Who says you have to grow up? Here at SI.com's Game Room, our staffers review the latest sports video game titles to hit the market and welcome your feedback.
7/18/2006 11:59:00 AM
Review: MotoGP'06 (XBOX 360, $60)
This pic really is from the game, not a real MotoGP race.
Posted by Jacob Luft
Do you ever read the instruction booklet? Generally, it's pointless, and I rarely bother. That goes for new bookshelves and entertainment centers, too, not just video games.
Take the first page of the MotoGP '06 manual, for example. The headline at the top of the page states:
Important Health Warning About Playing Video Games
What follows is a diatribe on the symptoms of video-game-related seizures, at the end of which they offer this advice on how to reduce the risks:
Sit farther away from the television screen.
Use a smaller television screen.
Play in a well-lit room.
Do not play when you are drowsy or fatigued.
Let's take these one at a time.
Sit farther away from the television screen. I live in a tiny apartment in Hoboken, N.J. Even though it's Jersey, we're basically talking Manhattan prices and space here. In other words, you can stand in the living room and kitchen at the same time. The only way to sit farther away from the TV is to go out into the hallway.
Use a smaller television screen. Smaller? You can't go smaller with your TV. That's just un-American. I have a 51-inch Sony HDTV widescreen, and if there's anywhere to go from here it's up, toward the majestic 60-inch, plasma/WEGA/advanced alien technology plateau.
Play in a well-lit room. Sorry, but how am I supposed to see the bad guys coming in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter without the lights turned off?
Do not play when you are drowsy or fatigued. So I guess it's not a good thing to pass out on the couch with the controller in your hand, huh?
Put this all together and I'm a seizure waiting to happen, and I'm guessing many of you are, too.
Anyhow, it's a good thing MotoGP '06 is not as pointless as its instruction manual. The best thing you can say about a racer is that it's a good cruising game, and this one qualifies. Hook up your iPod to your XBOX 360, set it on random and start your engines.
If there is a downside to this game, it's the steep learning curve. At the outset, MotoGP '06 forces you to go through a full season of the unforgiving Grand Prix series, which is super-realistic to the point of frustration. You have to slam your brakes before taking a curve or else you'll end up sliding off the road and losing precious time.
The real fun begins after you get through the Grand Prix series and the Extreme mode is unlocked. Extreme offers more arcade-style action and less realism; taking a turn at 155 mph is a blast. Plus, by this point you've built up points on your bike that you can distribute any way you please among four attributes: cornering, braking, top speed and acceleration. (Pour most of your points into cornering to start with.)
After you build up your attributes and customizing your bikes, take the action online and see how your creations fare on the XBOX Live network. Just make sure you aren't sitting too close to the TV at the time.
Ratings System (1 to 10)
Game Play: 8.0
This is not an easy game. Once you get out of rookie mode and try out the pro levels, you'll find that the other drivers will knock you down at every chance. Not for the weak of heart, but if you enjoy a challenge, this game is quite rewarding.
At 60 frames per second, this game delivers the speed you need with some amazing views. I've crashed more than a few times while taking in the scenery.
The solo action is fun on its own, but after a while you want to get online and put your skills to the real test.
Going strictly by gameplay, this might be EA's best effort yet.
Posted by Jacob Luft
Playing and reviewing MotoGP '06 got me wondering: What are the best racing games of all time? Here's my list, which I'm sure many of you will disagree with. Hey, that's what the comment button at the bottom is for.
1. F-Zero X (Nintendo/N64)
Sacrificing bells and whistles for pure speed, it's still the fastest racer I've ever played. If you took a turn too quickly, you paid the ultimate price, careening off the track and falling hundreds (thousands?) of feet to your doom.
2. Project Gotham Racing 2 (Microsoft-Bizarre Creations/XBOX)
It's all about Kudos and taking turns at ungodly speeds. The best mode was the cone challenge circuit. Did anybody ever understand the title?
3. Gran Turismo (SCEA/PS1, PS2)
PlayStation lovers swear by it, so we'll try to appease them. I've always been an XBOX guy, so you PS fanboys out there will have to enlighten me on which title of this series is the best.
4. Super Mario Kart (Nintendo/SNES)
As with all the Mario titles, the procurement of mushrooms plays a key role. You think parents ever caught on to this?
5. Forza Motorsport (Microsoft/XBOX)
The XBOX's answer to Gran Turismo, it was too realistic for my blood. I spent most of the time customizing my cars' paint jobs and decals.
6. MotoGP '06 (THQ, Climax/XBOX 360)
Yeah, this game belongs, if for no other reason than for the fact that it can sustain 60 fps. (Click here or scroll up on the Game Room main page for a full review.)
7. Outrun (Sega/Arcade)
The map was like a March Madness bracket. How far could you get? Plus, how cool was it that you could pick from three soundtracks?
8. Daytona USA (Sega/Arcade)
For years, this was the best thing Dave & Buster's had going for it.
9. Pole Position (Atari/Arcade)
You see that pixelated blue blob on the screen? Yeah, that's a puddle.
10. Top Gear 2 (Kemco/SNES)
This had to be one of the first titles to feature upgradeable cars. Also, the cars sustained damage, which was crucial in the two-player mode because you could go out of your way to wreck your buddy's car.