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Review By: Jared Black
Developer:   Namco
Publisher:   Namco
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Racing
ESRB:   Everyone
Date Posted:   11-1-00

In the early years of the PSX's life, Namco's lineup of Ace Combat, Ridge Racer, and Tekken were largely responsible for Sony's early success. Much like they did with the original PSX, Namco has supported the PS2 launch with three games as well: Ridge Racer V, Tekken Tag Tournament, and Moto GP. Of these three, Moto GP is easily the least hyped and anticipated. We all know that hype doesn't really matter when it comes to game quality though, and as a game Moto GP is a launch title you shouldn't overlook.

To be honest, I didn't really expect a whole lot from Moto GP. What I expected to get was a rushed port of the Japanese arcade version (which ran on Namco's System-22 arcade board), with slightly enhanced graphics and the same mediocre gameplay. I figured that Namco, already having Ridge Racer V and Tekken Tag Tournament in the works, was simply looking to cash in at the PS2 launch with the only motorcycle racing game in town. In other words, I expected this game to be the "let's just get this out at launch to make a few quick bucks" game in Namco's launch lineup. I was wrong.

Moto GP features five real racetracks (such as Suzuka), twelve real bikes from real manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha, etc.), and real racing teams from the FIM Road Racing World Championship GP. Despite the fact that it features elements pulled from real life, Moto GP should be considered as an arcade game with minor simulation elements. Each bike is rated in different categories, including top speed, acceleration, braking, and handling. Unfortunately, in actual gameplay each bike handles roughly the same no matter what its stats indicate. There are differences in the way each bike handles, but the differences are so minor that once you learn the control scheme you can easily control any bike with minimal effort.

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