Motocross racing is an exciting sport that has been gaining some well-deserved respect of late (c.2000). The maneuverability, balance and overall knowledge the riders must possess to be successful is very high. Games like Motocross Madness 2 give those of us who want to experience the sport a chance to see what it's all about with bones intact. With Motocross Madness 2, there's no need to worry about hurting oneself by performing the insane jumps and tricks that are possible. And, trust me, they are insane!
Tricks like Superman, Cliff Hanger, the (appropriately named) Heart Attack, Big Kahuna and many others are part of what contribute to the title Motocross Madness 2. As exciting as the tricks are, they're not the focus of the game, however. Winning the race is what counts. In Motocross Madness 2, there are tournaments, practices, single events and pro circuits. In addition, the game contains stunt and endurance levels as well as emulated Motocross events in stadiums. To start, the Baja levels are definitely recommended. These show arrows at the bottom of the screen to let you, the new racer, know where you are going.
There is a very good amount of variety throughout the different levels of Motocross Madness 2. The tracks range from the deserts of the Baja to the dirt tracks of the pro circuit, with lots in between. The different textures of the surfaces affect your bike accordingly. For example, things tend to be quite a bit more slippery on the dirt tracks of the pro circuit compared to those of the hard desert.
One addition that would have been welcome is weather. With the lack of this key feature that affects many sports (think of a football game without the option of snow), Motocross Madness 2 doesn't feel as complete as it should. With varying weather options, the environments could have been greatly altered and gameplay expanded. Instead of having clear paths to the finish line, you'd be forced to come up with a strategy to evade puddles, icy patches and so forth.
The controls in Motocross Madness 2 are very responsive using a gamepad. While turns can be pulled on a dime, an extremely important aspect, landing jumps is another story. While not a product of poor control, landing jumps takes a lot of proficiency and practice. You must land with tires correctly aligned and have the balance of your bike in complete control at all times -- certainly not something to be taken lightly.
Races are very difficult to compete in for beginners as crashes occur regularly. Anytime your bike goes airborne, you must watch out for anything may get in your way. Trees, rocks and other debris cause regular high-speed crashes. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view), even on the easy level the opposition is very good. The computer-controlled racers are very proficient at their trade and will do everything in their power to win. That makes Motocross Madness 2 seem very real.
The graphics in Motocross Madness 2 are very, very good. If you have a high-quality video card, you can turn up the level of detail for your game for an even better experience. The backgrounds are beautiful. The sun creates unbelievable effects, the trees and bushes look lifelike and the bikes move with such speed, you'll feel like you're riding them. The camera view is nearly perfect as it moves back for wide shots and zooms in for stunts and jumps. There are no problems with swinging cameras or anything in the background getting in your way.
I had a bit of an aversion to the sounds of Motocross Madness 2. The sound effects are just average but the music is nearly non-existent. Aside from an Incubus song during the introduction (very nice touch), real music is not a part of the game. Instead, generic background music is played or nothing at all. Microsoft made a mistake here because heart pounding, adrenaline-pumping music could have enhanced the title a great deal.
As it stands, Motocross Madness 2 is a high quality racing game for the Motocross fan. People who like regular car racing games should also give this title a try -- they may just be surprised by the gameplay and sport of motocross racing!
People who downloaded Motocross Madness 2 have also downloaded:
Motocross Madness, Midtown Madness 2, Monster Truck Madness 2, Midtown Madness, Monster Truck Madness, Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed 5: Porsche Unleashed, NASCAR Thunder 2004
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