Overview

The Moto GP series got a second breath of life when the Xbox Live service launched last November with Moto GP as one of the Live demo’s. So all Live owners got a taste of just how good the original was. I was very pleased to see that Moto GP ended up becoming part of most Xbox owners library. Now THQ has come back for a second try at an online racing title, and this one is even better then the first.

Gameplay

Moto GP 2 is one of those sequels that when first put in your Xbox seems like exactly the same game. But it’s all the small things that Climax has done to Moto GP 2 that makes it so darn impressive. To start with the game modes are plentiful and the customization of the game is so complex that you can basically play the game whatever way you would like to play it.

The game modes of Moto GP 2 include Quick Race, Career Mode, Stunt Mode, and Time Trial, and then of course the ever popular Live mode. To start with the single player mode could actually still make quite a good standalone title if there wasn’t an online mode. The career mode is where the depth of the game will be found. You start the mode by creating a racer. You get to customize everything from the name to the bike to the gear, and even all the little things. This is only the first instance where the customization options of the game stand out. After that you’re basically off to the races, where you can either take a tutorial mode or go straight in and start your career. The career gets continuously harder as you move along from season to season, so make sure you can win as many races as possible to score attribute points to upgrade your riders skills. The career mode although it may not seem it, is quite a long and engaging mode that will definitely keep most of us occupied for a long while.

Moto GP 2 like most of you already know is a pure on simulation game, but offers some relief in the Stunt mode. But other then the Stunt Mode the game plays even better then the first. If you have played the first you will probably realize that this is a true simulation with true motorcycle physics. One of the biggest advancements in the game’s playability is the weather effects, that really have a large effect on how the track’s ride. Just a side note on the weather effects, when it is raining you even get rain drops on your screen.

If you played Moto GP you won’t have as much of a learning curve as people new to the game. But the game has changed a bit from the original, and I felt the most noticeable upgrade were the controls, which have become a little bit more responsive. So the turning is going to be a little different. But for the most part they took the original system and stuck with it.

Where I felt Moto GP and now Moto GP 2 are at its best are during the multiplayer portions of the game. There is the normal split screen, and then there is system link and Live support. You will find at a point in the game that the computer AI just isn’t much of a challenge anymore. When it comes to this point in the game, that the computer is just no longer challenging (if that ever happens) well you can make your way online and ride up against people from all around the world. The Online mode is pretty standard to what the other Live games have been. You have the options of a Quick Race, Optimatch, and Create a game. The one thing that Moto GP 2 has integrated into the game is the ability to log in to your live account right when you put the game in your Xbox. This means you can make easy transitions right from the online and offline modes of the game while playing, which is a feature I have feeling we will be seeing a lot more of with the upcoming Live titles.

The tunes throughout Moto GP 2 are easily the weakest portion of Moto GP 2. The sound effects are great, but there is still a need of some good background music while racing. Luckily the option for a custom soundtrack has been added so that you can listen to your own music, which helps the game’s sound out a lot.

Graphics

To get right down to it Moto GP was not the best looking game in the world. Basically to say the least it was a decent looking title that had a lot of room to improve upon. If I had to pick the biggest upgrade to the game it would have to be the game’s graphics. Everything about Moto GP 2 is well done, and you will find this out right when you start the game.

The tracks and weather conditions are the best looking in the game. Each track has there own unique look that represents the tracks exactly how they look in real life. The weather effects like mentioned earlier are also quite impressive and have a major impact on how the race should be handled.

The racers, and there bikes have had a major facelift from the original. There has been a lot more detail added to the bikes so that you will be able to represent which bike is which. Also very impressive are the crash sequences, and although you don’t want to get into the crashes, at least you will be happy to know that the crashes look very real when they take place.

Fun Factor

It really all depends on who you are and what type of racing titles you like. This is a pure on simulation and even with an arcade mode, there is just not enough for an arcade enthusiast to want to pick up Moto GP 2 for. The game is a lot of fun to play online, especially when you get heated championship games going. The single player mode is also quite fun, as it is equally challenging. Basically if you liked the first one you are also going to agree that the second one is equally as fun.

Overall

Moto GP 2 is one of those sequels that is more like an expansion pack then it is a true sequel. This is really what holds me from giving the game a better rating. If you already own the first, then I don’t see a big reason to go rush out and by this one. If you somehow missed the first one then heck this is the best online racer out there.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.