Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Namco Bandai
Release Date: Out Now
There have been a few quality four-wheeled racing games to appear on the PSP but those looking for some quality two-wheeled action have been left wanting. The long wait for a quality motorcycling game looks to be over however, with the release of MotoGP. Developed by Namco Bandai, the MotoGP series has long been a quality one on the PlayStation 2 and it’s always been a popular series. Can the developers transfer this successful formula to the PSP? Let’s find out.
MotoGP for the PSP offers an Arcade mode, a Season mode, a Multiplayer mode, a Time Trial mode and a One on One mode. In fact you could say the modes are pretty much what you would expect from a game of this nature. The Season mode is the heart of the game and allows you to ride as a real driver or compete as yourself. When competing as yourself you won’t be able to ride the better bikes until you’ve proved yourself on the lesser bikes during the course of a season. Performance in the one season determines who you can ride for the next, which I daresay is something that might encourage long term play.
MotoGP is certainly an enjoyable game that is both challenging for fans of the series and thanks to some assists, it’s also fine for newcomers to the series but there are some problems. The amount of circuits in the game stands at a paltry number of eight. The multiplayer mode only offers ad hoc play and every player must own a copy of the game. Why wasn’t infrastructure mode supported? The analogue stick doesn’t do a very good job (it just isn’t as accurate as it should be) of steering the bike and I ended up using the directional buttons. The AI isn’t that inspired and simply prefers to adhere to the racing line at all times. Mind you that’s a problem for Gran Turismo 4, so maybe it’s not that big a disappointment for a handheld game.
Graphically MotoGP actually looks quite good with the circuits and bikes all looking pretty much on a par with the PlayStation 2 versions of MotoGP. The frame rate is actually pretty impressive, with no problematic slowdowns, and it’s great to see a handheld racer give such a good sensation of speed. Load times aren’t too bad either. In fact they are about average for a PSP game. You have a choice of about four camera angles and they are all usable. The replays certainly look impressive, which is something that comes as quite a surprise on a handheld.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable two-wheeled racing game to play on your PSP then MotoGP is certainly a good choice. There are no problems for deaf gamers with MotoGP. All instructions are in text, although to be honest there isn’t a need for a great deal of text. The multiplayer mode is for ad hoc multiplayer racing only and with each player needing a copy of the game it’s a safe bet to say many will not experience the thrills of trying to outdo their friends. Had infrastructure multiplayer been supported the game would have been much more desirable from a multiplayer perspective. From a single-player perspective it’s all pretty standard but enjoyable stuff. Being able to choose the 2005 or 2006 data is a nice touch too.
Only the limited amount of circuits and the lack of an online mode prevent MotoGP from being a great game.