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Kimberley Ellis
20 Nov, 2008

MotoGP '08 Review

PS3 Review | Wheelie average.
MotoGP 08 is a title that doesn't quite know what it is trying to accomplish. At times, it comes at you with the simplicity of arcade style gameplay, which at other times it forces you to get down and dirty with a simulation approach where your breaking and accelerating technique can be the difference between standing on the winner's podium or dusting the dirt off of your helmet. To its credit, MotoGP 08 really does try to appeal to gamers of both styles, but unfortunately in its effort to cater to the differing audiences the game falls flat my making too many concessions that both arcade and simulation fans are left with the feeling of a watered down product.

There aren't any surprises in MotoGP 08, with the single-player modes list reading like that of most other racing titles out on the market: Single Race, Time Trial, Championship, Challenge mode, and so on. The game biggest attraction is the Career mode, which allows players to create a rider from scratch and work their way up the motorcycle racing food chain (players will be able to race in the 125cc, 250cc, and the MotoGP categories). As you work your way through a race, you will be able to accrue attribute points which can then be distributed to upgrade your bike in four areas: top speed, acceleration, braking, and traction. As well as being able to use this upgraded bike in single-player competition, you'll be able to use your souped up crotch-rocket in online racing against up to eleven other online racers.

Wet weather racing adds to the difficulty of MotoGP 08.

Wet weather racing adds to the difficulty of MotoGP 08.
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While most of the meat of the title comes in the single-player Career mode, it has a number of flaws which spoil the fun of the game. The most glaring fault is the short length of the Career mode, which ends after five seasons regardless of how well you are performing on the track. The second annoying quirk is the fact that you can't change the game's various AI and handling difficulty levels, you for the entirety of your career. While it may not be annoying at first, you'll find that the game turns quite boring as you upgrade your bike when playing against easy and medium-level AI opponents because you'll find yourself winning each race with relative ease. Allowing players to constantly tweak the difficulty settings between seasons would allow for greater enjoyment for those players that seek a challenge.

This lack of flexibility is even more worrisome when you take the game's steep learning curve into account. While the difficulty is a little more gentler than last year's effort, this title is quite challenging on the default setting (until you upgrade your bike) that even veterans of the series will find their skills tested to some degree. If you bump the difficulty up a notch, you'll find that the the game sits on the other spectrum as you fight through the pack against increasingly difficult opponents. One mistake here and you can kiss your chances at the title goodbye.

You'll need all of your skills to get past the pack.

You'll need all of your skills to get past the pack.
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Another frustrating quirk of the title is the game's controls as the unresponsive, floaty control setup make the title frustratingly annoying at times. Another drawback being the lack of a rumble option as you'll find that the controller only begins to rumble if you veer entirely off the circuit.

Though for all of its quirky faults, MotoGP 08 does have some aspects which are done really well. One such aspect of the title is the handling of the motorcycles which has long been a hallmark of the series. It is here where the simulation aspect of the title shines through as the emphasis on actual racing strategy comes into play. As you progress through the title, you'll find yourself becoming increasingly aware of the racing line and carefully accelerating out of corners like a pro rider. The advanced handling setting provides many thrills and spills on the game's higher difficulty levels resulting in unyielding aggression from your AI counterparts which will make you battle for position at almost every corner on the track.

Night racing is a nice touch that has been added to this year edition of MotoGP.

Night racing is a nice touch that has been added to this year edition of MotoGP.
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Another high point of the title is its solid graphical capabilities, which do a great job of giving you that thrilling sense of speed as you race down a long straight. Though if you are playing on the PlayStation 3 version of the game, this can be offset by the small frame rate issues that the game has. Sadly, for all of its sharp graphics, the game doesn't provide players with much to look at as the scenery that accompanies each track, coupled with the grainy asphalt track doesn't provide gamers with many visual pretties, while much detail has gone in to the the look of the riders and their bikes. That said, racers will be thrilled with some of the new details, especially the night race at Losail, and the brand new Indianapolis GP track which is set at the famous motor speedway. The hardcore MotoGP fans will also find a lot to like about the game's audio presentation as each individual constructor bike has its own signature engine sounds, not be mention the different the big difference that you'll hear between the 125cc, 250cc, and MotoGP bike engines, which adds a nice touch for longtime fans of the series.

In trying to appeal to the casual gamer, MotoGP 08 delivers a basic motorcycle racing experience and little else. If you crave solid customisation options, tight, responsive controls, and lively circuits, you'd best stick with a previous MotoGP game. In trying you cater to everyone, you'll find that the watered down experience of this title doesn't really appeal to anyone at all.
The Score
With a frustrating combination of watered down gameplay and bruising difficulty, Moto GP 08 is a racing title that belongs at the back of the pack. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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3 Comments
5 years ago
I love this game! Just look at the screens, it’s awesome and it’s got a proper career to progress from the 125’s all the way to the GP.
5 years ago
geek-on wrote
I love this game! Just look at the screens
I'm not sure how you'll manage to convince us that the game is really great with still touched-up photos, but good luck anyway.
5 years ago
I picked this up when it first came out. Im a Moto GP fan but i found it average. Sim mode is just play stupid. Way to hard. Iv been playing arcade.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  24/10/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $99.95 AU
Publisher:
  Red Ant
Genre:
  Sports
Year Made:
  2008

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