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Reviewed: Motocross Madness 2
Author: Chris Kim       Date: August 3rd, 2000
Page: 3

For the difficulty of the game, this new sequel is much better. The original had a problem with the game being a bit overbearing with how hard the opponents were. More often than not, the player would find himself far too behind early in the game, especially for novices. When the player got more experienced, the computer would then often be too much of a pushover. Basically, the computer difficulty did not scale too well. In Motocross Madness 2, there are three difficulty settings, each designed specifically for the novices to experts, with opponents as aggressive or passive as the difficulty level calls for. Drastic differences can be seen between the various settings and it helps the players out significantly.

On the multiplayer spectrum side of things, support for the game is high, especially across the Zone. There is a fully featured lounge for players to meet and hook up with to play the game. Just like the single player mode, multiplayer is a blast to play. Just with human opponents, the cunning agility of the other racers is much more devious and only limited by the control of the others. Also recently released was a track editor, this should increase the longevity of the game with tons of user creations available. It might not reach the acclaim of Unreal Tournament, but hey, why not dream?

I'm a Crowd Pleaser
Over the Hill... Not Age!
Gonna Be Sore For a Week

There isn't a whole lot for the interface, but what is in the game is clean and responsive. The screen is overlaid with three screens: a map, speedometer, and ranking board. Each display is transparent and allows the player to see what is behind it, so those displays don't obstruct the view of the field. When stunting, players are given a score by a neon colored number that flashes behind the player. This doesn't do any harm to the viewing field. The interface is basically like Unreal Tournament in a way, with all the menus a metallic color and menus that are adjustable by clicking it or surfing through it with a click on the arrows.

Control of the racers is excellent. Playing with the keyboard is not too painful, but the game was designed in mind with a gamepad, more specifically, the Sidewinder Gamepad or Freestyle Pro. The agile feel of these gamepads and button placement make them ideal for this game (which isn't too surprising as those are Microsoft products as well). Using the tilt feature on the Freestyle Pro feels natural and movement of the rider is near perfect. One could be surprised by the results of the strong control.

Tilt It!
Going for a Ride

How could the graphics get any better? Well, just about improving in every single area: higher polygon count, higher resolution textures, more detail. That is exactly what has happened with Motocross Madness 2, just about every area in the game has been significantly improved in terms of graphic quality. Most noticeable are the terrain graphics. The original textures used in the first game were excellent; however, the newest textures are simply amazing with some of the most detail and extraordinary touches gone into this one. Just how the environment is built, the curves of the hills and bumps in the ground are simply amazing to look at. Who said that curved surfaces and realistic terrain wasn't possible with today's 3D Accelerators? Just look at Motocross Madness 2! Trees are also solidly constructed, the look almost like they came from the tree technology demo benchmark included with the GeForce videocards.

While the terrain has taken bounds and leaps ahead in the technology ride, the bike and player graphics remain quite similar to the original. The rider's graphics have been slightly improved with a few additional animations, they remain almost the same. This is not to say that they are bad, just it would have been cool to see them improve in graphical quality like the terrain did. Those oddities aside, the engine itself seems very well scaled. Even on my lowly 450MHz machine with 128MB RAM and 3D Prophet DDR-DVI, the engine ran very smooth at 1024x768 at full detail, until it ran into areas with complex scenery or lots of objects. It has been said that the game supports hardware T&L, but like Quake 3 Arena, is not optimized for it. It only helps take some load off of the CPU, not enhance the graphical quality.

Past the Hay
Trailer Park Love
Broken Airplane, Broken Bike

Just like the original, the sound effects are pretty much the same. Engine sounds typically fill the air with a consistent rumble. It isn't overpowering like some sounds and it doesn't get too annoying. Collision and falling impact sounds are much stronger and can have a dramatic impact on the listening peace. Aside from the few ambient noises that come with the typical environment, there aren't a whole lot of sounds. There is one notable exception, in the snow levels, when the player got stopped next to a cabin, the player could hear voice of people talking inside of the cabin! Perhaps this is just an EAX enhancement, but this really adds to the immersion. Again, music has not been included in the game, which is a big bummer.

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Added:  Thursday, August 03, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 3/5

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