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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June 2003, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Review: Moto GP 2: URT
By Darren Waters

Moto GP 2
Moto GP 2
Format: Xbox and PC
Price: 39.99
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Racing

Moto GP: Ultimate Racing Technology was one of the sleeper hits of the Xbox console.

An exemplary racing title in its own right, Moto GP only came to the rightful attention of a wider audience when an online-enabled version was given away free to Xbox Live subscribers.

Thousands more people were suddenly able to admire the high-performance gameplay and rock solid graphics.

Welded to this was online play, adding the excitement of racing up to 15 other people from across the globe, which has quickly become the benchmark for all Xbox Live titles.

So good, in fact, was Moto GP that it was hard to see where developer Climax could improve.

But improve they have - in all aspects of the game.

It looks better, plays better and the online experience remains the definitive broadband thrill for console gamers.

The offline, single player mode includes new career challenges and new 500cc bikes to explore.

There are more world championship tracks, all recreated with almost frightening precision - right down to the height of crash barriers and width of tyres.

The animation and crash effects are sublime - giving a dizzying sense of speed and danger.

There is also the option to fully customise your bike - right down to your own personalised logo on the machine - which you can then take online to race around the world.

VERDICT
Moto GP 2
Graphics: 96%
Playability: 90%
Sound: 95%
Realism: 98%
Overall: 95%

The controls are difficult to master at first - with the option of both front and rear brakes - but persistence is rewarded and within hours you will be hugging the fringe of a curve and finding the right racing line.

The improvements, however, may not be enough to appeal to the casual competitor, who has tended to turn his or her nose up at bike racers in the past.

More devoted motorcycle enthusiasts will see the game as a must-have purchase.

If you have an Xbox then Moto GP 2 is quite simply the best offline racer - and if you have Xbox Live it is the most solid online experience you can have.




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