I’d like to start this review off talking about the name.” But Jordan” I hear you cry, “what’s wrong with the name ‘Motocross Madness’?”
Well, avid reader, I’ll tell you. You see, after all the time I’ve spent playing it, I still can’t work out where they got the ‘Madness’ part from because I’m pretty certain I’ve witnessed more madness from my bottom after a vindaloo. Sure it features a helluva lot of ‘Motocross’, but I can’t help but feel Motocross Mediocrity would have been more suitable.
Maybe I was going into the game wrong, maybe I shouldn’t have expected a little bit of carnage when playing a game called ‘Motocross Madness’ but I was expecting something with items or intuitive and fun levels that really justified such a name but there was nothing, nada, zilch.
Let me start off with what I perceive to be the Godzilla of all the problems that this game has; It’s one you might have noticed yourself in fact, It’s a bug, which causes the game to crash on load up. No, no, don’t adjust your eyeballs folks, you read that right. Because the guys at Microsoft Studios are so hipster, they decided testing the game was too mainstream and left a bug in the game that actually stops you from playing it. Thanks to the helpful bunch on the internet however, a few different fixes can be found and I found smashing the Guide button on load up works best (Though naturally it doesn’t work every time)
One of the big problems I have with this game is the driving, or riding if you were. It’s not a hard game per se, but you’d have more success riding an un-tamed lion than trying to drive anything less than erratic on the courses. Trying to ride along trees or narrow bridges or trying to successfully leave a ramp in the direction you started with on it then is near on impossible as you try to jockey for control over the bike. Maybe that’s when they decided to slot ‘Madness’ into the name. How devious, Microsoft.
The courses, set in one of three countries – Australia, Iceland and Egypt – are uninspiring and forgettable and I found myself knowing the layout to each course within the first lap. The best the game has to offer it seems is having a course that briefly goes through an abandoned roller coaster, which, during races you’ll never be able to appreciate and in exploration mode you won’t want to appreciate it after trying to ride on it for more than 5 seconds but failing due to it being so difficult to control your bike.
Admittedly the inclusion of using your Xbox Avatar as the rider is a nice touch and makes the whole experience a lot more personal. A fair few different clothes for your avatar are also available to buy in the game with the in-game coins you collect though these are merely aesthetic and add nothing to the game and while the Motocross specific clothes are available as avatar rewards, the others a pointless and it would have been nice to be able to use them outside of the game.The clothes for your avatar seem to be a waste of money if nothing else when you’re going to need to save up all those coins you collect on upgrading your bike or buying a new one that’s more suitable for the event you’re gunning for.
The four different events are unsurprisingly typical with race, rivals, exploration and trick session. Race is, naturally just racing, rivals is where you race what appear to be developer ghosts on the same tracks you raced on before. Exploration opens up the whole country area so you get a bit more familiar with the course or go off on your own thing and find coins and skulls. Finally, trick session is quite simply racing around a specially designed course where you need to bust as many tricks as possible to get the highest score.
The multiplayer is a nice feature, however, that allows you to play both locally on split-screen or on XBL where you get to race against seven other players across the globe. It pits you against racers your own level, so if you’re still quite new to the game, it will stick you in with like minded racers – which is nice to see.
After you manage to get past the start-up crashing, Motocross Madness is really nothing too special and different to any other Motocross game available and while it’s amusing to see a smartly dressed avatar with a Plants Vs Zombie mask on ripping up the courses, the novelty does die off rather quickly and it soon feels out of place. For only 800MSP however it’s certainly not expensive, and if you’ve got friends who like racing games, the split-screen could provide enough enjoyment for such a low price.
Audio/Visual – 2/5: Bland visuals and noticeably slow rendering coupled with the noise of a dying giraffe when the bikes are in motion.
Gameplay – 2/5: Rather unimaginative gameplay. Could have been something rather memorable, but sadly it’s the opposite.
Innovation – 1/5: It’s a motocross game. It’s not really any different to any other MX title out there. It has avatars, though…
Value – 3/5: There’s a fair bit of gameplay to go through though it all seems to blend together. The split-screen and online multi-player however could give you enough enjoyment for 800MSP.
Overall – 2/5