MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael Review
Last year, THQ debuted its motocross series on the PS2 with MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael. A pretty well-rounded game overall, MX 2002 was no miracle-worker, but it sure was an above-average racer that was enjoyed among its fans. This year's entry takes everything good from 2002 and refines it. The trick system has more dept; visually, the game one-ups itself; and an array of modes make the game well worth your time.
MX 2002 was a very good looking game all around: Crisp textures, gritty, realistic-looking landscapes, and a stable framerate built up a graphically sound game. MX Superfly boasts these same elements, just to a minimally higher degree. At a glance, there's no question 2002's older brother isn't phenomenally better, but regardless, everything does look slightly superior. It's also great how the landscapes interact with the gameplay. Since the tracks are built-up of dirt and rocks, landing at a awkward angle sometimes ends in a sliding crash. Surprisingly, the dirt will actually wear and stick onto your player's clothing, so taking a few nasty spills will cover your rider in dirt and dust; he'll even attempt to wipe some of it off.
Chock-full of gameplay modes, Superfly delivers a diversely satisfying number of play modes. Aside from the numerous mini games and exhibition trials, Superfly includes two deeper modes: Freestyle Circuit and Race Circuit. Appropriate to each, you'll start off with a created player with a desire to compete with the big boys. At first, you'll have to compete in a boot camp and tutorials to earn cash, as well as racing in the amateur ranks. Once you meet the money criteria, you can move up and enter a season, vying for the rights to compete in higher levels of racing, such as the 125cc and 250cc classes.
In the racing circuit, you'll contend in a number of different events, and after a few, there will be a trophy presentation to the top three riders overall. You'll then be able to enter a season to earn even more cash. Do good here and earn as much money as you can and you'll steadily move your way up the ladder. Once you make it to the pro ranks as a 125cc rider, your next goal will be trying to make it to the 250cc weight class. In freestyle circuit, the objectives are a bit different, and instead, you'll be pitted against other riders in a plethora of different freestyle competitions and mini games. Again, you'll start off as a rookie and will have to slowly garner more money; mini games are also unlocked here.
The mini games are quite fun, but some of them are more tedious than they are enjoyable. One great example of this is the mini game where you have to find the designated golf ball and bring it to the specified hole. Once you do this, you'll repeat the process, gaining more points after each one completed. The catch is that you'll do this for 6 minutes -- in freestyle circuit -- and this process will wear down faster than you think, much faster. Thankfully, not all the mini games are this dull, especially not the pizza delivery one. Here, you'll have to pick up pizzas at the different spots they reside and deliver them to the number of locations in the level. There's even a map on the bottom that has all the places designated with pips -- sounds easy enough, right? It begins to complicate, however, when you learn that the stops can be anywhere: atop buildings, inside corridors, behind alleys, and so on. Other mini games, which aren't so fantasy-based, are also included, such as step up and horse.
As said earlier, Superfly's trick system has been raised substantially. This isn't to say that fans from MX 2002 won't be able to bust out tricks, but it might take a few adjustments before they do. Unlike last year's version, the different buttons are actually pressure sensitive and will vary accordingly. While holding X will pull off one trick, pressing X will execute another; tapping the X button is yet another trick that can be done. Also, you can link together tricks by tapping one button and pressing another or holding two buttons and tapping another. With so many variables, the end result is a lot of tricks at your disposal, and it'll take a good amount of practice before you can utilize them effectively.
While effectively maneuvering and riding a dirt bike seems simple enough, there are a lot of intricacies that go into it. The preload button is the first thing you'll need to master. Preloading lets you jump high and perform tricks once in the air. There's a meter that will symbolize how much preloading you've done before a jump, too. Another piece you'll need to learn is power sliding, as many of the looping tracks are replete with loops and curves and intertwining sections. Players will also learn many more tidbits about racing as they play.
Another worthy addition found in Superfly is the track editor. Supplying you with an array of different obstacles, objects, ramps, etc., you can create virtually any type of arena structure you want so that you can bust out your repertoire of tricks. In addition, it's pretty easy to navigate and build whatever you desire, and you can test run your project at any time.
Superfly does well audio-wise, featuring tons of up-beat tracks. As with any extreme sports title, these beats gratefully aid to the gameplay, and the tracks flow excellently with the play on-screen. The sound-effects are your run of the mill noises: riders wrecking, riders power sliding against the harsh turns, and riders hitting their clutch for that extra boost around sharp turns.
MX Superfly is pleasingly deep, with mini games galore, two fairly deep single-player modes, and a diverse trick system. Some may prefer Freekstyle's more outlandish, unrealistic approach to the sport of motocross, but most people will find that Superfly is greatly inspired and really brings you a sense that you're a real dirt bike racer. MX Superfly is a great play, whether you're a fan of the actual sport or not.
6/27/2002 Joseph Comunale