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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Capcom
Developed By: Monumental Games
Genre: Racing
Players: 1 (2-20 Online)
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

April 4, 2010 - The racing genre provides a wide variety of titles to choose from. Where you are into four or four wheel vehicles, the racing genre has evolved over the years to provide a true to life copy of what itís like barreling down the track at high speeds. While four wheel vehicles dominate the racing genre, there have been tried and true two-wheel racers that have stood the test of time, one of which is the MotoGP series. While the series has seen it shares of ups and downs, MotoGP has stood the test of time and provided some of the best two-wheel racing action that has graced a video game console. With the latest installment coming from Capcom, MotoGP 09/10 looks revamp the series with a slew of enhancements and gameplay features, which could make MotoGP 09/10 the best in the series.

Over the years, the MotoGP series has seen its share of different developers. One minute THQ was developing titles for the series, and then it was Namco; only to finally fall at the footsteps of Capcomís headquarters. Instead of simply putting out the next chapter in the racing franchise, Capcom opted to put more time and effort into the MotoGP 09/10 through its new developer Monumental Games. The game will cover the 2009 season in its entirety from its tracks, riders and bikes (125cc, 250cc and 800cc). Capcom also has plan to cover all the 2010 season as it unfolds through a steady stream of free downloadable content, which is sure to please MotoGP enthusiasts.

From first glance, some would argue that MotoGP 09/10 looks just like the MotoGP titles of old. While to the untrained eye it looks that way, developer Monumental Games took huge strides in order to keep it from simply being lowly sequel. The developer went back to basics with everything, including the dual-stick control scheme that has been sued throughout the MotoGP series. Now, MotoGP uses a trigger system at its heart of the controls, allowing for more people to be able to pick up and enjoy this title without having a huge learning curve to overcome. While purist will feel that Capcom has stripped away one of the features that made the series unique, itís actually an easier control scheme for everyone to use, whether new to the series or a longtime veteran.

Another change comes with the use of the dynamic racing line, which can and will help new racers grapple the reigns of this racing title, while also teaching them when to determine where you will slowdown and/or speed up. The dynamic racing live changes colors from green to white to red, depending on whether you need to accelerate, maintain speed or slowdown. While you can learn all this without the dynamic line; slowing down too much or not knowing when to accelerate can cost you spots in a race, turning your 1st place finish into a 4th or 5th place finished. Alongside this feature is the ďsecond chanceĒ feature, which has made the rounds within the four wheel racing world. This new features allows a player to rewind time back a few seconds before a crash, allowing you a second chance to avoid the spill, crash or in the gravel. This features is a nice inclusion for the MotoGP series, however I feel that it can be over used, which takes away from the purity of dueling it out with other riders to see who the best is.

While these changes are a definite plus for the series, itís the racing itself which is still engaging and interesting every time you hit the track. Simply going head up with the AI racers is a lot harder than you may think if not for a few gameplay enhancements in place. One is being able to get into a rivalís slipstream, allowing you to go faster and pass your opponents with less effort on the driverís part. You will definitely find yourself using this feature as the AI will also try to do the same to you. Whether itís simply you and another racer battling it out for 1st place or everyone bunched up in a crowd as you inter a hairpin turn, utilizing the slipstream can prove to a powerful tool.

While changing the control scheme, adding a dynamic racing line and changing various gameplay mechanics are good for MotoGP 09/10, the best innovation that Monumental Games brought to this title and the series is the inclusion of style points. Following the dynamic racing line without deviation or perfecting hitting hairpin turns without leaving the track will net you style points. For those who love to cause damage to other racers on the track, the game will incur style penalties. Style points are connected to the Career Mode, where you will spend most of your time in the game to make sure you unlock every bike, driver and track within the game.

Career Mode is all about the ďUltimate TeamĒ and not simply the best driver. After completing a few races, the money you earned can be used to hire a few people to help build up your team brand. The more races you finish and the more money you bring in, you will be able to higher more lucrative candidates to help guide you to greatness. However, one must keep in mind the salaries of these individuals simply because if you are not pulling in the money like you use to, you may have to let said personnel go. Being the boss is definitely fun; however it can prove to be taxing if you are not all about investing time in every aspect of the Career Mode.

However, for those who want all the same intense racing action from Career Mode without the need to manage your team down to the shoes they are wearing, can tackle the Championship Mode. The game also includes Time Trials and an Arcade Mode offering. Within Time Trials, itís you against the clock in posting the best time possible for a given track. Upon completion, you can upload your Ghost for others to race against. With Arcade mode, you are given a set time in order to complete the track. The more you race like a true professional, extra time is put back on the clock at certain points during the race. Once you complete a race, if there is any time remaining, itís transferred to the next race. The sole purpose of this mode is to test ones skills in a similar manner to that of an actual arcade machine.

From a visual standpoint, MotoGP 09/10 is a marvel to look at. Itís a given that with every new iteration within the series, the tech is more polished and so are the visuals. For the most part, the game operates at a steady framerate speed of 60fps, which is always a plus when it comes to racing titles. The bikes and the riders are nicely detailed. Whether the driver is riding side-by-side with you are off into the distance in front of you, the character models and bikes retain their detail and since of realism. While the race tracks themselves are not full of life and objects, they too are very well detailed, looking like carbon copies to their realistic counterparts. All in all, the visuals are an upgrade from that of MotoGP 08. In regards to the audio within MotoGP 09/10, itís a hit and miss rolled up into one. The game features a licensed soundtrack, which adds to the quality of the audio; however itís not where it should be. Some of the bikes donít sound realistic as you rev the engine and are barreling down the track. The comments of your staff during a race can be a tad repetitive and lackluster in trying to motivate you to do better.

When it comes to longevity, MotoGP has a lot of content within the small package. Besides spending time within Time Trials and Arcade Mode, you can the option to tear up the track within either Career Mode or Championship Mode. If these offerings are still not enough, then you can take your racing online and compete with up to 19 (20 total) other racers from around the world. If all of this is still not enough, you can expect a steady flow of downloadable content to come your way as the 2010 season unfolds. If anything can be said about MotoGP 09/10 it would be that the series has officially started its return to greatness. If Monumental Games can continue this effort when and if they work the next installment, we could very well see MotoGP being the Gran Turismo of motorcycle racing titles.


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