I'm a sucker for a good Career mode in a racing game, and Superstar's setup definitely sounds cool at first: You strive for supercross stardom, earning sponsorships, buying bikes, moving into nicer apartments, and dating prettier women along the way. Unfortunately, it's nothing more than a cheesy front-end for one of the most boring, shallow bike racing games on the market. Your career lasts only three very short seasons, and none of the races offers any challenge. Gameplay is twitchy and easy: I won every event the first time through by simply running sloppy laps. What's worse is that the various styles of events (Stadium, Baja, Uphill) all feel and play exactly the same. Only the Stunt Challenge delivers anything different, but this mode is seriously flawed--a mushy, unintuitive trick system ruins the potential for fun. Frankly, I find it difficult to believe this halfhearted throwaway is from the developer that brought us the excellent MotoGP 1 and 2 on Xbox. I guess Climax UK should stick to bikes that race solely on pavement from now on.
If nothing else, at least SX Superstar can be credited with taking the "earn new girlfriends in the game" idea to its nadir. How? Four words, a hyphen, and a slash: trailer-trash moth-er/daughter. Moving on, SX is an arcadey but uninspiring motocross racer with uneven track design--ranging from quite good to awful--and occasionally glitchy bike physics. Cumbersome menus, washed-out visuals, bad voice acting, and worse music are just more bumps in an already rough track.
I agree: Your aspiring superstar's rise from the poorhouse to a penthouse is little more than a dumb gimmick draped over a dull game. I stopped caring about the soap opera story line when one of my seemingly amnesiac lovers forgot I'd already dumped her a half-dozen times. And sadly, life on the supercross circuit is no less insipid. The controls are stiffer and less forgiving than Ike Turner on Viagra, and when your crash-prone rider respawns after eating dirt, he's often facing a wall.