Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Video Game Review

Players go Full Throttle in ‘MotoGP 09/10’

DEVELOPER: Monumental Games
PUBLISHER: Capcom
SYSTEM: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3, PC)
PRICE: $59.99
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
I’m not a big fan of racing simulators, but I can appreciate the tireless work that goes into making them. It must be incredibly difficult to not only digitize real-life vehicles, but also program them to handle authentically. So, why does “MotoGP 09/10” offer motorcycles and tracks that were painstakingly recreated but provides totally unrealistic physics?

This is confusing because hard-core racing enthusiasts will be drawn to the title by the famous Moto GP name and real-life motorcycles, but they will hate the “arcade” feel. It is possible to adjust some options, but the result never comes close to being realistic. On the other hand, more casual players will like the unrealistic feel of driving but may be overwhelmed by the Arcade Mode. This mode puts players in total control of their career, forcing players to hire engineers to research upgrades and press officers to get new sponsorship deals.

Fans of arcade racing will like the fact that it’s very hard to wreck as well as the unrealistic acceleration around turns and lack of penalties for braking hard. There is also an optional “guideline” that shows the best line through turns, which I find to be the most difficult part of realistic racing. Some authenticity is added by the new ability to decrease drag while tucking. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to turn while tucked, which is disappointing.

“MotoGP 09/10” looks great, but not photo realistic like some other racing simulators. Several real-life tracks, such as Le Mans, have been authentically recreated and the sense of speed is spot-on. Too bad the sound effects are so poor. It just seems silly to ride a powerful 800cc bike that sounds like my lawn mower.

Still, “MotoGP 09/10” has lots to offer for those who like games that stress fun over realism.

‘Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon’

DEVELOPER: tri-Crescendo
PUBLISHER: XSEED Games
SYSTEM: Nintendo Wii
PRICE: $49.99
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 3 stars (out of 5)

Most role playing games on the Nintendo Wii are bogged down by motion controls or don’t use them at all, but they actually enhance “Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon.” This unusual action-adventure game features a few RPG game play elements and an intriguing, RPG-like story line, but the experience is sometimes overshadowed by extremely annoying combat elements.

Seto is a typical young, wimpy, androgynous-looking JRPG hero who finds himself completely alone in a post-apocalyptic world. Surrounded by smoldering ruins and threatened by various ghosts and goblins, he sets off to explore the environment and find other humans. Exactly what happened to cause such devastation is part of the mystery, and this fact helps add tension and wonder to the story. Many games feature post-apocalyptic stories, but none have been able to evoke the same types of feelings that “Fragile Dreams” does.

Seto only has his trusty flashlight to guide him at the beginning, and it’s also used in combat. When invisible enemies make themselves known though sound effects, the player must shine the light to make them appear. Then the player can attack with conventional weapons. The really cool part is that the player controls the flashlight via the Wiimote pointer, which gives exploring a very realistic feel.

So, why are some conventional moves found in modern games missing? If I could strafe, then I wouldn’t have to run past the enemy and then turn to face him to continue the assault after he dodges an attack. Also, why is there so much backtracking? Couldn’t the developers figure out a better way to lengthen the adventure without using archaic designs?

Players who can look past these flaws will find “Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon” to be one of the Wii’s more enjoyable titles.

REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM

5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don’t Bother

RATINGS KEY

Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E: (Everyone)
E10-plus: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)

To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM.

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