I absolutely loved this back in the day, and on the original Xbox I used to play the CD of David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down in the background of games like this and Project Gotham Racing as it really went well together with it. It’s one of my favourite albums of the late great Bowie, even though it wasn’t critically well-received, and out of all the people who disliked it the most, Bowie, himself, was one of them! He really shoudn’t have been so hard on himself.
Back to the games, though, and this musical process didn’t work so well with the Xbox 360 when they made any CD audio deliberately slightly muted… Beyond that, I started to make videos for Youtube and I didn’t want any copyright claims, so ditched the music altogether. This is a shame, but such is life.
After a few laps round a track, you soon realise that zooming around at top speed all the time is not the way to go, given that you’ll soon come a cropper and go over the handlebars. Plus, as you’ll see in the video below, after doing badly in a practice session, I was no.12 out of 12 riders, yet I think somehow I must’ve been lapped by the leader, then got ahead of him, and suddenly my position was now 1st out of the 12. Huh? How can that be explained?
But humans can also do some silly things, too. Making sure you don’t run out of petrol is also a lesson I learned the hard way, although given that in the time it took for them to recover the bike and get me back out on the track, I’d somehow only dropped from 4th to 6th place.
When you look at my gameplay in these videos, I know there’ll be people who are far better at this than me, but I just want to play it for the fun of it.
As you go round the track, it sets out markers which show precisely where you should be (which I’m hopeless at sticking to), and if you’re at the right speed for any particular section, the marker will be blue. Slightly too fast, and it’s yellow, while even faster and it’ll be red, and it won’t matter anyway because you’ll be on your backside in the grass verge before long.
The more you play MotoGP 20, you realised just how valuable this is. If it’s blue, you can take that sharp corner with ease; if it’s yellow, then just ease off the accelerator a bit, and if it’s turning to red, then take action now!
When going for a race, you can choose whether to play out the full weekend, with four free practice runs, two qualifying sessions, a warm up and then the race itself… but I just want the race! That’s where the action is! Sure, you’ll start the race in last place on the grid, but hey, I’ll soon be there, anyway!
You can also ‘Activate Rewind Mode’ and, effectively, cheat, but I didn’t want to do that. If I muck up, I muck up. Rewinding what’s meant to be ‘live’ feels like being thrown back into the Animus in an Assassins Creed title. I just want to be IN the moment, not pretending to be in the moment.
If there’s any downsides, then like any racing game, the sound of the engine does tend to grate a little after a while because they never sound any different from one race to another – then again, in the aforementioned 2003 MotoGP game, the bike sounded like a dentist’s drill when it’s digging in deep!
Also, the dialogue from the voiceover guy, both before AND after a race, is identical each time. The same goes for the way people are stood about before a race begins, looking at you with a fixed ‘Children of the Corn‘-style stare. However, it’s not that you really need to concern yourself with, since you just want to get into the thick of it!
In addition, there’s there Historic mode – play as classic riders from many moons ago, although as I am just a fan of the videogame and don’t know a whole heap about those who’ve taken part since time began, I wouldn’t know them from Adam. It’s an interesting extra race or three, though.
Then there are quick modes like a Time Trial, one-off Grand Prix races, or start a new championship. Plus, you can customise your bike to your heart’s content.
Also, I set my name as DVDfever, and gave myself a female avatar, yet that appears to work only for the Career mode, since elsewhere, it decided I was Marc Marquez. How odd.
Of course, there’s also multiplayer, but as I was playing this prior to the release date of the game, there was no-one to play with. Normally, I don’t do multiplayer, but for a brief time when I first had an Xbox, I got stuck into a few races online, so after all this time, I WILL try it again!
The same also goes for DLC on checking this out prior to release.
- Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
- Publisher: Milestone S.r.l.
- Players: Single player campaign, multiplayer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.