previews\ May 9, 2006 at 8:00 pm

MotoGP '06 - 360 - Preview

E3 2006 Hands On Preview

A bump in a turn and you end up eating pavement. Too fast into a corner and you slide wide, eating more than just pavement.  MotoGP ’06 is geared up for the 360 platform and if the graphics don’t have your eyes poppin’ and jaw droppin’, then perhaps the racing mechanics will.

THQ showed off the title at a pre-E3 event in Los Angeles, and the title was looking hot.

Let’s get into the features – 17 GP tracks, fully licensed riders and tracks and bikes from the 2005/2006 season, 17 extreme tracks (rebuilt and streamlined for speed) and all new extreme bikes, up to 16 players per race online with a seeding system (and embedded online gameplay with a spectator mode and commentator mode), up to 20 riders competing in each class, four-player split screen option, improved audio (hook it up to surround sound and be prepared to be very impressed) and photo-realistic high-def graphics moving at a 60 frame per second clip.

Players can jump into a quick race or career mode. In the career mode you will have to practice, qualify and then race. Win races and you can upgrade your machine with the prize money.

The game itself had a terrific feel to it. The controller does have vibration feedback, and the machine played on was very responsive to the player input.

First time around, in rookie mode, a couple of bumps meant spectacular spills – impressive save for the fact that it was my rider – and a steady drop down the list at the finish line. Lesson learned, back into the race, accelerate fast, get space, take a few chances in the tight corners and then power down the stretches as fast as possible. The tried-and-not-so-true method of “what brake? Who needs to brake?” was quickly supplanted by finding out where the brakes were and when best to use them in swinging wide toward the bend in the track, touching the brake to slow, and then cutting inside the corner as the accelerator was mashed. The result? A satisfying, for the moment, fifth-place finish.

THQ calls this “a truly fresh and aspirational title even for hardened fans of the series.” That much is certain. MotoGP ’06 is challenging, fast-moving racing action that captures the thrills and spills in a wonderful way.

Look for this title to release in the Summer of 2006.


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