Moto GP 2

Moto GP 2

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DEVELOPER: Climax   |   PUBLISHER: THQ   |   RELEASE: 05/21/2003

How do you make a great thing even better? Well in the realm of gaming it isn’t too hard, you add more of the great stuff, fix what was wrong, and then add new stuff that is just as cool as the original stuff and you have some great stuff. Yes I purposely overused the word “stuff” in that sentence but my point is simple, making a great sequel isn’t hard. Fans of the original do not want a new game. They want more of what made the original great and then some, they also appreciate it when you fix what was wrong with the original. Devil May Cry 2 did this as did Dead Or Alive 3 so now that brings us to Moto GP2 and it’s wondrous amount of new stuff and fixed stuff thank God for stuff.

Second Verse Same As The First
The first Moto GP was damn near perfect for it’s style. You had blistering face racing mixed with intuitive controls and gorgeous visuals. What was lacking was customization (at least to this degree) and online play. Sure once you obtained the demo you could enjoy it online but doesn’t having Live enabled stat tracking make it all worth while? I thought so. Climax has addressed these issues by adding tons of customization for your rider, you gotta check out my dude online it is awesome having Zero plastered across the side of my bike, and the best use of XBox Live I have seen to date. From the minute you boot up the game you are logged on. Keeping track of every record you set and how many points you tally is incredible. You can also check how you stack up against the competition with the click of a button, how cool is that?

Visual Appeal
The one thing the first game didn’t lack was a visual punch and the second doesn’t fail to deliver on this aspect either. The visual effects are in a word “stunning”. When the track is wet you can see reflections of every rider and every object around you. When the temperature heats up the heat glare is in full effect, simply beautiful. The rider animations are also fantastic sporting some of the best crash sequences this side of Burnout. The difference here is that your rider actually makes contact with the asphalt and pain incurs, so much that it makes you cringe in your seat! The only real gripe in the visuals is the minor drop in frame rate, sure 60-40 isn’t noticeable by everyone but those damn video buffs surely take notice of it.

The Sounds Of Victory
Racing games, custom soundtracks, it’s like a match made in heaven. For the first time I am able to jam some NOFX while passing up newbies on Suzuka ONLINE! Nothing is more fitting than hearing “The idiots are taking over!” while schooling Assgoblin5667889 who thinks his crotch rocket is superior, simply fabulous. The ambience and overall sound design is also astounding. Delivering the best in audio is what I love about my XBox and hearing it all crash boom and bash in Dolby 5.1 is pure gaming bliss.

Controlling A Legend
For those that are new to the Moto GP game lemme clue ya in on something, there are two brakes on Moto GP bikes, it took Namco 3 games to figure this out! Learning to utilize each one at the proper time is crucial to cornering in this game. Pulling a 180 is much harder than it looks if you slam on the wrong brake at the wrong time. Thankfully Moto GP2 has a great training mode to hone your skills with as well as boost your stat points. Preparing yourself statistically for online play is a must so make sure you beef up those stat points before venturing into any 16 player skirmishes! The handling in Moto GP 2 is like silk, smooth to the touch and delicate enough to scar those not willing to perfect their racing skills. This ain’t your daddy’s Ridge Racer boys, this game takes practice and determination to perfect so expect to spend many hours learning to 360 slide and perform stoppies on a dime.

Photo Finish!
With picture perfect online play and just enough ingredients to make it fresh and sweet smelling Moto GP 2 has earned a place in my permanent collection right along side the first one. Taking everything that made the original so damn good and upping the ante just enough to hook newbies and veterans alike this game is an instant classic. If you own an XBox and a copy of Live this game is the first chance you will get to smoke someone besides your non-gaming buddies, besides they don’t count! Come and race with the elite online if you dare, ZeroTolerance is always up for a race. Highly recommended.

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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