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Moto Racer World Tour (PSOne)

I've had a bad taste in my mouth about motorcycle games ever since I finished that wretched piece of trash that Acclaim disrespectfully put Jeremy McGrath and Travis Pastrana's name on (Freestyle Motocross: McGrath VS Pastrana). After playing Moto Racer World Tour though, I see a glimmer of hope for the motorcycle racing genre that almost brings a tear to my eye. Moto Racer 1 and 2 sold over 750,000 copies worldwide, they were average games that were crippled by weak physics and poor graphics. All of this has changed with the third installment in the series. Moto Racer World Tour has all the makings of the best motorcycle racing game for the Playstation.

Infogrames was determined to make the most realistic Moto Racing experience yet, and they weren't far off. Bikes and riders feature realistic animations and the bikes are fitted with independent front and rear suspensions which make the cycles move like they're the real thing. Twenty stunts are available, a major improvement over Moto Racer 2's 5 stunts.

From Supercross to Motocross, and from freestyle to traffic, Moto Racer's simulation of the bikes' handling makes for the most realistic riding experience yet. Adding to realism, you have the chance to ride through 18 of the world's most famous circuits including Suzuka, Le Stade de France, and Britain's Isle of Man. They didn't stop there; Moto Racer all has 34 bikes spread out through three engine classes, 125cc, 250cc and 500cc.

Adding reply value are the plethora of modes; one detraction is that only two modes are available at the start of the game. Arcade, practice, time trial, and single race modes, the staples of most racing games are included. Tossed in to spice up the mix are freestyle, drag racing, and traffic modes. All the modes all have their quirks, but together they all complement each other to make a unique and varied experience. The freestyle mode, however, does not appease my extreme sporting cravings; After playing most of the game, I was expecting to get gameplay along the lines of Dave Mirra's freestyle BMX, what I got was gameplay a little worse than MTV Sports: Skateboarding and headache.

The tracks are incredibly though, a welcome addition to a game of this genre. Many racing games (ahem... Freestyle Motocross: McGrath VS Pastrana) aren't challenging enough. This AI is refreshingly challenging and unlike most other games of this genre, the riders are not dispersed throughout the track; the action is always hot and heavy as long as you're not too far away from the pack.

Another department in which Moto Racer shines is music. Although the music doesn't come from hit artists, the soundtrack is still filled with pumping rock tunes that add to the experience. What detracts from the soundtrack is that the music plays rather softly though during races; with such a good soundtrack its a crime to only keep the music in the background. Most tracks are also filled with environmental sounds, the sound of a crowd cheering, or animals in the distance.

For all intents and purposes, this game might have most of it's appeal with a motocross bike and motorcycle racing audience. The appeal to most others might be iffy at best. Moto Racer World Tour is the best of the motorcycle racing genre on the Playstation as of now, but its jagged riders, (sometimes) dirty textures, lackluster freestyle mode, and limited appeal make Moto Racer fall short of one of the 10 best games to date.

SOUND: 5.5/10
- The music is the best in its territory, but it plays too softly in the background during races.

GRAPHICS: 6.5/10
- The riders look a little scratchy, a bit rough on the edges.

- The bikes move like a dream, but when you go to fast or you try to jump a hill the bike control gets a little frustrating.

- Who can beat 18 tracks, 34 bikes, and 8 modes, you're going to be playing this game constantly, at least through the New Year.

FUN: 7/10
- This is the best motorcycle racing game on the Playstation right now.

OVERALL: 6.8/10
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