An accident just waiting to happen.
Does Motocross Racing count as a "Redneck Sport?" Y’know, right up there with Pro Wrestling, Nascar, Monster Trucks, mechanical bull riding and anything on TNN after 8pm? Maybe that’s why I was chosen to review this game. No, not because I’m a redneck (though I would be a good one), but because I generally review the wrestling titles that come through GR. Or maybe Shawn just likes to piss me off.
Motocross Mania is another one of Take 2’s bargain games (remember KISS Pinball?) and costs a mere $9.99. Which, by the way, is about 10 bucks too much. This is probably the worst racing game (motocross or otherwise) that I have ever played. It plays bad, looks bad, and I’m sure if I sniffed it, it would probably smell bad, too.
Motocross Mania allows you to compete on various dirt tracks in stadiums and outdoor venues, and in the vein of recent "extreme games" allows you to do various tricks to rack up points. The tracks are horribly long, brutal, and kinda hard to see. The control sucks, being too twitchy at times and not responsive at others. Wow, we’re not off to a very good start, are we? Continue.
The programmers must have realized how hard it is to navigate such a poorly rendered track, so they put invisible barriers on the edges and huge cartoon arrows in the center so you don’t get lost. Naturally, this is all very distracting, so you have the option of turning these features off. The drawback is that if you try to go off-road to cut across a corner, after three seconds you are placed back to the point where you left the track. Nothing like divine interference to really screw up a good race.
The tricks are kinda lame and require too much effort to pull off. Holding down a shoulder button while pressing Up, Left, Up, seems excessive when the only thing you’ve accomplished is kicking out your left leg. But wait! Holding down two shoulder buttons and doing the same directional presses makes you kick out both legs!!! Different shoulder buttons give you side views of your rider and both buttons together gives you a really senseless point of view from a stationary camera, as you watch your bike recede into the distance.
The side view seems like a cool way to view your tricks until you realize how difficult it is. You have to hold two of the shoulder buttons to do the trick, and hold the other two shoulder buttons to actually see it from the side…all while maintaining your position in the race and keeping the bike on the track. It’s a bit much.
If you crash in most racing games, you can generally just suck it up, wait until your vehicle re-spawns and try to reestablish your position. Not so with this game. If you make a single mistake, you can hang it up. There is no reason to continue the race because there is NO WAY IN HELL you are going to catch up to even the worst rider on the circuit. Completely unforgiving!
It seems like the first thing to go when a company puts out a bargain product is the graphics. Motocross Mania is no exception. Bleeeech. Dumpy, dumpy, dumpy. I’ve seen smoother sandpaper.
Shawn insisted that we play the two-player split screen mode. I strongly advised against it. I said, verbatim, "Stay back! Don’t come anywhere near! Save yourself!! There’s no reason both of us should fall prey to this crap! Think about the children!" But it was to no avail. He sat down, we played it together and we have since never spoken of that painful moment until this review. Multiplayer MM sucks to high heaven. Thought the graphics were grainy before? Just check out the slowdown and bad graphics. It’s a nightmare!
Bad sound effects and generic guitar riffs round out the gaming experience, almost making one forget about the pixilated rendering of your bike and its rider.
If by some quirk of fate you accidentally acquire this game and play it instead of destroying it, here is a hint – change the colors on your bike and your rider. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell the two apart. Yes, it looks that grainy. Even a $10 price tag can’t save this stinker.