Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer First Look Preview

Tecmo Koei's jockey sim is getting the full Kinect and PlayStation Move treatment, as we found out at the MCM Expo in London.


Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer

The story behind Champion Jockey has a lot to do with the still-recent forming of its publisher. Before Tecmo and Koei merged, each had a successful horse racing series--Tecmo with Gallop Racer and Koei with G1 Jockey. G1 Jockey 2008 was released on the Wii and sold particularly well, according to Koei, thanks to the inclusion of Wii Balance Board support. Now, thanks to the release of other motion-based control systems, such as the Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation Move, the combined publisher thinks it can appeal to an even wider demographic than ever.

We got a chance to see the game on the PlayStation 3 with Move support to find out if another market is (literally) ready to jump on the horse. We got to see Fun mode, where the aim is to ride your horse in an arcade manner, using as much energy as possible. In Sim mode, you have to pay more attention to your horse's individual riding style (it may prefer to hang at the back or lead at the front), as well as trading, breeding, and becoming a career-lasting champion jockey.

The setup Tecmo Koei showed us used two Move controllers, but you can use any combination of navigation controllers and standard DualShock/Sixaxis controllers that you like. The idea is to watch the horseshoes onscreen as they light up, and then gallop in time to the flashes. You can steer the horse by lifting up one of the controllers for left or right, and flick both controllers in the air to jump. You can also use the Move controller as your whip, holding it out for the horse to see as a threatening device or using it on the horse to make it race for the finish.

Champion Jockey will offer a two-player split-screen mode and, for the first time in the series, a four-player online mode. While we got to see the game on the PlayStation 3, it will also be launching on the Xbox 360 and Wii. On both the PS3 and Xbox 360, motion controls will be supported, but will not be necessary, so don't worry if you have yet to buy the necessary equipment. The game is currently planned for release in Europe in September, so aspiring jockeys should keep an eye on store shelves later in the year.

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