25th Oct2014

‘MX vs. ATV: Supercross’ Review (Xbox 360)

by Phil Wheat

MXvsATV-Super

As a gamer there are genres that I don’t play as often as others, RPGs being one and racing games the other. When it comes to the latter I tend to find racers that I love and stick with those – games such as Outrun and its sequel, Burnout Paradise, and Split Second (which is STILL my all-time favourite racing game). I’ve put hours and hours of game time into both the PS3 version of Outrun 2: Coast to Coast and the Xbox 360 version of Split Second in particular; in fact I’ve been berated more than once for having a quick blast on both games when I should be getting ready for work, should be cooking and even when I should be blogging/reviewing!

However sometime ago I was watching one of my favourite YouTubers, Metal Jesus Rocks, who had produced a video running down some “undiscovered gems” on the Nintendo Wii and one of the titles he mentioned was MX vs. ATV Untamed. Well that game turned out to be harder than usual to track down, so when the opportunity to review the latest in the series, MX vs. ATV: Supercross, came up, I jumped at the chance…

Originally developed by Rainbow Studios (which later evolved into THQ Digital Phoenix), the MX vs. ATX franchise – which features four previous titles: Unleashed, Untamed, Reflex and Alive – seemingly died with the dissolving of production company THQ, which closed it’s doors in early 2013. Yet here we are, some 18 months later and MX vs. ATV: Supercross has just hit video game stores across the UK.

Released by Nordic Games, whose We Sing titles we’ve reviewed a number of times in the past, this latest installment once again comes from original developers Rainbow Studios and returns to the roots of the series, featuring 17 Supercross tracks in which you can race against more than 60 official pro riders with bikes and equipment from over 80 licensed motocross companies. Players can choose between dirt bikes or ATVs in multiple game modes – including Career mode with 5 race classes: 250 East, 250 West, 450 MX, 450 ATV, 450 MX vs. ATV; Single Race/Practice mode; two-player local split screen; and online multiplayer for up to 12 players.

Thankfully MX vs. ATV: Supercross is a huge improvement over the last racing game we reviewed here at Nerdly, the courses are vast, the action is fast and furious, the control system is easy to pickup and with a decent amount of practice and game time, easy to master; and the game has a great soundtrack. Plus it’s just a purely fun game at its core.

For those gamers, like myself, who still haven’t made the transition to the latest gen consoles, this is a great choice of racer. For everyone else MXGP made be the preferrable option – especially given the vast leap in graphics, which is the main downfall of this game… Yes, graphically MX vs. ATV: Supercross is not the most visually exciting. Which in all honesty can’t really be helped given that most of your time is spent on muddy race tracks. However said graphics also look a lot more like those found in download titles and those games that debuted in the early days of the console. Characters have screen “tear” around them at times; there’s a distinct lack of shadows – I don’t consider blurry black “blobs” passing over you as you’re leap-frogged by other players a good use of light and shadow; and then there’s the collision detection and interaction with your surroundings/other riders… Everything seems like it’s on ice! Colliding with the sidings makes them slip across the course in front of you, hitting other riders can either see you stop dead in your tracks, crash, or see you push them along sideways. It often all feels very hit and miss (pun intended).

That’s not to say these graphical glitches have too much of an effect on your game, after all you’re not really supposed to crash into ANYTHING whilst racing and it is, given a bit of practice, quiet easy to drift, skid and jump around the Supercross courses without too many errors. On the plus side, for racing game fans, there is plenty to get your teeth into here – and between the myriad of tracks, the vast career mode and regularĀ  updates promised via the games Motoclub Depot, MX vs. ATV: Supercross seems to be here for the long haul.

MX vs. ATV: Supercross is available now from Amazon and other good video game retailers.

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