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by THQ

3-1g.jpg (3861 bytes)THQ has brought its Ricky Carmichael franchise to the Gamecube. Formerly under the title MX200# they have decided to drop the year portion and add the much funkier "Superfly". Not only have they changed the name but the philosophy of the game is different. The main features that were prominent in previous installments are still around, but they are accompanied by some new additions to break some bones on. With all the emphasis on transformation, some of the problems with the previous releases are still evident.

3-41.jpg (4673 bytes)At the core of MXSuperfly nothing has changed; it’s just been expanded. The career mode makes a return with the amateur and pro ranks--racing against five computer opponents to acquire the most points to win the circuit. The addition comes with the need to accumulate enough cash to be allowed to race these circuits. To get enough cash you must succeed in a series of challenges to prove that you are worthy enough to race with the big wigs. For the most part these challenges are a tutorial to get the fundamentals of how to succeed in motor cross racing.

3-3v.jpg (4791 bytes)In the career mode you will have control of what gear you want your electronic counterpart to wear. Brands like Fox and Oakley are just a couple of the available options. Once you are geared, you can choose your bike from makers such as Yamaha and Kawasaki. Career mode will have you competing in two styles of competition. First off is the circuit race in which the better the finish the more points you will earn. And second is the freestyle competition with the goal to acquire as many trick points as you can by chaining tricks together without repeating yourself. The better the trick the higher the score. When successful in the career mode you will unlock more tracks and mini games.

3-45.jpg (4989 bytes)A first for the MX series is the mini games. They are a nice addition to the regular game play. At the beginning there are only three to choose from; with gaining success in the career mode, more will be unlocked. A few will be recognizable not from the world of motorcross, but from other walks of life such as golf, polo and HORSE (the basketball game). If there is any reason to want to complete career mode it is to make sure you play all the mini games. They are the show stealer in MX Superfly.

3-3x.jpg (5682 bytes)Graphically MX Superfly is filled with nice textures and sprawling environments. Player models are solidly built and given a great deal of realism. There was a nice selection of unique tracks In MX2002, but there was a problem with character animations. Players were static until it came to a trick then they sprang to life. Well that is not a problem with Superfly. Now they have a more fluid animation about them. Arms bend when hitting the ground after a jump. Environments are vast and none of the courses seem to be too short. Not all of them are primarily dirt either; some take place in a park racing on a sidewalk. There is enough variety to keep things interesting.

3-1f.jpg (5692 bytes)Unfortunately not everything has been fixed from the previous game. Collision detection is still a problem. The worst part is the inaccuracies when dealing with the computer-controlled players. If you happen to land on a biker you will be the one to take the fall, but if the computer is the one landing on you he will not fall but force you to crash. The same can be said for the interaction with environments. Bails of hay just need to be clipped a little to send you sprawling all over the dirt. The game runs pretty smoothly with the exception of the collision detection.

3-3n.jpg (6608 bytes)With MX Superfly being comprised of various styles of competition it is essential that the controls allow for the best possible success. After going though the first tutorial you will find that the controls respond well to the rigorous testing gamers put them through. As well the trick system is simple enough to pick up, yet is in-depth to give a true test to pull off the insane tricks that wow the fans.

3-3m.jpg (6055 bytes)MX Superfly truly is a welcome edition to the GameCube. With plenty of variety and unique mini games that keep the replay value high, MX Superfly has a lot to offer. Fans of motocross racing or just the extreme style of sports will enjoy playing the circuit and freestyle modes and feel the mini games are just an added bonus. Casual gamers will tend to lean to the mini games themselves, but these mini games are worth playing career mode for. Blending the lines of purist gaming and wacky arcade action, MX Superfly is worth a look.

Jake Carder   (08/14/2002)


Ups: Great blend of fantasy and reality; controls are solid; nice visuals; good track design.

Downs: Collision detection problems.

Platform: Gamecube