reviews\ Dec 26, 2002 at 7:00 pm

MX SuperFly - XB - Review

It has been awhile since MX 2002 made its appearance on the Xbox and fans of dirt-bike motocross events were happy to see their extreme sport on Microsoft’s next generation console . . . although there weren’t any radical changes from the PS2 version.  The same, and this is great fortune for us, cannot be said about MX Superfly--a game with more pros, mini-games, environments and exclusive Xbox Live features.


MX Superfly features twenty-six real life pros including AMA National Champion Ricky Carmichael who just happens to the Tony Hawk of motocross.  The pros are available from the very start and can be used in any of the fiver different modes: Exhibition Race, Freestyle, Mini Games, Career Mode and Multiplayer.  There is also the option to design you own track with the Track Editor.  The game is a true racer, allowing gamers the freedom to decide how many opponents they would like to compete against and decide on the lap times.  Not only do you choose from the pros but you can also choose the dirt bikes (Honda, Yamaha, etc).


The game‘s main mode of playing the game is Career Mode, which starts things off by having gamers design their own rider (deciding on the rider‘s sex, outfit color, number and dirt bike).  In this mode you enter competitions to earn enough money to compete in a Freestyle Season for the motocross trophy.  The great thing about this is that you can practice on the track before competing in the main event against other riders (sometimes going up against twelve riders in total).  This is also where you unlock extras such as more games for the Mini Games mode.  Just one of the game’s most delightful modes of playing, Mini Games offers a slew of games like the Evil Kenevil-inspired Bus Jump game or the addictively fun Pizza Delivery game.  There is plenty here to keep the game fresh.


MX Superfly’s controls are handled rather wonderfully in that the dirt bikes handle rather smoothly--with thanks to the equally smooth framerate--and allowing gamers to accelerate, brake, powerslide, jump and boost by using the clutch.  Career Mode comes complete with a training course that pretty much lays down the basics, but gamers will quickly see how easily they can handle the dirt bike.  The challenge is in attempting to perform the amazing tricks seen in the game’s intro.  Many of the more complex tricks, such as the La-Z-Boy or Cliff Hanger, require two buttons to be pressed quickly and in the correct order.  There are plenty of easy stunts you can perform by simply holding the right trigger, though.


While the game does not feature dramatic improvements in the graphics department, MX Superfly’s visuals were really nothing to sneeze at when it was introduced to the PS2 crowd.  The racing environments are still filled with plenty of great massive outdoor tracks complete with lush desert backgrounds but, thanks to the graphics power of the Xbox, the environments look much smoother without the jaggies of the PS2 version.  There are also times when there are multiple racers colliding against you and the best part about this is that the framerate never drops and doesn’t make the game stutter.  The racers themselves look amazing out there as they perform tricks and failing to balance the dirt bike makes for a realistic--and wincingly painful looking--crashes.


The game’s soundtrack is actually quite good and offers a collection of rock tunes from artists like Hoobastank, The Vandals and Del the Funky Homosapien.  If the kicking soundtrack doesn’t appeal to you, the game offers the option to customize your own soundtrack.  The sound effects are not as impressive but decent enough to provide realistic sound such as the buzzing engine and the sound of the wheels kicking up dirt.  There are also plenty of background noises such as the sound of other riders and an announcer’s voice that starts off a race (although that’s all he really does).


Finally, a dirt-bike racer with plenty of style and high-flying tricks that is true to the sport itself.  The many modes and mini-games serve up a great dose of motocross action.  This is a Must-Have for those gamers that love challenging competitions that are also downright entertaining.  The Xbox Live downloadable features are also a very welcome addition.



#Reviewer's Scoring Details


Gameplay: 8.5
The controls are simply a dream to manage and steering each dirt bike is never a clumsy or awkward feat so just about the only real challenge is performing the more complex tricks.  Gamers will find that they will have plenty of air-time--if they picked up enough speed or made good use of the clutch for an extra boost--to execute a number of really interesting aerial tricks.


The game modes are plentiful and not just concentrated on racing as is seen in the Mini Games option.  You can perform wild feats (like Bus Jump or Big Air) or really highly addictive action (like Moto-Golf or Balloon Toss).  The Career mode is also racing at its greatest.


Graphics: 7.9
A visually pleasing game, this Xbox version features sharper graphics and smoother textures in things such as the bumpy dirt road.  The environments themselves are actually quite good to look at and filled with minor but noticeable details such as distant shacks or an outdoor arena filled with motocross fans.  The riders also look realistic when they perform aerial tricks or slam head on to the ground, their riding suit collecting the dirt from each fall.  


Sound: 7.7
MX Superfly possesses a great soundtrack with a collection of hard-hitting rock tunes from artists like Dropkick Murphys, The Dickies or Souls of Mischief.  The music does manage to pump a player up, but if it doesn’t you can always add your own customizable soundtrack from music saved on the hard disk.


The sound effects are also pretty well done throughout the game with the sounds of your motor bike’s motor rumbling and the wheel’s skidding across the dirt track.  If you collide with other riders, you’ll hear the shout out in protest and even hear your own rider shout back.  And not only do crashes look painful but it also sounds horrid.


Difficulty: Medium
There are three difficulty settings to choose from--Easy, Medium and Hard.  Either setting you choose the game offers a challenging race with computer-controlled riders that take advantage of mistakes you or the other riders might make.  You must also be wary of the time limit. You can even add opponents to the other modes such as Freestyle or the Mini Games to make the events more challenging.


Concept: 8.2
Microsoft has been hinting at downloadable content since the Xbox Live service was announced early this year and now this rumor has been put to rest.   MX Superfly’s main Xbox Live feature is the ability to download new riders and extra tracks (of course, you must be a subscriber to the service itself in order to access the extras).  The added content to a game rich in riders and environments is really the icing on a wonderfully sweetened cake.


Multiplayer: 8.0
This is a game that would have greatly benefited from a four-player multiplayer option, but gamers will be grateful for the two-player deal.  The game offers many game types on the Multiplayer selection screen that is similar to the Mini Game option.  You can select the tracks you want as well as event length and class.  You can also invite a friend to a Freestyle event using a track you created.    


Overall: 8.7
Like a high-flying extreme stunt, MX Superfly is an utterly impressive extreme dirt bike racing title with plenty of modes and enough tricks up its sleeve.  Although it is far from the perfect racer, its smooth controls, slightly improved graphics and the ability to download extras with the Xbox Live service makes this a complete package.  


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