Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone



With electronic gaming saturated with extreme-sports titles, any new entry needs to offer something extra to entice gamers into purchasing it. THQ's MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael offers a standard spec sheet with single and multiplayer modes, solid controls, and, challenging AI. However, MX Superfly sweetens the pot and adds customizable tracks and riders, plus downloadable content on Xbox Live. The question is whether this enough to make it stand out or if it winds up as just another face in the crowd. We jump on our bikes and find out the answer.

THQ's MX Superfly is an excellent motocross racing simulation with loads of features and modes. What makes the game stand out is its smooth and intuitive controls that allow you to perform massive stunts easily. MX Superfly is a deep simulation and includes 27 real-life riders, over 20 courses and several mini-games that can be unlocked. All of this should keep you busy for quite some time. Additionally, you can also create your own rider and bike using real parts from more than a dozen manufacturers. Each rider has their own strengths and weaknesses, though they're relatively well balanced. However, you can earn and purchase upgrades as you progress through the game to improve your rider's skills and abilities.

MX Superfly goes the extra mile includes several types of play including Career, Exhibition, and Multiplayer modes. These are sub-divided into standard racing and freestyle modes. The racing mode is straightforward. Here, you earn points for both placement and stunt score. You can race either 125cc and 250cc courses. These races take place in a variety of locales with indoor and outdoor tracks taking place in either urban or off-road arenas. The courses can be quite tricky, with some nasty turns and obstacles getting in your way. You traverse several types of terrain including dirt, mud and ice. MX Superfly also includes many freestyle courses, which are huge and leave plenty of room to explore. These massive areas include hidden paths and secrets. The freestyle tracks can include large gaps, winding paths and secrets plus hidden sections that allow you to chain together some massive moves and jumps for a huge score.

MX Superfly's deep career mode is the heart of the game and the only section that allows you to earn money and upgrades. There are two types Careers that cover racing and freestyle stunt modes. You begin with a short training sessions where you can learn the ropes and techniques. Once you've mastered the basics, you can race in competitive events. When you win, you earn money and can use this to unlock additional courses, new mini-games and riders. There are more than a dozen mini-games, some of which are creative. For example, in one mode you have to pick up pizza and deliver it to riders who are scattered throughout the large freestyle course. Other mini-games involve trying to get the biggest jump, jumping over buses, performing stunts before balloons drop. In addition, there are Slalom, Golf and Horse games, which adds to the fun. While not all the mini-games are available initially, they're loads of fun and more than worth the effort it takes to unlock them.

MX Superfly's controls are quite intuitive and racers will be performing the various stunts easily in no time. The basic stunts such as spinning, are simple to perform and don't take a lot of effort to complete. To perform stunts, players hold down the R trigger while in the air and press a button. How long you hold these determines if you land and score, or crash and burn. More advanced stunts like hand-planting, nac-nacs and grabbing, are more complex, requiring you to press multiple buttons at just the right time. You earn points for successfully landing a stunt, but you won't earn as many points if you perform the same move repeatedly. You earn more points and money by performing more difficult stunts, so landing these is very important. Players who master the timing and techniques of these moves will be able to score big.

The game's learning curve allows you to build skills at your own pace. The controls are easy enough to learn even novice players will be turning tricks with the best of them in no time. The hardest part of the game to master is timing, which can be difficult. One key element in MX Superfly is mastering the Preload clutch system. The clutch allows you to make really big jumps. The technique here is that you hold then releasing the clutch just before you jump gives you extra air. Timing on this is critical because the clutch only stays fully down for a few seconds, so you have to hit it just at the right time to get the maximum jump. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but after some practice, it becomes second-nature. While the controls aren't as smooth as Tony Hawk, MX Superfly feels very tight and the responsive interface allows you to perform moves with ease.

One of the biggest features of the game is that you can create your own freestyle courses using MX Superfly's course editing feature. The interface for this is simple and easy to understand, allowing you to edit and tweak your course until you've achieved the perfect balance. The track-editing mode is versatile and allows you to place a large variety of platforms, ramps, barriers and obstacles on the track. After you've designed your course, you can take a test run and see how it feels. Once completed, you can save the custom course to the hard drive and play it later on with friends. This is really impressive and its implementation is excellent, giving MX Superfly an edge on it's opponents.

MX Superfly's visuals are fantastic and the graphics engine is impressive. The game features excellent texture mapping, good player models and smooth animation showcasing the Xbox console's abilities. The many trackside objects such as buildings, trees, and audience stands look sharp and detailed, giving the game a realistic appearance. The attention to detail extends to the tracks themselves, which are quite detailed and believable. Additional touches such as dramatic replay angles give the stunts an effective visual punch. MX Superfly's pecial effects such as light sourcing, sun-glare and environmental elements including mud and water add to the game's realism. MX Superfly's graphics should please most players, and it exploits the famously robust Xbox rendering power effectively.

MX Superfly stands out from the pack thanks to its extensive customization aspects. The controls are tight and responsive and with a deep and versatile tricks system. MX Superfly's surprisingly intelligent racing AI makes the races more competitive than you'd expect and winning the racers can be quite challenging. MX Superfly's intuitive controls and transparent tricks interface allows you to perform wild stunts while racing seamlessly. One of MX Superfly's most impressive bonus features is that it allows you to download new courses and riders using the Xbox Live service. Since this extra content is only available online, it's worth getting connected. However, you cannot play a multiplayer game using Xbox Live, which seems odd since the game supports the service with downloadable content. However, the extensive customization options more than make up for this minor annoyance. In the end, this excellent motocross title should appeal to both casual gamers and fans of the sport. MX Superfly's challenging gameplay is fun and addictive, while the numerous mini-games and customization options make it one of the most impressive motocross titles on the Xbox to date.

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