MotoGP 2006

MotoGP '06

MotoGP '06

Torque to the hand!

My understanding of the noble motorbike lurks somewhere between my understanding of owls (ast-hoot-ly observant) and my understanding of gravel (WHERE DID IT COME FROM HOW WHY ETC): I've never owned it, I don't know who makes it or how or why, but I'm capable of distinguishing it from its friends. Yes readers - I know - it's got all the makings of the Surely I'm Not The Best Person To Review This intro. But wait! I'm really quite good at MotoGP '06! And I love it to bits! So either this is a complete failure, or it's that rarest of things: a niche game with genuinely broad appeal. Stop paging down to the score.

No, really, stop paging down to the score. You're going to have to be patient. Otherwise you might struggle with the game proper. And that would be a real shame. So slow down. Pace a bit. Stroll around the drive-way. WAIT! What's that noise? AAARHH GRAVEL RUN.

This here MotoGP's handling model comes across as a further refinement of the excellent mechanics that made up the three Xbox games. You can brake at the front and back of the bike independently, make your choice of analogue or digital acceleration, and move around in the saddle to make that critical difference to top-speed, deceleration and cornering. GP '06 also retains the slightly odd power-slide move, accessed by nudging the back brake or double-tapping accelerate, allowing you to say pooh to the tightening of a corner by trying to zoom out of it instead of braking.

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MotoGP 2006

Sharp turn.

Motorbike games don't always get a fair hearing in the games press. There are people around here (me included) who'd jump up and down or at the very least offer counterarguments if somebody claimed Pro Evolution Soccer was just the same game every year, but MotoGP? Now, I'd imagine the standard of games journalists' health and habits has improved substantially over the past few years, but there aren't many obvious bike nuts, despite the potential for sitting down in a hunched position straining to see things zooming past us very quickly.

Ultimate Racing Technology?

We chat to Climax about making MotoGP on Xbox 360.

You lot seem to like motorbikes for some reason. Climax probably isn't arguing - its MotoGP series, published by THQ, has won all sorts of plaudits for its realistic depiction of crotchrockets and antics related to them, particularly the series' Xbox Live aspects. MotoGP was one of the first games to make use of Microsoft's fledgling online service back when it was a fledgling in 2002. As Climax gears up for the 2006 version on Xbox 360, we sent a few questions off to Climax about the shift to Microsoft's new console, both in terms of the underlying technology and the new Live.