With so few choices of Moto-X games available, and very few of those with official championship races, real riders and fully licensed bikes, thre seems to be a huge gap in the market. When MUD was announced, all of those exhaust-pipe dreams became a reality… we could look forward to actually riding a Honda or KTM or whatever and legally be able to say it because it’s featured in the title.
MUD FIM Motocross World Championship, the career mode, has the player selecting a character to ride with (can’t wait to select a real life rider). The player is able to increase their skill levels through different events, too.
The characters are the stars of MUD world tour, in which the player can manage up to four riders and mould their skills and talents to specific events for their team. But I have never heard of any of these riders… Now to the bikes. Can’t select your bike. Oh, well, on to the race. What does that sound like, is it a weed-whacker or a bike? Is this the right game?
One of the first disappointments is that the bike (not that you can select or even see any of them before a race) doesn’t sound like a bike at all. We should be able to tell the difference between the bikes just by their sound. This title has the motorbikes sounding similar to household power tools and garden equipment that blare at the same flat tone all the time. During a race or event, after turning all volume down, except for the bike, the player will still be able to hear the crowd clapping and the announcers commentary over the engine… another let down. If you decide on turning the music up, get ready for pimple punk or teenage thrash – most of the tunes are as bad as the bikes, but there are surprising songs that are actually good. Sound effects include the clapping crowd and announcer, with a dropping tool box noises for the suspension, which also can’t be turned off.
Now that you can’t select a real rider and the bikes sound like hairdryers, do they look real, at least? The parts of the bike that you do see do look quite authentic, but they also do in the MX franchise, just without the price tag name. The MX titles also have licensed gear (boots, helmets, goggles, etc.) which the player can edit and change at any time.
The menus are really cool looking with a comic book feel to them, and the in game graphics are up to today’s standards regarding background skylines and spectators.
The riders on the bikes don’t look as great and don’t move realistically at all. Stiff marshmallows could describe the riding style.
Now the all important part of the game; the bike and how they handle, and how would the player handle the bike? We are use to the dual analog sticks, one for the bike and one for the rider’s body weight, which works really well. In MUD there will only be one analog stick which is the bike and the rider… well, really only the bike. Bumpy terrain feels as if you skipping across the water like a stone, and the camera views follow the bike which can lead to motion sickness.
The game doesn’t offer the same sharp turning and braking that players get in other titles. The player, during a race, can scrub or whip and, if performed perfectly, it magically boost the players speed. Using brakes is un-necessary for most of the game. Even with the MX1 and MX2 championships, 12 tracks from real venues and arena’s – it just doesn’t matter. The bike physics feel like an arcade game.
If they boasted less about the real riders, the licensed bikes and championship races and concentrated more on the actual reason why they made this game, for players to ride realistic feeling licensed bikes around real tracks, we could of had something better.
If it came down to what was on paper, this game would be great.
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