Capcom has secured the exclusive worldwide rights to publish games in the MotoGP series across all hardware platforms.
PlayStation Portable has helped deliver console-style experiences to previously uncharted locations: up mountains, on the train, over there a bit, next to a tree I expect. But on the back of a motorbike?
MotoGP on the PSP is almost the same game as on the home console - that’s Sony’s home console, and Namco Bandai’s MotoGP 4, not Microsoft’s home console and THQ’s MotoGP 2006, since the two are entirely different games that are totally unrelated to each other. Just to be clear.
So yeah, it’s almost the same game as on the home console, and it is in every sense, a very technical title. It’s a pretty impressive technical achievement for a start - one of the growing roster of games that show off exactly what Sony’s handheld hardware is capable of, boasting polished graphics, a decent framerate, competent (if insanely awful) audio, impressive handling, slick and licensed presentation and all that sort of stuff. And it rewards precise and technical riding.
As you’d expect, if you’re familiar with MotoGP 4, the chief draw is the roster of real-world riders, including Valentino Rossi, Marco Melandri, Nick Hayden, Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa, Alex Barros and Shinya Nakano. In the Season mode you get to play as one of them for a one-off season, or you get to play as yourself over several seasons, trying to work your way up to ride for the higher-ranking teams. In addition to Season mode, there’s Time Trial and Arcade, which are both pretty self-explanatory, and, as an unlockable, One-on-one, which allows you to go head to head with one of those aforementioned real-world riders. And there’s the ad hoc multiplayer mode, which, like on the home console, is a bit hamstrung by the unlikelihood of finding eight friends with a copy of the game.