Valentino Rossi – The Game Review

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This review was written by star of the NGB Show and resident motorbike expert, Matt ‘Maffoo’ Golding. You may have seen Maffoo giving his succinct reviews on our YouTube channel; this marks his writing debut, as he takes on the latest racing offering from P-Qube.

Game: Valentino Rossi: The Game
Developer: Milestone
Publisher: PQube
Reviewed on:  PS4 (Review code provided)

I have always been a fan of the Moto GP games. When I found out that developers Milestone were devoting a whole game to one of the world’s best motorcycle racers, I was concerned that this was a lot to live up to. Thankfully, Valentino Rossi: The Game does not disappoint.

This game has really captivated me since the moment it loaded it up. From the start of the game to setting your rider up with his name, details and facial features, even down to the style of your leather gear, is brilliant. The game warms you up wonderfully on all the different racing modes that are available from the Moto GP races, flat track races and even cars. I know what you’re thinking; why the hell are there car races in a Moto GP game? This is no ordinary car racing, this is drifting, which I think is a really nice little touch to add something different from your typical Moto GP game. Having all these different modes in the game is one of the main features which has made me want to just keep on playing.

In the base of the game you do still have your Moto GP season where you can either start in GP3 (which is for lower powered bikes) or just go straight up to Moto GP, which is where you get into your more powerful bikes. I personally enjoy a challenge, so I went directly for the Moto GP. The GP3 races are easier than Moto GP, as it involves slower bikes which are easier to control; it’s more of an amateur level. You start by joining a team and they give you goals to complete for every race, such as making at least 10th place out of 28 riders. If you complete these goals you can earn ‘respect’. I know that’s a mechanic that’s been done so many times, but for this type of game it is such a good way of gaining more experience. The more respect you get the more likely you are to be signed to a bigger, better team.

The game performance, I have to say, is sweet and smooth. I love how realistic the riding feels; the sensitivity of the turning, braking and throttle control are just as you’d expect from a real ride. To me, this game really does have it all in that area. Don’t get me wrong though, it is difficult, and that’s even with the rider aids on; a mechanic that offers you assistance with certain techniques, such as computer braking and the recommended riding line, which help a lot. It’s a game which will take plenty of practice.

There are lots of little aspects of the game which really earn it the name of the great Valentino Rossi, and one of these is the number of modes to play. For example,  Challenge The Doctor, where you can try and beat Rossi’s fastest times on the track on each of the Moto GP race courses; not an easy thing to do.

VR/46 Historic Event is a superb little mode, where you recreate some of the best moments that Valentino Rossi has ever had on a track from his very early days back in the nineties all the way up to more recent times. There are so many little extra bits to this game that really shows a good level of detail; you can customise your ride settings and adjust everything, like your suspension, your gear ratio, and your braking. If you’re not sure how to do that, there is a brilliant little mode which helps you adjust your settings, which I think is a clever addition for the amateur game player.

It is nice to see that you can have vehicle damage on the bikes, something you don’t get in many other driving or riding games, which of course can end your race if it ends up beyond repair. Trying to ride in all weather conditions as well makes a big change, as you have to adjust how you play in the rain or the sunshine.

There is a part of the package that really does disappoint me, however, and that is the graphics. They let the game down, and it feels a generation behind. The background just looks very simple and dated where I think they could have tidied and sharpened it up. It really is such a dated backdrop and where they have worked really hard on the gameplay, Milestone have missed a trick by forgetting about the initial graphics, which I think is an important thing to consider.

VERDICT

Despite this, I do have to say I have enjoyed this game, and expect I will carry on doing so. I hope that even if you’re not a massive motorbike fan you would give it go; it plays nice and smoothly and it’s lots of fun, but it just feels a little dated, with the graphics being one of the main things that let it down.

7/10

You can follow Maffoo on Twitter here for further thoughts on gaming and racing

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