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banner Friday, 22 February, 2002, 17:53 GMT
Let's play: MotoGP 2
BBC Sport Online reviewer David Gibbon thinks Moto GP is well worth investing in - unless you own the first one.

Ever since the days of bike racer Road Rash, this genre of video game has enjoyed a major following.

Namco's original MotoGP was a launch game for the PlayStation 2, which combined well-represented game dynamics with great 3D visuals.

The only real problem it suffered from was that it came with just five circuits - severely reducing its long-term appeal.

This sequel has 10 tracks - the original selection plus five new offerings.

Handling, acceleration and transmission can all be changed and you can also choose the weather conditions.

As with the original, you get three modes of play - arcade, where you are pitted against 20 other riders, championship and time trial.

  MotoGP 2
Format: PlayStation 2
Price: 39.99
Publisher: Namco
Genre: Motorcycle racing
Also Available: N/A

While the arcade mode is great for its pick-up-and-play value, the championship is the one real fans will head to.

You get to race for one of three novice teams, with a practice session determining your grid placing.

When each race ends, you are awarded points depending on your finishing position.

If the total points at the end of 10 races meets a set target, you sign a deal with your racing team.

After five seasons the rider with the most points is crowned the champion.

MotoGP 2 also includes the challenge mode found in the original.

This asks you to complete 70 tasks, from beating a track record to braking within a set distance.

Finally, the legends mode puts you up against some of the all-time greats.

This needs to be unlocked by completing the challenge mode - and adds further to the game's overall value for money.

Finally, there's the simulation feature.

Having this on makes the game supremely realistic - the bikes become very sensitive and taking a corner slightly too harshly will result in your rider ending up on a grass verge.

  Gibbon's verdict
Graphics: 87%
Playability: 86%
Sound: 58%
Realism: 92%
Overall: 86%

Novices should ride with this off. You stay on your bike for the majority of the time but still need to use the brakes to slow down at bends.

The visuals in MotoGP 2 are very similar to the original. The bikes are essentially the same - though the riders have been created with noticeably more polygons.

Other effects - like reflections - have been upgraded - and the rain that comes down is superb.

If you own the original MotoGP game, it's fair to say that buying this may leave you a little disappointed as the changes and enhancements - though effective - are relatively small.

For those who don't own the original, this is an absolute must.

Its gameplay is superb, the visuals excellent and the whole experience leaves you on the edge of your seat.

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