(Capcom for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
All of the sponsorships, realism, and true-to-life physics in the world can’t save a racing game if the actual on-track racing isn’t satisfying. Satisfying gearheads is one thing, but if a series wants to be known outside of its hardcore niche, it has to throw a bone to Joe Gamer who doesn’t obsess over tire compounds and ABS strength levels. MotoGP 09/10 definitely gets these fundamentals right. It gives the player a great sense of speed, even on the slowest bikes, and ratcheting things up to the MotoGP speed level will put your heart rate on the brink of a grabber (first-person view in this mode is strictly for the iron willed). It also implements the reward-you-for-everything system of Project Gotham and last year’s Need for Speed: Shift, showering the screen with bonuses for overtakes, clean lines, etc., even one-upping previous iterations of the system by incorporating fun mini-challenges (intimidate a driver, reach a top speed) over the course of career mode. Compared to other modern racers, the graphics won’t turn any heads, and the difficulty is certainly stiffer than its competitors, but armchair adrenaline junkies and nitpickers alike should find something to like here.