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GamesFirst! Magazine

Preview:
MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael

kiss5.jpg (5162 bytes)
Due June 2001 for PS2.

 

bussui2.jpg (5689 bytes)Ricky and the boys are back, and this time the dirt clods are flying higher and you can see each one, individually modelled to perfection. Okay, so the folks at THQ, and their development house Pacific Power and Light, know we want more than beautifully rendered dirt clods, but the graphic realism of this game makes you feel like you could pause and examine every minute detail. Suffice it to say this: Motocross never looked so good, except in real life. MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael, the latest in THQ’s series of hardcore motocross racers, is faster, prettier, and more loaded than any other motocross title out there.

lusksx7.jpg (7597 bytes)The standards are all back, including 30 pro riders to choose from and 22 real-world racing locations. Featured pros include: Carey Hart, Mike Jones, Mike LaRocco, Trevor Vines, Kevin Windham, Ezra Lusk, and newcomer, James "Bubba" Stewart. Featured tracks include: Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championships, the Chevy Trucks US Motocross Championships, Free Ride Moto-X Championships, and the THQ US Open. The real-world courses are modelled from satellite imaging data to give them an ultra-realistic feel.

In addition to the race elements, MX 2002 features a robust freestyle game. Freestyle courses abound, and special modes such as Bus Jump and Step Up Challenges add to the fun. The stunt control system is great, and you’ll be pulling wheelies, stoppies, tail whips, and even custom special tricks like the Hart Attack and the Catwalk.

To add to the enjoyability of the game, you’ll be able to view replays in modes like TV Camera, which simulates a television broadcast of the race, or Matrix mode, which allows the camera to move around your rider in 360 degrees. The excellent graphical quality of the game will really lend itself to making the replays an enjoyable aspect of the title.

A few turns around the track really let you know how much improvement has gone into MX 2002. The sensation of speed is excellent, and the level of control is top notch. As I played, I always felt in total control of my rider, and it was completely natural to nudge the bike around in the air to set up for that upcoming turn or to slide out around a corner to get that inside line. The stunt system is also impeccable, and the enhanced graphics really make the tricks look better.

All these improvements, combined with the awesome scope of the game, make MX 2002 a really appealing title for the PS2 this summer. Due to hit in June, expect to see lots of coverage about this title. It looks like THQ is setting us up for some serious gaming this summer, and we couldn’t be happier.

Shawn Rider

 

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