August 15, 2000
by EA Sports Reviewed by: Jason Long
Welcome to the world of EA Sports' Supercross action. In this installment you will find 24 real Supercross and freestyle (trick) riders, actual tracks and accurate motorcycle physics, and of course you also get real commentators. The best stuff, though, is the amount of cool tricks and the realism that is all over this game. As the riders go through each track they develop ruts and grooves where the bikes have worn down the whoops and jumps. Another of the really cool additions to this title is the Stuntcam™ PIP View, for when you catch that mad air and do a wild pancake whip.
This is game is seriously cool and is a must-have for any die-hard fan. Unfortunately, the die-hards are the only people who will enjoy the game for more than a few hours. The problem is that there are really only two modes of play, regular races and freestyle, and they don’t stand the test of time. I played through an entire Supercross season and several freestyle races and found myself wanting more, but to no avail. This game has tons to give in the realism arena and the “make you feel like you’re there” element that EA Sports does really well, but it left me wanting a lot more when I got through the race season. Unfortunately, more wasn’t really there. You can use another rider, but the difference to my untrained hands was only cosmetic; or you can do another season, but the only way to make that more interesting is to make races longer to allow the ruts and grooves to develop and complicate your race lines. It takes at least four laps for enough ruts to appear to make you actually change your race line and the initial setting is five laps to a race.
As I mentioned above, this game shines when it comes to realism. What this means for you is that these little two-strokes are going to have you all over the track for the first few races. If you have ever ridden a motorcycle you know that they are more difficult to control than they look and if you have ever ridden a dirt-bike you know that they are even more unruly, especially when the surface gets more and more irregular. So as you can imagine, the bikes in this game take a bit to get used to, but for me that made it a much more appealing game. I really enjoyed learning the tricks for how to make a really good turn; when to use the burns on the outside and when to just drop the throttle and gun it. I had a lot of fun learning each of the tracks and figuring out when I could go for the big air.
One drawback for me was the ability to screw up and get the bike into a corner in the track model and have a really hard time getting out. There are a number of places in this game where if you go too far to the outside of a turn, you might slide off the jump at the end and get caught next to an invisible wall. This kind of thing just really turns me off to a game. I know it’s impossible to find every conceivable problem before a game is released, but this kind of problem is tough to forgive.
The graphics on this one are solid. Good clean views and a consistent quality frame-rate. With the kind of pile-ups that I was seeing (causing), I found that to be a huge benefit.
The commentators are good, but I have to say that they got on my nerves by the end of the first season. They just didn’t have enough interesting things to say and once you hear them say the same thing about ten times, you will just want to turn down the sound and pretend it isn’t there.
This is a great game if you want a decent simulation of Supercross action or are a die-hard dirt-bike racing fan. However, for the casual gamer, this game will not stay in the PSX very long. It just doesn’t keep the interest alive long enough. It is a fun game, just not for long...
Review Posted On 12 June 2000.
|All contents © 1996-2000 Gamezilla! Online Magazine, a publication of Gamezilla, Inc. All rights reserved.|