Moto GP: Ultimate Racing Technology 2
The untimely death of the legendary Barry Sheene earlier this year brought home the fact that he was probably the last truly famous motorcycle racer this country has produced. In the days of a mere three television channels, his epic battles with American archrival Kenny Roberts were more than capable of enlivening a dreary Saturday afternoon. As a measure of just how long ago that was, consider that Kenny Roberts Jr appears in this game, along with such other non-household names as Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi.
The concept of a sports game sequel generally entails giving the graphics a once over and updating any relevant data. That formula has naturally been applied to MotoGP 2, which comes replete with all 20 riders and all 16 tracks (as opposed to last year's ten) of the 2002 Moto GP World Championship. Not exactly up to date, but given the time constraints involved in developing a modem game, probably as close as you'll get.
There's also a host of different modes, including a Stunt option whereby you are actively encouraged to knock other riders off, as well as perform wheelies and 'endos' for points. The career mode enables you to enter the game as yourself, choose your colours, leathers and helmet, and even have your initials on your back, an option that will inevitably lead to an explosion of four-letter swear words among the terminally puerile (us, for instance).
There's also a pseudo roleplaying element, whereby completing certain tests earns points that can be used to improve cornering, braking and acceleration. And they'll often need improving, as complete control isn't easy, with a degree of manual dexterity required to master such things as leaning backwards or forwards, using the front or back brake, and even double tapping the accelerator to induce a powerslide.
Two Wheels Bad
And? Well, on the surface it's brilliant. The sense of speed can be terrifying, with the sensation exacerbated by some obscene motion blur effects. The courses are authentic, with the obligatory trackside fairgrounds seemingly modelled right down to the toothless simpletons running the waltzers. With stunning graphics, superb replays and immaculate production values, it's clearly a labour of love, with every area polished, even down to the non-bike related mini-games.
However, until someone comes up with a control method that enables you to ride like the Al riders instead of slewing all over the track like a drunk, bike games are always going to lag behind their four-wheeled counterparts. But if it's a bike game you want, this is definitely the one to get.
Download Moto GP: Ultimate Racing Technology 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP