As a child I was tremendously fascinated by motocrossers but my parents are utterly against two-wheeled motorvehicles. Looking back at it now it is not such a bad thing that they drove the motor-sport enthusiasm out of me. With growing up and becoming an adult (sarcastic little laugh) the interest in motorbikes has been reduced to as good as zero and I can express myself better in creative, intellectual work which I learned at my mother’s knee. That doesn’t alter the fact that I spend a great deal of my puberty playing motor and race games like the legendary Corel Motor Extreme, the on the n-gage resurging MotoGP, the revolutionary Motoracer 1 & 2 and so on. MTX Mototrax’s release made that old passion heat up again only now I am more concerned about playing a good game instead of searching a release to substitute reality.
The cover of MTX prides with a logo that announces new music from Slipknot and I have to admit that the ditties make sure it is not just about getting on the stand. They emphasise the euphoric and tough feeling that you want to achieve but in reality, in which we are bound to return sometime or another, is impossible or irresponsible. Like the warning says: “The racing and riding experience in this game is intended to be fanciful, do not try to …”. Even the publishers are forced not to take us seriously, like we yet don’t know that it’s all about bits and bytes. The music in the game is prevailing so other sound effects seem lesser important but are not bad at all.
There are no noticeable tours de force when examining the graphics, but the tracks and levels need definitely to be referred to as spacious yet not monotonous. The biggest problem is that the environments don’t feel alive and are too clean. Don’t get me wrong however, in the end everything looks and feels quite good but it lacks some punch.
The realisation for controlling the bike is slightly disappointing because especially during the regular races it offers too little potential and that could make it boring. It is actually an attempt to combine simulation and arcade styles but with a greater portion of arcade. If there is one aspect setting an example it is surely the way how you must perform a wheelie. Tap directional down once and adjust your balance with the gas (x-button). It is ten times more fun than keeping a slider on its spot. They approached the career mode practically and efficiently but managed to keep it stimulating to continue achieving goals. You get a pda on which you can receive emails from coaches or sponsors either congratulating you or urging you to perform better. There are other functions like a calendar with the activities you need to compete in, statistics, saving option, … Actually a simple and often seen method so it feels familiar.
A lot of different modes to choose from: career, track-builder, exhibition and ghost. In these modes you can play different events like racing series (super-cross and motor-cross in all classes), freestyle (stunts) and free ride levels (riding around in an area and finding and completing goals). Especially the last one is worth playing because it fits better in the arcade concept and thus with controlling your bike.
The decisive factor in this game for me is network play, because once you have experienced it you won’t trade it with anything in the world and definitely not with AI opponents (only goes for racing games, singleplayer shoot ‘m ups for example are still a completely different story compared to their multiplayer counterparts). Unfortunately there was not a single individual on any server at all except for me but I hope that this will drastically start to change in the next month.
Everything said and done this game still distinguishes itself from the astronomic proportion of crap to play. A considerable effort has been put into making it enjoyable for everybody and there is a lot of variation in levels and modes. The music is more than adequate even if you are not into rock. Graphically everything is sufficient and the environments are very large without getting monotonous. The online options are trump, because in general it extends the life of games and this is the only motor-cross game at the moment (that is also worth buying) that has online features. However, there where no others players online yet. If you want to play every decent motor game then you won’t be disappointed. Otherwise I advise you to also take a look at MX Unleashed.