gran Turismo does.

Read on for the full Review

Lets talk about features, shall we?  Of course we have the Arcade mode.  This is the easiest way to jump right in and play.  And it truly plays like an arcade game; as time, is what you're racing for.  There's not enough time to get you to the finish, but as you show your riding skill, you earn more time to keep going.  This time also rolls into the next race.  Finish an entire game of Arcade without any continues, and you'll earn a coveted achievement.  Take more than 4 credits, and it's game over.

Next up, is the Championship mode.  Race on track after track as you pick a class (125cc, 250cc, or 800cc) and work your way through a season.  This is also a good way to just "jump-in" and play, but without worry of time against you.

The meat and potatoes of the game, is the all-new Career mode boasting features that would be a welcome shake-up in the traditional racer sim, I became hooked to the many aspects that slowly unfold to you.  You won't just pick a bike (manufacturer) and race, win money, buy upgrades, lather, repeat (ad nauseum), but you'll race, and as you earn money, you need to build a winning team.  That team consists of a Press Officer, who will go out and find Sponsorships for you.  Then you'll expand your team to include Engineers, these are key in researching upgrades on everything from your exhaust to your gearboxes.  Without engineers, you're going  But even hiring (and perhaps even eventually firing) staff is in it's own right, a mini-game, as you'll need to pay attention to your incoming revenue and make sure you can afford to pay your team to keep their research, and PR going.  It's not super deep or anything, but adds a twist to the tried and true Forza/Gran Turismo formula, and one I'd like to see added.

The only thing I found sort of annoying is that the research that's completed is specific to the manufacturer of the bike the research was performed on.  So if you want to switch from an Aprillia to a Ducati, you have to start from scratch on your research.  Minor squabble.

Also, (like Forza), you gain a form of experience after each race (bonus for running practice and the qualifying sections).  MotoGP calls them Reputation Points, and you'll earn them a variety of ways.  Overtake the rider in front of you, draft in the slipstream, get a perfect racing line, or have a dramatic finish, and you'll be increasing your RP right quick, and increasing your rider's level.  There are drawbacks to this, as you lose reputation points for collisions with other bikes, all out crashes, or if you are passed up.

Also new to 09/10 is a full-bore Online mode with up to 20 racers, in a first for consoles.  And this one is just like it sounds, race against (up to) 19 opponents to work your way up the leaderboards.  It's definitely a good time.

Overall, I went into the game, not expecting alot, but I left a fan of the title, and eager to learn more about the MotoGP scene.  If there was one thing I wish I had to enjoy the game more, would just be to have more experience in what's considered a bad ass bike, versus what's not.  Like I said before, I know that a Nissan Skyline R34 is a killer vehicle, I'm not familiar at all with my Aprilia RSV125 to even know if it's considered a good bike.  But that doesn't detract from the overall experience.  I love it!

Mashbuttons gives MotoGP 09/10 a 9 out of 10.

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