What looks like MotoGP, sounds like MotoGP and plays like MotoGP? (Aside from MotoGP of course.) Thats right! Its MotoGP 2 for the Xbox. Looking at this game you would assume they hardly changed anything from the original, and that assumption would be totally correct. MotoGP 2, much like the original, is a test in dexterity, timing, planning and patience and in some cases, how many curse words you can link together in a single sentence. People who dont care much for simulation type games should probably steer clear of this title. The first time you ever play a Moto GP game you will most likely find that you spend most of your time sliding on your butt across gravel, grass and pavement with your bike flying off in a different direction. Once you get by this incredibly steep learning curve you will find an extremely addictive racer that will please any fan of the racing genre. Unfortunately if you are a MotoGP fan and already own the original, this game (aside from some new tracks) really doesnt have enough to offer to justify buying it.
If youve touched the original Moto GP game at all, you know that Climax had already practically perfected the motorcycle physics engine. Because of this there werent many changes made going into the new game. Driving a bike in this game is just like driving the bikes in the predecessor. There are a couple of differences though: driving off the track and into the dirt or gravel will hurt your time a lot more (the clock will go twice as fast). This was most likely done to discourage people from cutting corners to clip a few seconds off their lap time. Now the only way to do well is to keep both tires on the pavement. The only other change seems to be that flying into the dirt carries a bit more of a chance of you flipping forward after your front tire catches on something. Now for the MotoGP newbies out there, this game is a sim to the max. Even the more arcade oriented stunt mode runs on practically the same physics as the regular game. Not only are the controls realistic, but the amount of tweaking you can do to your bike is admirable for any time of racing game. Some of the things you can change are the wheel base width, tire hardness, gear ratio and other such aspects of your motorcycle. Enough about the physics though, as there is plenty more to the gameplay to discuss. The biggest feature of this game is definitely the Xbox Live feature. In fact, when you put the game in it will load up and have you enter your Xbox Live profile, then say there is an error when you tried to log on and finally ask if you would like to resort to playing offline. Of course offline offers plenty of gameplay options between a well developed career mode, a quick race mode and stunt mode. That alone is enough to keep someone involved with Moto GP 2 for quite some time. Of course, if you do happen to have Xbox Live, this game will offer you a ridiculous amount of gameplay.
Climax did everything they could to cram as much realism into Moto GP 2 as possible and the graphics show it. From near-perfect movement physics to wonderful weather effects, this game will give you the impression of being right on the track while pushing your bike to its limits. The weather effects are probably the most impressive thing in the game: the rain will splatter and roll of your screen, if it is a hot day you will see heat waves in the distance Even the sunsets make you want to park your bike on the side of the track and just sit and enjoy it for a while. Not to be outdone by the weather, the terrain is just as impressive. When you are at a standstill everything is very nicely textured and detailed. When you are cruising at 150 miles an hour, these great visuals will blur by you creating a very impressive speed effect, giving you the feeling of going well 150 miles an hour. The last aspect of the graphics would probably be the models themselves, which keep on par with the rest of the visual department. All cycle and driver models are wonderfully constructed and totally customizable when creating a biker. Of course as I said before; this is the same as the original Moto GP. There is only one true improvement over the visuals from Moto GP 2s predecessor and that is the crash animations. Now when you wipe out your driver will tumble around as he skids to a halt with the whole situation being amplified by wonderful camera angles expressing just how bad of a driver you are.
The sound is where Moto GP 2 suffers the most. The sound effects in the game are realistic enough, but then again in a racing game there arent a whole lot of sound effects to be made. The one final field that this game could have stood out in was the soundtrack, but with a wide selection of mediocre rock tracks it really doesnt add much at all to the game. Luckily there is the option to use your custom soundtracks while in-game which makes listening to music while you are driving much more tolerable.
Suggestions: Dont get me wrong, this is easily the best motorcycle sim ever but why not add something new? Maybe you could add some crazy make-believe tracks or some different multiplayer modes. Either way, with a new release of this game it needed something new.