One More MotoGP in the Works?

MotoGP'06

Yesterday we brought the somewhat disturbing news of MotoGP developer Climax Racing getting bought up by Disney parent company Buena Vista and focusing on Disney’s back catalog for future games. The implications are scary, but it seems we can expect at least one more MotoGP game, not because Disney wants it or because of the series success…rather because MotoGP’07 is too far along to cancel at this point. It seems the future of the series beyond next year will be decided later.

Full Story at Pro-G

IGN Details Forza 2

Forza Motorsport 2

IGN has spent some quality time watching Forza 2 up close at X06 in Barcelona, and have posted some impressions:

We were shown 3D grass swaying in the breeze, a handful of excellent cars, and we learned about how the Forza team is tuning the difficulty levels for Forza 2. There were three levels of damage in Forza 1: no damage, moderate damage, and heavy damage, the latter one being the culprit. With heavy damage, Greenawalt and his team learned, players would create massive crashes and still come out relatively unscathed. They were taking advantage of a system not built for such abuse. So for Forza 2, the heavy damage mode will be full damage. That is, a serious crash will total the car, ending the race. Is Greenawalt a spoilsport? Nah, he’s a competitor, and he wants his game to be played fairly.

Full Preview at IGN

Eurogamer Reviews Ridge Racers 2 on PSP

Ridge Racer 2 on PSP

And, in general, aren’t too impresed with the full-priced mild-update:

The menus, the graphics, the sounds, the loading prompts, the game structure, the multiplayer mode, the tracks, the cars, the controls, the HUD, the classes, the icons. These things don’t just look a bit the same; for the most part they actually are. The most distinctive thing in the first few hours is that it’s New Rally-X being played on the loading screen, not just Rally-X.

That’s because Ridge Racers 2 isn’t really the sequel the big “2” on the box suggests (the box looks the same, by the way). Instead it’s one of those popular-in-Japan remixes, featuring much the same content with a bit extra. Think of it as Ridge Racers: Final Mix.

Full Review at Eurogamer

Disney Climaxes with MotoGP Developer Acquisition

In what can only be bad news, Climax Racing, the developer behind the popular Xbox and PC franchise MotoGP and the PS2 franchise ATV Offroad Fury, has been bought up by Disney of all people.

“The Walt Disney Company holds one of the largest and most exciting portfolios of intellectual property in the world, and through BVG, we look forward to having access to the company’s deep resources in the video games space to continue creating remarkable interactive entertainment,” said [Climax VP] Beckwith. “This promises to be a mutually beneficial relationship and we believe that together we will make outstanding games for the next generation and beyond.”

What does this mean? Goofy in leathers? Minnie getting mad air off of a tabletop jump on an ATV? Oh the horror…

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Blu-ray For Nothin’ and your Gigs for Free

As picked up by gamesindustry.biz, Sony Computer Entertainment President Phil Harrison has made some interesting comments in an interview with GamePro Magazine:

We put our Blu-ray disc functionality in the console purely from a game design point of view…Once we had that storage capacity on Blu-ray disc, adding the movie playback functionality was extremely cost-effective, [the cost] is actually non-existent

Full Story at gamesindustry.biz

This lends one to wonder: is the PS3 worth $500 or $600 without the Blu-ray drive?

X06 Underway

Not content with just E3 or the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft has for the past few years run their own special show in some exotic locale. This year it’s X06 in Spain, and this year the focus is, of course, Xbox 360 and Windows Vista. We’ll have some more specific news for you in a bit about some of their announcements, but if you want the whole blogger-style rundown 1UP has you covered.