STAFF REVIEW of Motocross Madness (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Monday, April 15, 2013.
by Stephen Cameron

Motocross Madness Box art I could go on and on about the fact that the original Motocross Madness was the game that started my love for the genre. When Rainbow Studios created this masterpiece back in 1998 people were amazed! They had nailed it. Then a few years later came Motocross Madness 2 and it set a very high bar for any motocross game out there.

Then Rainbow Studios moved on to develop ATV Off-Road Fury for the Playstation 2 while Microsoft and Rainbow sadly went their separate ways. As they say, the rest was history. To date, the name “Motocross Madness” has sat on a shelf for over thirteen years. Did they somehow forget about it? Too much Halo on the brain? Who knows when publishers decide to bring back an older title, even if it’s just for the name. They need to stop and think and look at what made the original title great in the first place. You always risk making the new game worse than the original. Case and point, the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s hard to beat the original.

These days, we are seeing rehashed title one after another. But it seems to me that most of these “remakes” miss the mark. Honestly, publishers don’t seem care to ask the people that were present back then to contribute to help convey the excitement that was felt back then. I think most people would offer to do it for free too.

This “version” of Motocross Madness is NOTHING like the original title that was released back in 1998, nor Motocross Madness 2 for that matter other than the simple fact that you ride a motocross bike. This is truly sad. Will people have fun? Sure they will. Does it even have a sliver of the original game? Like I said, nothing.

The game basically consists of a combination of “Pure” from Disney Interactive and Mario Kart! And where is the motocross drifting coming from? Devs should know that in motocross there isn’t any drifting; none. And the boost? Really? Like Mario Kart, you collect stuff like coins like a platform game. Catch my drift? (See what I did there?)

The game controls are very frustrating. If it had good physics then things here wouldn't be so bad. In fact, they are the same, if not worse than MUD. I can’t get used to the fact my Xbox Live avatar is riding on the bike either. I could on and on about how this game fails for me but the fault lies with Microsoft and the developer.

Blame number one, Microsoft for using the name in vain, and releasing this game that is nowhere near the original game. Blame two, the developer for pitching this idea. Do you guys not remember the phenomenon of Motocross Madness or do we just remember things better than they really were? Was this release just a bad marketing attempt?
I really wish I had better things to say about this game but sadly, I do not. They should have made “Motocross Madness HD” and simply just update the old game or just called this game something else entirely, as to not tarnish the brand.

If you never played the original Motocross Madness and you don’t care to know the original then you’re fine; you’ll have fun at 800 MS points, as it’s not a rip off. You’re basically getting Mario kart with motocross bikes. But, if you do remember the old game, run away. It’s too different and too “arcady”. For the people that may think that this is all out of line... What if they did the same thing thirteen years from now and released a game titled "Halo", and made an avatar side scrolling version? You'd loose it. I rest my case.

Microsoft has unfortunately has cheapened the name, “Motocross Madness”, and shame on them. I beg, please don’t do the same thing to “Midtown Madness” as these iconic games deserve more than just an insulting avatar bobble-head knockoff that is nothing like the original. Trials 2 HD is better; go play that instead.

Overall: 4.2 / 10
Gameplay: 2.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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