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Motocross Madness Review

Motocross Madness is one of those titles that I have many fond memories, giving gamers a rare chance to live out their scrambler dreams and plough through courses full of jumps and mud. Sadly as with most bike games, they never last long and just like all of the others this was left to rust over ten years ago. So to say this release came as a complete surprise is an understatement, not hearing much about it and writing it off as a poor copy of the once popular games, this new version brings the old concept to the current generation, easily topping what MX vs. ATV has been offering over the past few years.

As like any other racing game you start off as a rookie, though with an XBLA twist as you play as your avatar, all dolled up in whatever you have decked yourself out in, mounting a motocross bike ready to pull off plenty of tricks and earn some cash. At the very start your basic rider can't really get up to too much, with basic turbo boosts charged up by pulling off drifts and stunts as you hit the ramps. With the XP earned after each race, your character will soon level up, unlocking attire, more tracks and most importantly more tricks, with each being quite easy to pull off, only requiring a general direction of the control stick and a press of one of the face buttons, each one giving you a set of moves depending on what face button you press. The game even goes a little Road Rash on us, later granting the ability to punch riders as you overtake them. As well as XP you also earn plenty of cash with which you are able to visit your garage to purchase some new bikes, attire and also upgrade your rides, adding new engines, gears, tyres or a paint job. Each bike has its own strengths and weaknesses that you need to consider before taking them to the tack, some built for speed whilst others better used for stunts of travelling across sand.

The tracks are spread across three areas, Egypt, Australia and Iceland, each with their own unique environments and hazards like a volcano spewing lava, ancient ruins, a huge theme park and pirate coves, with the tracks themselves being really well designed, offering plenty of jumps to get air and pull off stunts, coins littered through the level to collect to earn more cash and loads of short cuts, some displayed on the map, others secret, though all are very risky to try and negotiate.

Aside from straight races and the occasional Rival Race my favourite part of Motocross Madness returns, the open world exploration, allowing you to travel around the games three main locations, granting you a huge space to open your throttle and earn more coins and skulls by jumping across rooftops and driving up mountains and pyramids. Further progression by winning races will also unlock a trick session, again granting you a seemingly open world to negotiate, but this time with death defying ramps and plenty of chances to pull off stunts, with each course having a set score to try and beat.

Though this is the sort of game I would usually gush all over there are a few nit-picky areas that do spoil the overall enjoyment, with the game suffering from some pop-up and slow texture loading, making it at times look ugly and also hard to negotiate corners if the level is still loading up the barriers in front of you. This ties in with the camera, it is just a bit too floaty, again making it hard to negotiate corners or gauge a correct trajectory for jumps, often resulting in you reaching for the reset button as you career off the track after a huge jump. The camera issues feel even worse in the open levels, with you trying to carefully balance across a beam but spending more time trying to get the camera right than actually getting across, more often than not falling off the edge.

Though initially the amount of tracks on offer seems a little tight, the game really opens up with the online modes. The usual quick play selections are here, with a decent lobby system allowing you to start races quite quickly. There is also the inclusion of a Bike Club, a create your own club where you can request people to join. Whoever joins your club will then log every time they complete a race, issuing challenges for you to beat like the fastest time on a track, drift length, time in a boost or stunt points. From an easy to follow club menu you can see all of the challenges and jump straight into the race for you to try and beat them. Normally these ideas are bolted on in an awkward menu but refreshingly, the Bike Club menu is very smoothly created and even ties in with the main game, granting cash and XP for all of the races you participate in.

Motocross Madness is easily the best motorbike game you can get on the XBLA, with it even rivalling most retail games, with it only really being let down by a few graphical issues and being a little too repetitive.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: Xbox 360 / Xbox LIVE)


- Bike Club
- Huge tracks to master
- Great budget price


- Camera is a bit fidgety
- Visuals suffer from pop-up and slow texture loading.

Edited On 16 Apr, 2013

( 5 )
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Man! I remember this when it first came out in like 97! I lost so much of my life to it! Shame it's an XBLA game, I really should pick up an xbox at some point just for stuff like this and trials that I can't get anywhere else!
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
might have to pick this up as TM said classic game which took a lot of hours out my day, ill be getting this pay day me thinks!
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
You don't have enough time to play xbox TM, you haven't finished the Dora the Explorer collection yet
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
I think the Review TM did perfectly sums up every Dora Game (I still laugh when I think about it)
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Haha! I appreciate that man!

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