Reviewed: May 11, 2002
Released: February 26, 2002
Released amid the flood of PS2 ports hitting the Gamecube, Jeremy McGrath Supercross World manages to demonstrate that a big name license can only do so much for a game. Even the game’s basic premise is lackluster and feels flat. The blah graphics and gameplay glitches definitely don’t help matters. While any port has to be looked at as just that, Jeremy McGrath uses up that leeway just minutes into the game. Here are the features for the GameCube version:
When the player encounters a bug within first five minutes of play it usually doesn’t bode well for a game. In the case of Jeremy McGrath, I located no fewer than 3 bugs in the first five minutes of play, the most annoying of which frequently occurred at the beginning of a race. Often, after the first turn, the “Off Track” message pops up giving you 3 seconds to get back in the race, no mean feat if you’ve never left the track.
The other two glitches the made themselves quickly apparent had to do with the physics program. The first seems to occur any time the rider goes over a jump on a downhill section of the track. After going airborne the motorcycle’s nose will be abruptly pulled downward, causing the racer to fly over the handlebars as he lands on his front wheel at 80+ Mph.
The last major bug that made itself felt had specifically to do with erratic collision detection; sometimes the racer can clip through the in-game trees with the greatest of ease. Other times running into a six-inch shrub is not unlike hitting a brick wall at 60mph. Add to the above a lackluster trick system, flat out dumb AI, and a glitchy status readout, and it’s time to find new ways to destroy a controller.
As I mentioned earlier, the graphics in Jeremy McGrath are nothing to shout about. The low poly rider models wouldn’t have been acceptable even on the Dreamcast and this be Da ‘Cube folks. Also the rider animations are sort of inconsistent. The stunt and landing animations look all right, but crash animations are, well, not so great. The rider frequently flies through the air still positioned as though he’s still on the bike.
The tracks look pretty good when compared to the rest of the game. The designers actually did a good job of using earth tones without making things look excessively bland.
The audio in Jeremy McGrath is the game’s only highpoint. Featuring tracks by Drowning Pool and Sevendust among others, the in-game music is a cut above most of the other contenders in the motor racing genre. Sound effects are par for the course and don’t really impact the overall experience.
If you’re a big supercross fan and can look past the game’s shortcomings Jeremy McGrath should keep you entertained with plenty of easter eggs to unlock. And the head to head multiplayer mode lets you tear up the tracks with a friend. Fans should expect to be kept mildly entertained till the next motocross game hits the Gamecube. Those without an interest in the sport should consider this one a two-day rental at best.
Multiplayer in Jeremy McGrath consists simply of head to head two-player racing. Had Acclaim worked on the multiplayer end of things a little more they might have come up with a more serviceable product.
After shelling out what must have been a sizeable chunk of change for the McGrath license (not to mention those of the other featured riders) Acclaim seems to have released this title without the benefit of any serious test phase. Those out there thirsting for racing action on their Gamecube would likely have much more fun with Wave Race Blue Storm or XGIII, Extreme G Racing.