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The graphics on this game are worse than I’d expect even for one of these low-cost titles. This almost goes back to the launch of the console when developers were still trying to get used to programming the PlayStation. The scenes and backgrounds are plain and unimaginative. There are areas where you get pop-up (usually near the shameless Pepsi ads… Pepsi, what were you thinking??) and the rider and bike are pretty crude polygon renderings. You really notice this when he falls off the bike.
After the graphics, I wasn’t expecting much in the sound department. There is a blaring guitar rift in the background that repeats itself over and over driving you insane and the sound effects of the bikes are so bad that you just have to laugh, as there is no relation between using the accelerator and the noise of the engine. In a real motocross, when you fly off a jump, you’d hear the engine whine higher and faster as the wheel spins with no resistance. Not in this game. The high point comes when the rider sometimes yells out a simple phrase during a trick… yup that’s as good as it gets..!
Even with all of these negatives, Deibus Studios could have still had something decent if they concentrated on the playability. One decent thing they did do was to enable the use of the thumbsticks to steer, accelerate and brake; that made control and mastering cornering easier. There was no use of the vibration mode to help with the feel of the bike while riding. The race default is four laps, but you get this feeling of Déjà vu as they seem to go on forever due to a lack of imagination in the track design.
The game menu gives you options for a quick race, Single Event, Championship and Versus modes. In addition are the options to change game and controller settings. Each of the racing modes, except for quick race, lets you choose between, Supercross, Motocross and Freestyle. If you do actually play this long enough to get good enough to start winning races, there is a garage in the options menu where upgrades can be purchased with prize money ala GT. You also can see if you’ve unlocked new stunts or tracks.
In the racing modes, the game defaults to a non ‘free roaming’ mode. What this means is no matter how hard you try, you can’t leave the course. An invisible forcefield keeps you on the track. It doesn’t even let you cut the smallest corner. Once you turn it off, things are a little easier and more realistic. The game does penalize you if you get off the track. An Off Track indicator blinks on and off after three seconds, then the game places you back on the track where you left it. You can at least cut a few corners and ride the shoulders without penalty.
In each of the modes you can do tricks, although why this would apply to Motocross and Supercross is beyond me. There is no bonus or anything offered for doing tricks, and it ends up slowing you down since you may not stick the landing.
There is also a lot of disc activity going on throughout the game… even at the end of your race you have to wait for the loading to finish to see your score; very strange.
· Three types of racing: Motocross, Supercross and Freestyle
· Fast-paced arcade gameplay over a range of environments
· Win championships to earn money and upgrade bike componenents
· A range of terrains, including dirt, mud, ice, and sand, each affecting the handling of the bike
· In Motocross mode, watch out for huge drops and narrow bridges!
· Just like in real life racing, Supercross tracks require an emphasis on rhythm and timing
· Freestyle mode requires players to perform death-defying stunts and tricks off of huge manmade jumps and platforms
· Race in single events or championship tournaments, or participate in time trials on any track
· Hidden and unlockable tracks and bike features
· Venture off the tracks and continue riding to find new obstacles
1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:
We promise that we have fully played 'Motocross Mania' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)
00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.
70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.
A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.
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