Sticking to the script… loosely.
In one console generation, there are only a handful of games that completely revolutionize the industry for the future, the kinds of titles that utterly jump into your face to say “Hey, buy me, play for hours on end, and forget your ridiculous mortal world.” Regardless of whether you’re familiar with the genre or not, you fall in love immediately or can at least appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the process of constructing such a marvel.
MX vs. ATV: Supercross is no such game. Right away, comparisons to the popular Trails franchise come to mind. When first setting my eyes upon the cover art, thoughts of badass motorcycles and ATVs ripping through dirt courses filled my brain with excitement. After tearing through the shrink wrap, placing that shiny new disc in my Xbox tray, I eagerly waited while updates were being added and screens were finish loading.
Finally, the main menu came. Initially a slight, disappointed look took over my face, for the main menu gave very little to crave. Option layouts were bland and basic to say the least. But something like this isn’t much of a deterrent. There are plenty of games that have far simpler menus and have fantastic gameplay.
That then brought me to the gameplay… if that’s a fair thing to call it. Of the playable modes, single race, career, online multiplayer, and local match, I chose to hop right in and get a career started, where the aim is on winning championships and upgrading your player and bikes. The more you win, the more that's unlocked. At any time, you’re able to race with a two-wheeled motorcycle or my personal favorite, the four wheeled ATV, and like most standard races, the top three vehicles who finish the race reach the podium. But that's all; there's just not that much here.
Controls and the overall handling of bikes are funky too. They weirdly handle stiff and loose at the same time. It’s like throwing a stick into heavy wind. Turns are rigid and unnatural but you can still be bumped by another rider oh-so-softly and go wildly careening out of bounds. Perhaps the only good news is that you're able to customize bikes as well as rider outfits, not quite like other games to the genre, but enough to change up the monotony.
The podium presentation itself is plain. After winning a race, especially ones of "championship" caliber, it’d be nice to feel as though I’ve won such an elite prize. Instead, it's just three guys, arms raised in front of a couple of “podium girls" and waiting like they just won a lifetime supply of pencils. Graphics leave much on the table. It’s actually a bit amazing how much this title looks like a last-generation game. That’s being dramatic, yes, but the sights and sounds are far from the standard.
MX vs. ATV Supercross is bargain-rate. After a few months, the price is bound to drop well below current asking price and make its way to the $10 and lower bin. If there were some horrible zombie apocalypse and all games in the world were lost except for a few, including this one, I would cherish this one to the end of the world… or at least until I could trade it for an old Britney Spears CD.