STAFF REVIEW of Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 (Xbox One)

Friday, March 17, 2023.
by Adam Dileva

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 Box art Even though I’ve never ridden a motorcross bike, I’ve somehow become the defacto reviewer when it comes to the sport. Over the last handful of games I’ve come to learn quite a great deal about the Supercross sport and would like to think I’m decent at the games by now. Having played the last handful of Monster Energy Supercross titles, I was hoping for some big improvements this year with Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6, as last year’s fifth entry was lukewarm at best. It’s time to gas up the bike and hit the mud and dirt with all the 2022 official bikes, riders and tracks.

Stepping into the world of Supercross can be daunting if you’re not already a fan of the sport, thankfully this is where your personal coach will come in, guiding you along the way. And what better coach to have than the iconic Jeremy McGrath, a legend of the sport who has won over 70 SX main events and 7 SX Championships. He will take you through the training events to learn how to win races and impress crowds with your tricks, hopefully resulting in a podium finish.

Almost an exact copy of last year’s entry, you’re able to start out working your way up the ranks from 250CC up to the 450 class. Begin with the ‘Future’ class, starting out with 250CC Championships and finding your first sponsors along the way. From there you graduate to ‘Rookie’, working towards winning those 250 Championships and being introduced to the Rider Shape mechanics, Training Sessions and Challenges. Finally when you’re ready to compete with the big boys, ‘Pro’ has you challenging famous names of the sport all fighting for the 450 Championship, maybe even finding a few rivals along the way.

With a virtually identical career progression as last year’s game, Pro level has 17 live events to compete in, with the lower classes a few less. While it’s great they’ve included iconic tracks, teams, bikes, and riders, if you’ve played the last game, it’s going to feel all too familiar.

If you’re a competitive player, there’s essentially four different modes for you to play. Career is probably where you’ll spend the majority of your time, working your way up the ladder for those coveted Championships. Time Attack is for those that want bragging rights to be the best in the world, constantly trying to save a second or two to climb those leaderboards. Championship Mode lets you choose whatever cup you want to compete for then challenge a friend or play by yourself. Lastly is Single Event where you can setup a single race with almost any parameters you wish.

For those that don’t want to focus on the competitiveness as much, there’s also a few modes here for you as well to simply have fun or improve your skills. Supercross Academy is essentially your tutorial zone where you’ll learn the ins and outs of racing so you can improve your skills and climb the rankings. Supercross Park is your free roam area where you can freely ride around do whatever you like. It’s split into a number of different zones, complete with motocross tracks, SX sections, ramps, jumps and collectables and more. You’re able to ride along here to explore, or invite some friends for some company.

The most interesting addition to this year’s entry though is Rhythm Attack. Here it’s you versus another rider head to head. The catch is that it’s simply a long straight section without any turns, so how you’ll manage the bumps and jumps is going to be key when racing side by side for the first to be across the finish line. Think of it like a drag race, but trickier, as you’ll need skill and speed to win. Single eliminations competition makes for some actual fun events, complete with split screen for local play.

Some of the marketing touts that Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 has revised physics and AI, supposedly resulting in more realistic animations depending on the type of terrain. While the bikes do feel a little heavier this year, there’s still some questionable physics. If you manage to land on top of another rider, you do this weird floating before landing back onto solid ground. Brakes also seem to not work as well this year, as I could slam on the brakes and still need to almost come to complete halt to make some of the hairpin turns. As for the AI, I’d argue it’s become worse. They are all slower, ride in basically a single line, and it’s not uncommon to win races by over 20 or 30 seconds even on harder difficulties once you get a hang for the riding.

I found it was almost random if I was going to get points for a Scrub or Whip and the physics just feel quite different this year. Even though you’ll create ruts as you go through corners every lap, it’s as though you’re almost unable to bank into them to take the turns quicker. This causes you to have to lose the majority of your speed to make many corners. Lastly, the few times there’s a tall table top, even when approaching at a straight angle, it would almost always change my direction randomly as I go up the ramp section, even before ruts form.

What I did enjoy though was the customization options for riding aids. If you have certain disabilities or simply want an easier experience to enjoy the racing instead of stressing about losing, there’s a number of options here to assist. Options like Auto brakes, Auto Steering, Auto Throttle and more. This allows you to have some assistance in maybe certain aspects but not all, able to ease up the help anytime as you become more confident. I did enjoy the Auto Throttle initially as it taught me the amount of speed I needed for certain jumps to land properly and not over and under shoot.

Making a return from last year’s entry is the Rider Shape system. If you’re constantly crashing and bailing, naturally you’re going to get hurt. Well, when you’re hurt you obviously have a disadvantage when race time comes around, so you’re going to have to manage your overall health. Between races you can see your rider status, and to heal and improve your performance you’ll need to partake in a quick timed event. Taking place in the free roam area, you’ll need to collect the letters S-H-A-P-E for completion. There’s also two other objectives you can attempt to complete within the time limit for even more bonuses and a healthier rider. There’s no reattempts though, so make the most of your time in this event to hopefully gain your bonuses back for the next race.

There’s a long list of objectives to complete at any time during your races, and hitting certain milestones you’ll earn skill points that you can use to customize your rider’s abilities and perks. Maybe you want to have better cornering or braking? This is where the skill points can be put in, with each tier costing more than the previous. Filling the first half of the skill trees won’t take too long, but it will eventually become a grind if you’re trying to earn more later on.

While only for aesthetics, you can fully customize your rider with a long list of brands to choose from for your helmet, gloves, boots and more. There’s even a Helmet Editor where you can create a helmet for your rider in any design you want, even able to share online for others to use or find a cool design someone else has created and put it on your rider.

New to multiplayer is full console crossplay as well as an online ranking system. Now you can finally see how skilled other players in the lobby you’ll be racing are, and while there’s no PC and Console crossplay, at least you and your friends that plays on the other console can finally race together.

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 looks exactly the same as last year. Play me two videos of the game side by side and I doubt I’d be able to definitively tell the difference between the two. Riders look decent in motion, but animations still feel a little stiff at times. The texture pop-in issues at the beginning of races is still present and unfixed, even on an Xbox Series X. Faces for the riders themselves also looks unimproved and terrible at best. Best experienced in first person or helmet camera, it’s the most authentic way to put you right into the action so you can’t focus as much on its shortcomings.

I hope you like the constant wheeze of the bike engines, as that’s what you’re going to hear from start to finish. Sure you can turn it down, but then you’d have to deal with the boring and unforgettable soundtrack that plays during races. Turn the sound completely off and play your favorite Spotify list, as that’s how I was able to tolerate it after a few hours.

I find myself coming to the same conclusion as last year’s entry, hence basically the same score; if you have the previous year’s game, there’s really not much here to warrant a repurchase. Sure the diehard fans of the sport will enjoy all the 2022 rider and arena updates, but if online play doesn’t interest you, there’s a lot of repetitiveness and really not all that much new this year to excite everyone else.

**Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 6.5 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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