Reviewed: July 24, 2002
Reviewed by: Aaron Daigle
Released: June 18, 2002
Gamecube owners who’ve been waiting for a motocross fix, the wait is over. MX Superfly delivers the racing goods in a slick package featuring, excellent physics, competitive graphics, an eclectic soundtrack and plenty of gameplay modes. Developed by the good folks that gave us Road Rash 64, Pacific Coast Power & Light Co. and published by THQ, MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael, walks all over the motocross competition.
MX Superfly features excellent physics that create a good blend of fun and realism. Allowing you to enjoy said physics is a very intuitive control setup. The left trigger controls the clutch, the right trigger allows you to preload the motorcycle’s fork for extra hang-time in your jumps and the “Z” tab allows you to power slide around tight corners. “A” and “B” are the accelerator and brake respectively. And “X” and “Y” are used to perform stunts. While these are the default control settings there are three other control setups you can select through the option menu.
The secrets to excelling at MX Superfly are going for big air and careful manipulation of the throttle and clutch. Tricks are preformed by holding down the right trigger and hitting one to three buttons in succession, the higher the number of button presses the more points the trick is worth.
When the game begins you are presented with up to five game types, Exhibition, Freestyle, Mini Games, Career Mode and Multiplayer. The Exhibition mode is fairly straight forward, consisting of pick up and play races. The best of the bunch is the single player Career mode, where you create a rider with the adequate options for apparel, and then start working your way up the motocross ranks. As you earn more money you will gain the ability to tune your motorcycle’s suspension and brakes.
The opponent AI is very good and the other racers generally have their own strategies and sometimes make mistakes. This lends a very immersive quality to the game and mostly makes up for the lack of a fleshed out multiplayer mode, though going through the mini games head to head can be enjoyable it doesn’t really feel as satisfying as the single player experience.
The aforementioned Mini games are of two types; entertaining diversions and instantly forgettable labors. The well done games such as the bus jump and the step-up competitions, are almost of a quality equal to the career mode, while the rest of the mini games often feel like a waste of time. Freestyle mode is exactly what it sounds like most of the time; at its best it features huge outdoor areas with plenty of opportunities for big air and mad trick points. At its worst, you are given goals to complete and you can’t progress until you do.
In addition to the extensive collection of tracks featured in the game, MX Superfly also boasts a basic track editor, that’s best used to create freestyle courses.
While it doesn’t feature the eye candy of Wave Race, MX Superfly is no slouch in the graphics department. The action rolls along at a high steady frame rate with only the rarest hitch. The game’s tracks are well designed and look terrific as does the background scenery.
The rider and bike models could use a few more polys but look good as is. One neat bit of bit worth mentioning is that when your rider takes a spill their clothes become soiled with mud and dust, not a big deal, but it really seemed to add to the realism.
MX Superfly features one of the most eclectic soundtracks in recent memory featuring the likes of Hoobastank, Del the Funky Homosapien and Mest among others, though most of the time the revving of the rides dominates the games aural presence. The sounds of the bikes are very well done, from the slipping of tires to the thuds of landing after big air. Also the indoor tracks sound very different from the wide open spaces of the outdoor tracks.
MX Superfly is definitely worth the cost of purchase. Between the, oh so excellent career mode and the worthwhile mini games, buyers are getting a lot of bang for the buck. If you dig motocross or racing games then MX Superfly is definitely worth the investment of 20 or so hours of your gaming time.
Pacific Coast Power & Light has built themselves a winner in MX Superfly. While there isn’t much in the way of competition for this title on the ‘Cube, I expect it to be able to hold it’s own in the gameplay department ‘till the next installment is released.