Written By Shaun McCracken

In some genres on the Gamecube, we miss out. Such as racing sims, flight combat games and a well-known drought of some good RPGs. But for some reason, we of quite well with the selection of motcross games. Kind of a mystifying fact, but one I can't quibble much over. Perhaps that's because I live out in Lake Elsinore, which is kind of one of the hotbeds of this sport. I lived in Menifee for a few years (which is about 15 minutes from where I live now), and even went to high school and college there. It's not much of a town, but it was a course offered in Freekstyle. So in Riverside County, motocross is pretty big. And this is one genre we may be picky with. We've been offered a slew of Motocross games, from the crappy McGrath, to the fun but highly difficult Freekstyle. MX Superfly is a little different from those games. Instead of quick-paced action like Freekstyle, MX Superfly is a little more toned down, and favors a more in-depth experience. But does that make it better? Not really, since MX Superfly just didn't feel as fun to play as Freekstyle. It may gel with other MX fans, but I liked the fast-paced racing of Freekstyle, plus it had more character.

The options and courses offered in MXS are very different from Freekstyle. No over the top courses, or ones that take three and a half minutes to complete. No exciteable (or even sexy) riders, and no one really shows personallity. Here, your largest part of the game has you going through a series of events and challenges to build enough cash for new events and extras you may need. Getting to the goal amount takes some time, as you may not place in first every time, and may have to repeat some events. In a way, it kind of seems like Gran Turismo. Except you're limited to certain events, and you need to unlock your upgrades. Kind of a bonehead idea, but not nearly as stupid as the need to unlock your settings in Vanishing Point. Also, you can't really buy parts. Once something new is available, you can just exchange the old for new. But how can you tell that this is upgrading your performance? There's no meter or graph comparing your previous performance with the performance your new parts can deliver.

Let's talk about the courses. Unlike the loosley consturcted cities of Freekstyle (shall we say, ostentatious), MXS provides real-life courses such as Washdougal and the Loretta Lynn park. There are also stadium courses as well, which make this seem more like an in-depth competiton mode. But the way the game flows, it's just too boring. It was fun at first, but the rate of speed you travel feels so much less here. Also, when you hit the jumps, you seem to be floating in the air, with a reduced feeling of gravity as opposed to what it would be in real life. Freekstyle, despite the arcade feel, actually had a little more feeling of gravity. Another problem I have is with the lighting. It was way too dark on my TV. I know I have a crappy TV (maybe you don't), but even when I used a different TV, it still seemed pretty dark. This is a problem when you try to turn, and you can't see the walls or the boundaries. I've lost quite a few times because of this. Also, if you go off course, you bail. Why not tell you to go back on course? Why would somebody just suddenly "pass out" because they were out of bounds? Is somebody there firing off tranquilizer darts?

Aside from the fairly big career mode, there are some other modes that make up this game. There's a frestyle mode, a mode for special objectives and a single race mode. Oh, and there's the stunt course editor. The freestyle mode is adequate, but not remotely as fun as Freekstyle's. There are not as many tricks to pull, and the courses are not a fun-filled playground. Also, I had a hard time trying to pull off tricks in this game. You either don't get what you want in terms of a trick, or the function just doesn't happen at all. The special stages offered range from delivering pizzas, to getting the highest possible jump and delivering gas to stranded motorcyclists. It's an interesting additive, but not very compelling. It's a seperate entity, and really could do less with the meat of the game. More or less, they're party games. Finally, we have the stunt course editor. One of the most confusing and worthless editors ever offered in a video game. The editor in Moto Racer 2 was easier to manage than this. Here, you're presented with an akward view to place objects, an akward camera and a high level of frustration. I never went back to this after my first attempt. I usually like course/park editors, but this really put me off.

Graphically, this game goes in many directions. The framerate is at a solid 30, but feels much slower compared to Freekstyle. I think that has less to do with the framerate, and more with the sense of speed. The game features bump-mapping, but when you're standing still, it's unnoticeable. It only seems to occur when you're in motion. The courses look fairly good, but there's that issue with the lighting. I feel that the game is too dark. The player models all look alike and really have no character. This game uses Renderware, which has been put to great use by Criterion (who also created the software) in Burnout and Burnout 2. Why is it that any other company besides Criterion cannot make as good of use of the software as they can? The only company who did put some good use to it was Midway, for MK: Deadly Alliance, and Rockstar for GTA 3.

The sound is pretty uncompelling. The music roster is pretty weak, with no real noticeable talent. And that "Superfly" song really irritated me. I have not been so irritated by one song since "Super Bon-Bon" in Gran Turismo 2. The voice overs are pedestrian at best, and the sound effects are repetitive and hum-drum.

MX Superfly may appeal to those looking for an in-depth motocross experience. Somehow, this game didn't do it for me. It felt like it had a slow pace, a lackluster presentation (it has god-awful menus), a poorly implemented upgrade system, and a total lack of charatcer. Even though it has more courses than Freekstyle, and the AI is a little more fair, Freekstyle was just a more exciting and enjoyable product. I was hoping to get more gameplay out of this than I did, but I guess thats' the way things work out. This game may work out for some, but I wasn't too compelled by it.




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This game feels so slow and medicore compared to what else is out there, that it's hardly worth the time playing.

Acclaim's terrible MX games

ATV Offroad Fury 1, 2, 3

MX Unleashed


MTX Mototrax

2003-2006 SPM

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