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September 20, 2005
MotoGP 4 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
140KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneYes

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Lots and lots of bikes.
Back in 2001 MotoGP from Namco was one of the best racing games around for Sonyís new machine. With two more high quality sequels under its belt expectations are high for the latest installment in the series MotoGP4. Being developed by Namco is usually a good sign that you are in for a damn good game. Is MotoGP 4 the crowning jewel in the series or is it simply more of the same? Letís take a look and find out.

From the second you load MotoGP4 you know you are about to be treated to a classy game. You see a FMV featuring highlights from the real life MotoGP. You are then asked a question, have you played the series before? If you answer yes you just start playing. If you answer no you get a few pages of info about the game from Namco and some advice to get started. MotoGP 4 has some great modes, Season, Arcade, Time Trial, Challenge, Paddock and Training. As this is my first time playing the series I went straight into the training mode, and I was pleasantly surprised to be treated to a very helpful and thorough training mode. You will quickly be introduced to all the racing elements that are crucial to success in the other modes, braking, cornering etc and you will be ready to race in no time at all.

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Looking through the visor.
The best of the game modes is Season were you can race in either the 125cc, 250cc or the MotoGP itself. You can either create your own character to race as or choose from the entire real life MotoGP roster. The big stars are all here with the likes of Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards, Alex Barros, Max Biaggi, Loris Caparossi and our own Troy Bayliss. All the big bike companies are on offer as well with Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki all there for the thrashing. You also get to race on all the real world tracks from the MotoGP, with all the famous tracks from Valencia, Le Mans, Donington and Philip Island all there for your enjoyment.

Doing well in races gives you GP points that you can use to buy riders, bikes, tracks and other items for your use in all the other modes. There really is a heap of stuff to be unlocked in this game that will keep you going for quite some time. Another really cool mode in MotoGP 4 is the Challenge mode. There are 125 different challenges for you to complete, these vary from beating a single rider over one lap, beating a certain time on a course, breaking in a certain area. They are all pretty fun and provide a few hours of enjoyment trying to beat them all.

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4-player racing action.
So the game has plenty of fun modes but that doesnít matter one bit if the racing is not good. Luckily for us the gameplay on offer here is as good as almost any racing title going around at the moment. The great thing about this game is that it offers something to players of all skills, you can jump straight into the arcade mode and have a few races and it doesnít take too long for you to get a couple of wins under your belt. That is because arcade mode is more forgiving of your mistakes. Whereas if you crank it up a notch and play under the more difficult simulation modes you will really have to know everything about your bike and every inch of the track to discover the perfect racing line. Controlling the bikes in this game is great. They are easy to get the hang off but they take along time to master, and that is exactly how it should be. On the higher difficulty settings you will notice a huge spike in the AI and they will provide a real challenge to even the most experienced of players.

MotoGP 4 is an interesting multiplayer game. Sadly there is no true online net play; I would have loved to have played this online with a dozen or so real life competitors. Instead we only get four player split screen and an 8 player mode which is achieved via a LAN set up. It is a real shame this game is not online as I think it would have been a massive success.

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Most tracks look nicer then this.
To be perfectly honest there are only a few slight niggles that slow MotoGP4 down. The main one for me is the lack of speed. You never really feel like you are going as fast as what the speedo onscreen says. It is by no means slow, but the sheer sensation of riding at over 250kmh a couple of inches of the ground is simply not what it should have been. The only other fault I have is the before mentioned lack of online play.

There is no doubt that the game looks the real deal though. All the bikes, tracks and riders look just as they should. Everything is done in high detail and looks just like one of the telecasts from the TV. From what I have seen of the previous games in the series this is easily the best looking of the series so far. Very nice indeed.

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What ship is that?
The audio is the one real letdown in the package. There is no commentary, the bike sound effects are nothing special and the music is typical rock tunes. Given the quality of the rest of the game this is really disappointing.

Without doubt MotoGP 4 is one of the most complete racing games around. It has something to please pretty much all racing fans, serious or not. There are heaps of unlockables to find, plenty of challenges to beat as well as some high quality racing to enjoy. So if you like your racing games this title will surely give you great value for money.

Review By: Graham Darko

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSOne of the better looking racing titles, easily the best in the series.
SOUNDReally lame sums it up I'm afraid, little effort was put into the audio.
GAMEPLAYArcade or simulation; there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
VALUEAll the modes in this game will keep you playing for a very long time.
OVERALLMotoGP 4 is really a class game that all racing enthusiasts will get a real kick out of. Solid graphics and plenty of game modes will have you hooked.

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