|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Monumental Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 23, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-20||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Imagine looking under the hood of a Ferrari and finding a cartoon hamster running on a wheel. That's how I feel about MotoGP 09/10. It has the look, and it's filled with features, but the actual feel of the bikes is not convincing. The game combines sim and arcade elements but, unfortunately, the arcade feel should not relegate the feel of the bikes. They don't have much of a sense of weight, something that's annoyingly noticeable when leaning into a turn. MotoGP 09/10 is filled with a great variety of challenges, but the first challenge to conquer is the floaty feel of the bikes. The second greatest challenge is to keep from getting bored.
I'm not disappointed MotoGP 09/10 is less sim than other MotoGP titles, I just want a good feel when racing my vehicle. That's not to say the bikes are easy to control, as they do take some practice. Once you get the hang of the control system, you can push these babies and not worry about losing control as the arcade physics of the bikes is very forgiving, but at the same time you don't have the finesse of the sim. The sensitive nature of handling a two-wheeled vehicle feels very artificial. The parameters of the control scheme are set in such a way that there is a hard line you don't want to cross. There is very little warning to indicate that you're pushing the controls too far. As long as you stay in the ballpark, there is plenty of room for error, but it would be nice if there was some kind of incremental indicator to warn when you're approaching the threshold of disaster.
MotoGP 09/10 is loaded with features. There's plenty to take your mind off of the handling issues. For instance, there are lots of modes including split-screen multiplayer and a 20-player online mode. However, the crux of the biscuit is the Career mode. Here you'll have to work your way up the hard way. Nothing is handed to you. You'll begin with an anemic 125cc bike and attempt to win races and complete challenges to earn more money to upgrade and unlock new bikes and tracks. There's a good deal of micromanagement involved here, but, fortunately, the menu system makes it easy to understand and navigate. Not only will you have upgrades such as suspension, engines, tires, and breaks, but you'll also be dabbling in human upgrades as you choose publicists, managers, and mechanics.
Mechanical engineers will keep your bike running in tiptop shape. Engineers will be able to adapt new technologies to your bike to improve its performance. The better the engineer, the better your bike will perform. The actual increase in performance will be seen in increased speed and a more pronounced arcade forgiveness. It will also be reflected in a seemingly slower and ultimately beatable A.I., but that's not always the case. The A.I. is inconsistent. During the beginning of the race, and especially during qualifying, they'll make some serious mistakes, such as crashing into the wall, and then overtake you near the end of the race. Thankfully, you don't necessarily have to win each and every race to progress.
Another way to get money for your mechanical and human upgrades is through sponsorship. These corporations will expect varying levels of competence to keep you in the money, such as coming in the top eight or avoiding any major collisions. As with other upgrades, the better publicists you have, the better sponsorships you'll be offered. Strategy comes in to play when determining where to put your money. You can't go wrong with a faster bike and new tires that can really grip the track.