Reviews

MotoGP

Slick crotch-rocket action in the palm of your hand

To be brutally honest, the best thing about MotoGP racing, the two-wheeled equivalent of Formula One, is the ever-present threat of a really nasty accident.

Although four-wheeled racing has its dangers, there's nothing quite as stomach-turning as seeing a rider come off his Yamaha/Honda at 80mph, skid across the track on his arse, get clobbered by his fireball of a bike and then get a big skidmark on his face courtesy of the chasing pack afterwards. We're all mates here, so admit it: you love it.

Unfortunately, MotoGP doesn't have that air of imminent horror. Despite heading straight for other riders at the end of long straights and pulling wheelies at what should've been the most dangerous moments, the best PSW could do was make its rider do a bit of a gay roly-poly and collapse in a not very painful heap a couple of feet away. Collisions with rivals get you a bit of a dirty look in return, but nothing more, and your rider shows perfect poise when rounding tight corners. It seems MotoGP is a game to be taken seriously. Ah well.

Zoom

RIDE 'EM HARD
It's not such a downside. The simplistic ontrols - steer with the analogue nub, accelerate with X and brake with Square (the game doesn't offer separate front or rear braking) mean that MotoGP is easy to get to grips with - yet the controls also offer a degree of subtlety. A bike can be made to fishtail slightly to get a tighter angle through corners by moving the nub a little in the direction you want to go, then slamming on the gas. You'll also need to memorise braking and turning points (once you've grown the balls to turn off the rider aids) as some of the circuits, all of which are lifted from the 2005 MotoGP championship, are bastard tricky and suck you into the gravel traps. Safely, of course.

Once you've got the measure of the way your bike handles (you select a real team from last year's series), you'll find you'll slip into a satisfying rhythm of swaying from side to side through bends, making MotoGP feel like a chavvy dance-action game at times. If your timing's out, your bike goes out, but the great thing is the more you play, the better your timing gets.

Occasionally, rival riders plough straight through tyre walls or run wide round corners, but the real fun comes with the Wi-Fi multiplayer, which supports up to seven other players. If you're not a social hero and you don't attract that many players, then you can always fill out the starting grid with computer-controlled riders.

Online or off, MotoGP is a very slick racing experience, and its deceptively simplistic gameplay hides a very effective control system and devastatingly addictive racing. It doesn't have quite the same level of glitz as a really top racer, like Ridge Racer 2, but it more than serves bike freaks on the move. More danger would've been nice, though. After all, nothing's better than a good pile-up.

The verdict

MotoGP makes the journey from PS2 to PSP and proves itself to be just as accomplished.

  • Simple yet subtle controls
  • Has a truly realistic feel
  • The best circuits on PSP
  • It's not very dangerous
8
Format
PlayStation Portable
Developer
Namco Bandai
Publisher
Sony
Genre
Racing / Driving

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