Game Over Online ~ Motocross Madness

GameOver Game Reviews - Motocross Madness (c) Microsoft, Reviewed by - TraderX

Game & Publisher Motocross Madness (c) Microsoft
System Requirements P166, 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 94%
Date Published Sunday, August 2nd, 1998 at 10:33 AM

Divider Left By: TraderX Divider Right

Microsoft is world renown for most of their products,

but these usually do not include their games. In the past

Microsoft has attempted to impress us, and sometimes

succeeded in doing so, with their creative minds. This

encaptivement usually does not last very long, but I am willing

to bet that with this new title, gamers everywhere will look at

them in a different way. The release of Motocross Madness is

easily Microsoft Gaming's finest hour, and I'm positive it will

provide hours of enjoyment for a long time to come. By now

I'm sure you are all anxious to read about the game, so I'll give

it my best shot.

The hype surrounding this game was not overdone, it

made an appearance at E3 and showed off some of it's

features.... but when I was speaking to people about Motocross

Madness, most of them had never heard of it. If you want to

know what the game is like, picture Excite Bike (yes the old

NES classic) now combine it with today's hottest 3D graphics

and vast rolling terrains to explore. That is definitely the

picture I got in my mind when I first tried the game. What

separates MCM from games like Motoracer is it's replay value.

In the game there are numerous types of games available to

play. So let's explore each one now.

Probably the most favoured event is the Stunt

Quarry, in which you compete with other competitors to

achieve the highest score possible. How are you scored? Well

depending on how high, effective and interesting the stunts

you pull are! These events take place in the vast rolling

deserts, sand dunes, rocky areas and various other exciting

terrain. There are 16 unique stunts to pull, the possibilities and

combinations are nearly endless! So make sure you master this

event above all others, because sometimes they come in

handy. Without a doubt its the most fun you'll have in ages.

Next is the Baja Racing event, where you compete

with the other bikers in the same terrain except the point is to

race laps. A number of way points are set up around the level,

and there is a green 3D directional arrow that points to your

next way point. Basically whoever can make it around the laps

fastest wins in this event. Although you can still pull many

stunts in the Baja, you are not awarded points (but it still adds

to fun to pull the occasional Big Kahuna Dumpster!).

In the National Racing Event, it's basically like the

Baja except you have to stay on course. If you sway off course,

you have 5 seconds to re-enter the track before you are

re-spawned. The National sports the toughest tracks in the

game, so it's nice to practice in the Baja before attempting this

event. You can even play with up to 10 competitors for

maximum enjoyment.

Another favourite is the Supercross, which will really

bring back the good old days of Excite Bike. The Supercross

sports very narrow tracks with a number of jumps which act as

obstacles because they sway you off course as well. You can

choose to race in an excavation pit, a pyramid, a domed

stadium, or an open-air stadium. I really enjoyed this event

since it reminds me much of the old school favourites.

Lastly, the fifth event is Moto-Tag. One of the players

starts with as being "it" and basically it is a game of tag. If you

are it you have to chase down the other opponents through the

vast stunt quarries and tag them. The point of the game is to

avoid the person who is "it". I didn't find moto-tag as much fun

as the other events, but it's nice for a change once in a while

and shows off the creator's innovate thought process when

making Motocross Madness.

I was impressed to find out that MCM uses separate

player and bike physics allowed gamers to go beyond their

imaginations. By controlling the rider's center of gravity you

enable very realistic stunts to be executed, and that is what

also separates MCM from the rest, the realism. The graphics in

the game are simply stunning, especially if you are lucky

enough to own a fast 3D accelerator card like the Voodoo 2

chipset. I found playing MCM @ 800x600 with the detail set to

full to be breath takingly beautiful, and I was unaware that

Direct3D was capable of such awesome graphics. Also all of

the player animations are motion captured, to add to the

realism. Their motions and stunts are nearly flawless when

being executed and look equally impressive. Some of the

visual effects it features are lens flares, real time shadows,

bilinear filtering, and high resolutions. So don't worry about if

the graphics are good or not, because I assure you they are


As far as control goes, I found the keyboard to be

perfectly suitable in the default settings. But if you like to hack

at your control settings in games, rest assure that it's possible

to change the entire key mappings and even the sensitivity of

the keyboard. Although I was unfortunate in trying to find a

good joystick to use with MCM, a friend told me that "it's sweet

with force feedback". So everyone out there with FF should be


The sounds have almost reached perfection, but I

think there could be more ambient sounds besides the

rumbling and gear shifting of the motor. Never the less the

sound adds a very effective atmosphere to the game, and I was

quite impressed. There isn't really much speech, except in the

installation of the game (who cares), but you can taunt other

players when you ride by them. Occasionally when you pull a

really elevated stunt, your rider will scream with excitement.

Nice touch.

Lastly, I am not sure how hard I can stress this.... but

the multiplayer ROCKS! Recently I had to experience the

horror of switching from the blistering speeds of cable modems

to the luggish conventional modems (I moved houses), I

seriously thought this was the end of my multiplayer

experiences. Boy was I wrong, and MCM proves it! I mean I

tested the game over my LAN and of course it was flawless, but

most internet users do not have access to LAN's. So I tested the

game in a 5 player internet game, where a 56k modem user

was hosting... and it was nearly flawless! I played 3 different

events, and in each the game ran silky smooth. Occasionally

there was the odd "bobbing" of my opponents, but it doesn't

really affect the game much (especially in the Stunt Quarry).

So modem users will be glad to hear that MCM provides

superior lag-free internet player (FINALLY!).

Does MCM beat the famed Motoracer? Definately. Is

it worth a look at? For sure! Be sure to pick up Motocross

Madness because I guarantee it to be the most fun you will

have in a long time. It's got 5 different events, multiple stunts,

awesome graphics and excellent multiplayer capabilities. The

mind blistering speed will blow you away! So, my hat goes off

to the people at Microsoft Gaming for a job well done. Here is

how the game ranks up.

Graphics: 19 / 20

Sound: 13 / 15

Gameplay: 29 / 30

Fun Factor: 19 / 20

Multiplayer Play: 5 / 5

Overall Impression: 9 / 10

Overall Rating: 94 / 100

REVIEWED ON: - P2-300, 64mb RAM, ATI 3D Xpression+ with a

Diamond Monster 3D-2.

- P200MMX, 32mb RAM, S3 Card with a Diamond Monster 3D.

* Update * I just wanted to update my review, because I mistakingly forgot to review the awesome Track Editor included FREE with the game. This is a full fledged Supercross track editor that allows you to increase your single player experience, and enhance the replay ability of the game (thanks Jason & Karen). This editor brought back so many memories of Excite Bike, because that is basically what it is, except in a more realistic 3D form. Tracks can be quickly created using simple "Sim City" like buttons, where you just place and rotate certain elements onto an even more simple grid like map. I was able to make a stunningly detailed track in under 30 minutes, and I sent it over to another machine and played my friend in multiplayer using my homemade map! So, as an added bonus to buying Motocross Madness, you'll be pleased to find this fool-proof Track Editor for free. (Maybe I should have increased the rating :)


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