MX Unleashed impressive showing last month left me hankering for even more motocross. But sadly, MTX: Mototrax doesnt fill the void. Problems abound, starting with the handling; it’s totally unforgiving, which makes riding off course (especially around turns) inevitable. Aside from the stiff controls, performing tricks and linking them together for big combos is challenging but in an am-l-having-fun-yet way, not the good way. Visually, MTX could also benefit from a little more polish. Luckily, a few key features keep this motocrosser from falling too far behind the pack. The meaty career mode is an accurate portrayal of what life is (probably) like as a pro rider, so along with racing in events, youll decide which teams to join and what crap to endorse. The smooth online play and easy-to-use track builder provide MTX with unmatched replay value; still, MX Unleashed offers the superior offroad experience.
I really enjoyed MTX at first the decent controls and varied levels got me into it, and the option to run races or tackle missions in the open-ended free-ride mode kept things fresh. The game initially strikes a good balance between challenging and rewarding but becomes extremely difficult in later stages (despite bike upgrades), ramping up the frustration factor considerably and unnecessarily. Graphical glitches, a clunky trick system, and the not-always-apparent mission objectives also put a damper on the dirty racing thrills.
I thought the Tony Hawkish approach to motocross would work well, but it doesnt, mainly due to some terrible level and track design. One of the great things about MX Unleashed is that the challenges in its free-roaming levels are tough but never exasperating, because even just riding around is fun. Not so here: The handling is annoying, physics are questionable, and the tracks range from boring to frustrating. I do like the scrappy-youngster-mov-ing-up-in-the-world career mode (see: Tony Hawks Underground), but I couldnt help wishing I was playing MX Unleashed once it was time to hit the track.
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Racing games are fun, but even the best-designed car game can't touch a good motocross game with a ten-foot pole. You'd need a stick long enough to poke the moon to even tickle MTX Mototrax. Activision's new motocross game blends the fun of a well-developed trick system with the rush of technical racing and offering up something for anyone who is a fan of down and dirty racing.
The most interesting element of this robust racer is the trick system which uses a blend of well-timed button mashing and joystick movements to give you access to seemingly endless array of cool air tricks. The single player game is broken into trick competitions on freestyle maps and races in both indoor supercross tracks and outdoor motocross ones. Many of the freestyle maps require you to land specific tricks in a set time, or jump through targets in order. The trick to tricking is getting good air, something accomplished by mastering the art of compressing your suspension and letting up at the right time. Once you're airborne you can string together tricks to land extra points and accomplish those tasks in record time.
The races on the moto and supercross tracks are all about powering through the straight-aways and taking the sharp turns without getting flung head-over-heels from your bike. You can pop off a few tricks mid-race, but don't mess up or you can kiss the victory goodbye.
The single player game rewards short times and high placings with cash, new tricks and endorsement deals. The multiplayer offerings include offline, split screen races and trick competitions and a nice selection of online games which include freestyle competitions, standard races and a cool king of the hill mode. Gameplay on Live was lag free, easy to start and fairly rewarding.
The graphics are fairly impressive, though nothing really to write home about and the sound offers up a nice array of speed metal songs and grinding motorcycle noises.
If you're a fan of racing or motocross, MTX Mototrax is a must and if you're not a fan this game just might make you one.
As motocross continues to grow in popularity, more publishers are starting to take notice. Unfortunately, few publishers have taken it seriously, creating a number of forgettable titles that hardly captured the essence of the sport. The good news is MTX Mototrax does manage to put together a solid all around experience including motocross, supercross, and free style elements. Although it does have a few areas that could have been better, it also has a few areas that help it stand out.
As far as gameplay elements go, MTX Mototrax gives a complete package. Motocross, supercross, and free style are all represented in the career, free ride, and multiplayer (online) modes. The online feature is a nice bonus and functions as expected. The bulk of the game however is located in the career mode where you'll compete in all three styles of racing. As you win, you'll be able to swap teams and sponsors while earning cash. The game flows well with enough variety in the career mode to keep it fresh and solid gameplay mechanics to keep you moving to the next race. The only issue is related to the easy timing when compressing the suspension. Getting perfect jumps off ramps is almost too simple to achieve and a slightly more challenging system might have improved the overall experience.
The graphics and audio meet most moderate expectations and although there's room for improvement, it didn't distract from the game either. There were a few problems such as solid objects like rocks allowing you to pass through them and other clipping issues. The rest of the graphics however held their own with reasonably detailed environments and riders.
Although not the best motocross title currently available, MTX Mototrax puts together a respectable experience that most fans of motocross should enjoy. With only a few areas that cause concern such as some clipping and minor gameplay issues, MTX Mototrax should keep you interested for some time.