Replay Value: 7.9
THQ's has decent success with their MotorCross titles that ever since the original have been featuring Ricky Carmichael. The series began on the Playstation, and was well received by most critics. Though some may argue that the games were dull, overall THQ's MX titles were well polished. But for THQ it wasn't enough, they've conquered the 32-bit field, and now want to dominate the inexistent competition that is in the 128-bit world. Presenting MotorCross 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael. It's THQ's third PS2 title, and first MX PS2 title. For MX fans this is the only game to buy, as it is not only the sole motorcross title on the PS2, but it's also best by default. Keep reading for the full review on MX 2002.
Visually MX 2002 presents itself pleasantly. The bike models, although look a bit slim, feature good level of detail and craftsmanship that makes all bikes easily recognizable. To put it in simpler terms, each bike looks realistic. Aside from just model detail, every bike's suspension moves and flows as realistically as it should in real life. Pacific Coast Power & Light (developer) did an excellent job in creating a realistic physics engine that reverberates actual MX conditions, and it's quite noticeable too. The bike riders are solid built, but absolutely no physical attributes were accounted for, as pretty much all of the rider's body's look the same. MX 2002's best visual mien is its wonderful environments, that are filled with tons of textures, buildings, and various other background objects. To put it a word, MX 2002's environments are simply 'wonderful.' These screenshots do justice to what I just had to say, and frankly I believe you will all agree with me. Overall the visuals are solid, good bike models and excellent background detail, is just hampered by poor biker detail.
A gameplay score of 8.0 doesn't necessarily mean this game is just above average, in fact this actually an incredibly fun game to play. But the problem is that this game feels shallow in terms of variety. Granted there are 30 riders and bikes, there are 15 awesome motorcross and snowcross tracks, and there's even an awesome stunt mode, but there just aren't enough modes. You pretty much have two modes of gameplay, Career and Freestyle, although you are given Exhibition as well, it just won't be played as much as those two modes. The Career is what helps you unlock all of the hidden riders, and tracks, including Freestyle tracks. Meanwhile the Freestyle mode is the Tony Hawk of the game, this is pretty much where you'll be spending most of your time while playing this game. The events you go through include everything from a plain stadium MX track to jumping over busses. And to top it all off there are over 30 awesome tricks you can do while your riding the wind. Those two modes are great, but a little extra would've been appreciated, such as a HORSE mode, where either a CPU controlled opponent or a human opponent makes a stunt and you have to perform it as well. Something a long the lines of that would've made a great extra mode, but I guess I can live with what I've got. MX 2002 is an incredibly fun title, you're likely to be playing this game for a while, the cast of riders and slew of tracks is probably the biggest plus for the gameplay and replay category, and the Freestyle mode is the icing on the cake. Motorcross fans should check this game out.
An extreme sport such as motorcross deserves a game with a righteous soundtrack, Tony Hawk had one, Tony Hawk 2 had one, Mat Hoffman's PRO BMX had one, and ATV: Offroad Fury had one, so it's only rightful that MX 2002 has one as well. Although unlike the aforementioned titles, MX 2002's soundtrack is a bit repetitive if you ask me. The soundtrack consists of well known rock bands such as American Hi-Fi, Injected, Relative ASH, and the recently becoming popular band, SUM-41. In total there are only 7 tracks, two of which I don't enjoy listening to, where in areas other games such as Tony Hawk had over a dozen tracks, Mat Hoffman had an incredible 15 song soundtrack and ATV: Offroad Fury had roughly 12. Seven tracks is lacking if you ask me, but never the less five of them still sound good, and because the rev of the bikes sounds so cool, I had given the sound an average grade.
Probably why MX 2002 is such a quick playing title, is because of its responsive controls. Getting into the game takes absolutely no time at all, maneuvering your bike is simple and requires both analog sticks for best performance. Of course the left analog provides various levels of sensitivity as well as great feel of the bikes, while the right analog offers sensitive acceleration and braking levels. The only thing to learn and master in MX 2002 is its trick scheme, I would've much rather preferred some kind of Tony Hawk scheme, but MX 2002's still works fine. The R2 or L2 button work as the pre-launch button, which makes your rider put pressure on the springs right before take off, for none other than a longer jump. This is similar to Offroad Fury's way of making a longer jump, and every bit as effective. To perform a trick you'll need to hold either R2 or L2 while in the air, and use the action face buttons, either singularly or simultaneously. To flip, turn and whip you bike, you'll have to just use the analog stick while in the air. As I said, great controls that don't take much time to get used to.
In the end, MX 2002 is title worthy of a purchase for all motorcross and snowcross fans out there. Racing fans are also welcome to check out MX 2002, but I suggest a rental first, before purchasing. The visuals of MX, while not approaching any hardware limits, certainly do hold their own. As the game's environmental detail is most definitely this game's best visual aspect. In addition to that, MX 2002's long list of gameplay features such as tracks, bikes and tricks is hit by a lack of extra modes, albeit that problem aside MX 2002 is an excellent title that's deemed a look at.