STAFF REVIEW of MX vs. ATV Supercross (Xbox 360)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
by Stephen Cameron

MX vs. ATV Supercross Box art Let me bring you guys up to speed in case you’re wondering what the heck happened with all that is beautiful in the Motocross gaming world. First, THQ went and got careless with all their money and went belly up, sadly; then took the original Rainbow Studios staff down with it. Later, an auction happened and Nordic Games cared enough about the franchise to acquire it. They hired BBE (Big Bang Entertainment) to work on the next MX vs ATV title though luckily, BBE was actually composed mostly of ex-Rainbow Studios folks. Therefore, names were thrown around and now by the grace of Nordic Games and Rainbow Studios, we now have a motocross game, confused yet? Trust me, it was hard to keep up.

My love of the gaming genre is very deep and goes far back, as it holds a special place in my heart. Just read some of the reviews on this site as I’ve reviewed nearly every MX title since the original Xbox.

The last offering from THQ (when they owned it) was Alive and the price was $40 retail, and it had really nothing in the box. It was a low point for the franchise and had no Supercross tracks! What the heck!? Lucky for us, Supercross is $10 lower! The game includes a career mode with seventeen tracks that you can race up to twelve other racers, but no National tracks! What the heck (again)?! We must not forget that Alive only shipped with eighteen tracks (12 National + 4 Short + 2 Free Ride) out the box and Reflex shipped with sixteen tracks but was $60! This is just put things into perspective.


The reality of the MX Vs ATV situation is that Nordic Games had to make it up to the fans first... Somehow. The damage was already done by THQ though. With Alive feeling like one giant rip-off and Reflex being the poster child of the series. Supercross had to “give back” to the community. Did they succeed? I personally think so.

The game follows the traditional formula of the franchise. From what I can tell, they weren’t out to rock the boat this time around. It also feels like a much needed polished Alive, at least for a year’s worth of development time, so fans of the franchise will completely feel at home.

However, the game has a few missing features. The lack of custom controls being the big one for me personally. The pre-load on the right thumb stick just doesn’t work for me. I would have liked to have tried it on the left thumbstick instead. Another is that fact that Supercross still has one the lingering thing that dates back from Motocross Madness 1, 2, etc… had, and something I’ve also mentioned many times in my reviews.

(Taken from my MVA Alive review:) – “However, there’s only one tiny glitch; call it whatever you want, that's been with the series since the very beginning. When you come down off a jump or small whoop and then land on your front wheel and you decide to turn (left or right) before the back wheel hits the ground, you SHOULD wreck right? (At least in real life you do). In MX Vs ATV you’ll sometimes do a complete 180 degree turn, totally facing the opposite direction. Kind of like a toy spin top! Then you have to turn back around to get back in the race. It sucks when it happens, and you sometimes throw the race.” I really wouldn’t call this a bug but more of an annoyance. But I would opt to wreck the bike or auto re-align it back on the track straight ahead with a small time penalty.


The starts are inconsistent, meaning I hold in the clutch, lay on the gas, and when the gate drops, sometime you’ll burst out and get a great start, and sometime you don’t and slowly play catch up. This is not a deal breaker, but if you are looking for consistent starts, they are tough to pull off.

Next, the AI riders are just blind and have no idea you’re present on the track. It’s like they are a bunch of Damon Bradshaws out there! They are constantly landing on you or run you off the track. Frustrating only begins to decribe it. I understand AI is very difficult to program, but you figure by now after many MX Vs ATV games, it would be near perfect. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part.

Lastly, when you land short on a jump and you are stuck climbing the face of the jump at a slower speed, the bike’s back tire spins up the hill like you’re in sand, almost at a turtle’s pace.

With all my small complaints above, the bottom line is you have to look at what you get for $30. Number one, it’s one hell of a bargain! There’s no denying it. This game is the start of a new chapter of a game genre we nearly all lost in the train wreck of THQ!

Personally, would like to see a course creator for user created content. The folks over at HB Studios has done this with “The Golf Club”, giving the community the power to keep selling their game. However, it does comes at a price, and its share of pitfalls. How do you filter through thousands of tracks or courses effectively? That’s the million dollar question.


Another thing I’d like to see in a future version of MX Vs ATV is mud, water, and dust on the screen, as well as having to use tear offs. Be like a mini-game or sorts. Just an idea. If you weight the price of this game and what you get in the box, MX vs. ATV Supercross is a great deal and worth picking up. If this is a sign of things to come from the publisher and developer, we’re going to see an awesome next-gen Motocross title in the near future and I’m just happy the series didn’t die!

Pros
• Great price!
• Graphics look great as always for the 360
• Music selection is good.
• Bike sounds are much better than previous offerings.
• Authenticity of the sport is respected.

Cons
• Lack of customization of controls
• Lack of an instructional tutorial on the new control scheme, and a refresher for the noobs.
• AI needs work.
• UI in some places needs work. Especially displaying the rewards, the font is a tad too small
• No break or option in between the races to apply the upgrades/rewards.




Overall: 7.7 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.6 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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