Moto Racer 2
Two for the price of one seems like a reasonable deal, and this is effectively what we have here. As was the case with its predecessor, Moto Racer 2 hedges its bets, offering both superbike and motocross action. The disciplines can either be tackled individually or combined to make up a dual championship, the 32 tracks taking in such disparate locations as Brittany, the Amazon and the Sahara Desert. An array of weather conditions must be contended with, and some token night racing is thrown in. The particularly keen can take advantage of the 3D track creator, and for a 'having your mates round' situation, up to four players can race on a split screen. So far, so good.
Let's examine the superbike option first Obviously, the graphics look alright, but it would be a disgrace if they didn't. The tracks are reasonable and the bikes are fairly realistic, the riders shifting around in their seats in a vaguely disturbing fashion. The handling is pretty simplistic, and effectively it's a car game on two wheels. Business as usual.
So what about the motocross section? Due to the dynamic nature of the sport, this is clearly more difficult to simulate, as Moto Racer 2 proves, employing a fairly arbitrary interpretation of the laws of physics. This simply isn't motocross, the handling proving more akin to speedway. On the flatter tracks, races consist largely of one long powerslide. Where there is phat air to be grabbed, it is apportioned in a seemingly random fashion, bearing no relation to either speed or topography. It was always going to suffer in comparison to the exemplary Motocross Madness, but this simply isn't good enough, and when playing the dual championship the motocross section rapidly becomes an annoying intrusion.
A bit of an oddity, then. Optimists will be grateful for a half-decent superbike game, with the bonus of some lame motocross action as a mild diversion. Pessimists, however, will claim that it detracts from the overall quality of the game, which is already blighted with some lazy programming. For instance, it suffers heavily from the perennial tunnel syndrome - bikes bouncing off an invisible wall when approaching the perimeter of the track, which is all the more ludicrous when it happens in mid-air. Furthermore, in the night races the lights are little more than a blob of yellow in front of the bike. The sound's a bit rubbish as well, the waspish tone remaining the same throughout. And why do you always have to start at the back of the grid?
Admittedly, these aren't issues likely to bring down governments, and if it sounds like we're whinging it's because we are. We can't go around recommending every two-bit racing game simply on the grounds that it looks nice. At best, Moto Racer 2 is an average PlayStation game. Harsh but fair.
The original Moto Racer arrived to a very favourable reception from the press last year. The sequel is almost upon us, and judging by the early demo of the game we received at E3 it looks set to improve upon the first game in almost every way. Enhanced native 3D support gives the game a very polished look, as well as providing all-new weather effects such as rain and snow. But perhaps the biggest enhancement over the original is the inclusion of a track editor which enables you to create your own tracks. As in the first game, both arcade and simulation modes are included, giving know-it-alls the opportunity to show how they can handle realistic bike models, and complete duffers the opportunity to play about with their gamepads while their bikes steer themselves around the circuits.
Download Moto Racer 2
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Moto Racer 2 Screenshots and Media
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