With the MotoGP
season now upon us, it’s time to rev up our own console creations and
take to the track. The newest two wheeler in the pit paddock is Capcoms
latest instalment in the Moto series, MotoGP 09/10.
The first thing
that comes to mind is the title, 09/10? Yes, the MotoGP season is an
seasonal event that runs between April and November, so why the 09/10?
Well it seems that Capcom couldn’t really decide on if the title should
be from the 09 season or the 10 season. So in their infinite wisdom
decided to release the game using the 2009 track, schedule, and riders,
with free DLC for the duration of the 2010 season. While on paper this
seems like a complete waste of time, in reality its somewhat genius, as
the nature of motorsport is in a constant rotation of teams and
placement, the 2010 update give the players the option of using a 2010
roster or the 2009 roster, basically giving you a personal preference.
As side from the
strangely structured licensing and marketing, MGP09/10 of course follows
the premier two wheeler racing event, the MotoGP season, around the
world as you compete on eighteen different tracks with more than twenty
riders, and all the core teams and manufacturers. The game modes are
what you would expect, with Championship giving you the opportunity to
complete a full season in the 125cc, 250cc or MotoGP categories. Arcade,
which replicates the old forty cent ride games of racing a single track
and giving you a depleting time corner to corner race, check pointing
raises the time and it’s a race to the finish.
Time Trial is exactly
what you think it would be. But the real meat and potatoes for this
title is the Career option. In what is a completely fresh look at how
officially licensed racing games are made, you have a ‘franchise’ style
mode, create your own rider, create your own team, hire PR and
engineers, maintain sponsorships, purchase bike upgrades, both on track
performance and off track performance hinge on each other and will
determine your success in climbing up the racing ladder to wining the MotoGP title.
The gameplay itself
has taken a step away from some of its simulation based incarnations of
the past, and returning to a more simplistic control system of trigger
acceleration and brake as well as a more forgiving physics engine.
Instead of crashing out with every slip up, you can now ride out a
mistake with a wobble and loss of speed, but don’t think they’ve gone
completely soft on you, move the difficultly level up to the ‘Insane’
level and you will again be gripping the bars for grim life as you
barrel over the ripple strips with 100 percent accuracy.
The changes in
the early difficulty settings gives the ability for a pro to be able to
race with a beginner and have a slightly more matched playing field.
Graphically the game is great with all the elements present, fantastic
track backgrounds and representations, brilliant tyre modelling, and
responsive tweaks to driver movements. It’s the audio that lets the
presentation down, as the repetitive nature of the commentary and very
off bike samples just pull you out f the moment and remind you that your
sitting on a couch, not a beast.
drawcard other than the career mode for this title is the multiplayer
aspect of it. Aside from the standard split screen racing, the option of
a online twenty person race is available, and despite the size of the
races, the online frame rate is great and easily keeps you in the race
at all times. As well as this all players have the option to vote on the
race, things such as track, weather, and laps are all majority rules,
meaning that most of you will get the online race of your choice.
While there are
still some niggling bugs and tweaks needed to speed up a terrible menu
system and hopefully correct the audio, the game is a solid release that
has enough strong features to make it a worthy purchase. This seems like
it’s going to be a key title in a rebuild of the MotoGP franchise with
Capcom, and thankfully they started it off on the right foot.