MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael
|a game by||Pacific Coast Power and Light|
|Platforms:||XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||9.3/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Bike Games, MX vs ATV Series|
MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael is a stylish new motocross racing simulation that presents the world of stunt dirt bike racing on the PlayStation 2 console for the first time. Featuring some of the biggest sponsors in the motocross world today, as well as a large variety of star riders, MX 2002 tries to capture the variety and feel of actually racing along a dirt track, leaping from jump to jump, hoping the next jump will put you into first place. Concentrating on the meat of motocross, MX 2002 has a large ‘trick’ feature, letting you perform upwards of 30 different jump tricks, as well as wheelies, tail whips, and flips. Utilizing the power of the PS2, the team at THQ has created a game to simulate the effects of racing in a motocross competition, with lots of acceleration and with a relatively low top speed. Control being top priority, you’ll definitely want to play the tutorials available in career mode, as the quicker you get used to the unique style of racing, the quicker you’ll enjoy yourself. Bouncing across terrain, you’ll find that all the tricks the pros use are at your disposal, along with tracks that you’ll only find in a PS2 game, due to their complexity and size.
As this isn’t a cinematic game of any kind, MX 2002 lacks a story, leaving the core of the game concentrated around pure gameplay. I’ve always been a proponent of good racing titles, as they give you a chance to get away from any sense of story, well thought out or not, and have some good old-fashioned mindless fun. What this generally means is that the game must succeed on two fronts. First, it needs to have good controls, making it fun to play whether you’re a hardcore game geek or just a racing fan who picked up a controller for a quick game. Second, there’s got to be a fair amount of content, both in what you can use as a racer, as well as the arenas you’ll play on. Without those two elements, I don’t think a racing game can be very fun. I’ll show you what I mean with MX 2002.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
MX 2002 isn’t an easy game to control. The default control set is a small nightmare, especially when you want to perform tricks and earn the extra points needed to excel at the game. You can use the analog sticks to accelerate and steer, but you’ll find that they are next to useless, as you’d need to use one and hold a button with your thumb at the same time. It can get easier if you customize the controls and set the acceleration/brake controls to something else, but right out of the box this setup is frustrating.
All of the usual controls are there, steering and acceleration, as well as a clutch and powerslide button, for advanced maneuvers. Using the clutch allows you to rev the motor, giving you a quick burst of speed if you’re moving slowly. Powerslide forces your racer to put his best face (or foot, in this case) forward and steady the bike as you put it into a sliding turn. That’ll help you get sharper turns and keep your speed up. When you’ve gotten your controls down, you can start performing tricks. Performing a trick involves using the charge up buttons, which charge a small meter on your display. This meter tells you how much energy you’ve got to perform a trick with, indicating its speed and intensity. Once you’ve actually launched, pressing a three button combination using the X, Circle, Triangle, and Square buttons executes a trick, the longer and more complex the combination the more complex the trick. If you’ve ever watched a motocross exhibition and seen the riders do crazy things with their arms and legs when they’re catching air, that’s what these tricks allow you to do.
All in all, the controls can be worked with, even if they are very poor to start out. MX 2002 performs rather well, giving you a consistent and realistic motocross feel. Although the engine is good, it isn’t perfect, and occasionally it will move your bike from side to side unrealistically, and will occasionally crash your bike ‘just because’ even if you’re on flat ground. Race wise, you’ve actually got a few different styles to choose from. Although many are locked when you start, you can choose from many different freestyle modes, like Bus Jump and the Step Up Challenge. When you create your rider in the Career mode, you may be disappointed to find out that nearly all of the customizing is deciding what brand of helmet, goggle, suit, boots, and bike you’d like to use, rather than actually personalizing your rider's statistics. Instead, you’d need to do that from the main menu, by creating a whole new rider and using that the next time you launch a career.
I found the graphics in MX 2002 to be somewhat disappointing. The rider and bike were rendered beautifully, but much of the scenery was boring to look at. Obviously the track designers attempted to make each track interesting by adding extra elements like concrete tubes, cranes, and trees, but none of those elements seemed particularly attention-grabbing. It isn’t until you get to some of the later tracks that they begin to look visually appealing. The saving grace in this area is that the track themselves are usually quite big, and can have many different looking areas within one track.
All of the audio effects in MX 2002 are authentic and a pleasure to listen to. Although not quite as loud, your bike’s engine revs with that same high pitched sound as in an actual motocross competition. The sound effects are moderated well and generally dim slightly when you’re catching air, emphasizing the heights to which you’re jumping. The best part is the soundtrack, featuring underground rock performed by bands like Sum41. The music adds a lot of feel to the game, and helps overcome some of its shortcomings.
MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael is an entertaining motocross game that suffers from only a few technical flaws. I believe that its greatest drawback lies in its rather specialized nature. The bikes in this game perform much like real motocross bikes, something that isn’t too spectacular if you’re a fan of more fantastical racing games. Given that the game doesn’t bend the rules of physics that much, the initial excitement from trick jumping can easily wear off, leaving you with a mild and only slightly entertaining race game. Although the graphics and audio make this game pleasing to the eye and ear, they cannot help its control and gameplay problems.
Download MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael
The THQ game with the longest title on earth is on target for a summer 2001 release. Developer Pacific Coast Power and Light Company (geesh, another long one) is hard at work--you might recall their previous effort, Road Rash for the N64, a so-so offering at best: Let's hope this one turns out better). Unfortunately, we haven't had a hands-on test but judging by these stats, it's fairly deep--28 pro riders, 20 motocross, supercross and freestyle events (12 licensed and eight fantasy) plus 16 customizable bikes. The multiplayer modes (six total) sound cool too: They include target jumping, stunt showdown and challenge race.