Moto GP: Ultimate Racing Technology 3 Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

Racing a motorcycle is a total contrast to racing a four-wheeled vehicle around a track; this is obvious before even starting the engines of the two machines. The two-wheeled nature of a bike makes those sharp chicanes seem completely different from encountering a similar corner with a four-wheeled vehicle, but it’s also a refreshing change to take control of this seemingly unsafe “ultimate racing technology”.

The Moto GP series has always been highly regarded amongst gamers for its tight bike handling and authenticity. The original was also one of the early Xbox Live titles that helped kick Microsoft’s seminal service off. The series has reached number three in its stride, and this third game also brings a few “skyscraper size” changes to the track.

Most notable of these changes is the introduction of the Extreme mode, which just happens to be the polar opposite of the official GP mode. This new mode places fictional bikes into 16 brand new global environments, and in comparison the official tracks are devoid of anything remotely exciting in the trackside backdrops. These Extreme tracks often have you travelling through scenic routes, such as rural towns or steep and twisty mountain roads and just happen to be more interesting locales to race in. It’s almost like two games in one, which could perhaps woo a new audience besides that of the old faithful.

Moto GP 3 is simulation racing through and through, and beginners will periodically find themselves spectacularly tumbling off their bike. It’s a game that if it were a person it would be a cold and heartless character, but as a simulation title it’s also hugely satisfying to feel even the smallest of improvements in your performance. Braking distances almost require you to bring the tape measure out of the cupboard, to determine when you should begin to slow down. Ok that was an exaggeration, but make no mistake about it, Moto GP 3 is a tough one. There is a pretty thorough tutorial mode available, but it sadly allows you to get away with too many mistakes, which doesn’t help a great deal in teaching you the “dos and don’ts” when on the track. We can’t believe we are saying this, but we would have liked something a little more similar to the Gran Turismo series’ licence tests, although demonic at times, at least these trials barely left you any room for error.

Racing on the extreme tracks is actually more forgiving opposed to the blander GP tracks, as they are genuinely faster and often wider in nature. The extreme half of the game is definitely where its at for rookie racers, it’s also a great environment if you simply have no desire to take part in the GP or you just can’t be bothered learning the more technically demanding of tracks.

The career mode boasts four championships (Grand Prix, Extreme 600, 1000 and 1200) and various difficulty settings, which assures a pleasingly lengthy ride. Before beginning you’ll create a bike and rider through a nice amount of options, in which you can alter all the leathers and colours to suit your taste and even create a logo, then it’s onto the fast and smooth racing. The Grand Prix mode is a no-frills journey through the harsh official Moto GP tracks with authentic bikes and riders from the 2004 season. The brand new Extreme championships meanwhile have you travelling through many lovely vistas, beginning with buying a bike and then fitting enhancements to it as you progress, and then hopefully buying a better bike when financial resources improve through good racing results.

The same goes for your rider skills too, which you can improve after obtaining skill points throughout the career. Distributing these points to the respective skills can expand everything from the braking and the cornering to the top speed and acceleration.

To tie in with the career, the game also boasts a seeding feature, which begins at 100 and gradually starts dropping as you make headway through the career modes. When the seed reaches certain numbers you’ll unlock highlight videos from the sport itself, as well as reversed tracks, and new riders and bikes. Here comes the clever part: unlocking features of the game can actually be achieved online against other players, not only that, but your opponents will know how long you have been playing thanks to your seed number, which will give people a rough idea of your skill level.

Moto GP 3 is a fast and authentic racing title with a fantastic new extreme mode, which introduces a lovely set of road tracks. It’s also an unforgiving title with a large emphasis on skill. If simulation racing is your cup of tea then Moto GP 3 should complement your four-wheeled TOCA: Race Driver’s and Forza Motorsport’s perfectly.

8/10

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