Friday, July 20, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

MXGP Pro Box art Since their initial release in November of 2014 with the release of MXGP, racing game developer Milestone has been developing motocross games following their first game release. This includes sequels such as MXGP2, MXGP3 and their newest addition, MXGP Pro. MXGP Pro is a Motocross racing game, obviously. My first impressions of this game are that it is an educational (yes, I said educational) and a visually impressive representation of the sport. From the moment I started the tutorial, to the hours spent racing around and learning how to ride a bike, I found that what I played was time well spent.

If you're expecting a game that you simply hold the Right Trigger for gas and move your joystick to the left or right to move your bike and race around a track, you'll definitely get that, but there are a few, shall I say, "tweaks"? Yeah, we'll go with tweaks. These tweaks will make the typical trigger holding and moving your analog stick a little bit more difficult than you may be used to, and it definitely makes you consider every move you make, as one wrong move and it could cost you the entire race. There are a few things that pleasantly surprised me about this game that I'm hoping you, as a gamer, will also appreciate. Have a seat, get comfy and let me educate you on my experiences with MXGP Pro.

The first pleasant surprise was right at the beginning, as you get a nicely designed tutorial. For me, especially as a gamer that is completely new to Motocross, and for those who will be completely new to it as well, I appreciate when a game sets me up for success. I'm not going to lie; you're going to have to go through the tutorial whether you want to or not. Step by step, the narrator takes you through a track and demonstrates how to do the basics, such as steering, accelerating, going over a jump properly (yes, there's a proper way) and how to balance your bike.

Remember how I said there were a few tweaks? Well, MXGP Pro is the type of game that likes to test the professional Motocross rider in you. There's no more simply holding down the gas and steering. If you steer too hard, you'll most likely crash into a tree or drive off the track. The good thing about mistakes in MXGP Pro is that you can rewind your crash after hitting a tree, or that split second when you drove off the track, but we'll get into that a little later.

As I said above, if you're new to MXGP, or a well seasoned Motocross gamer, the tutorial is something I highly recommend focusing on. MXGP Pro has settings that may be very different than other Motocross games, so if you play with these settings incorrectly, then it could dramatically influence your place in the race and even your enjoyment of the racing itself.

The second pleasant surprise was the amount of detail has gone into the content of the game. Now, I haven't played very many racing games, regretfully, but the ones that I have played aren't this detailed in their settings. For example, you can change your front and brake settings, which completely alters how your bike performs. But be warned, before you go playing around in the settings, potentially making your bike inoperable, make sure you read in-game description of what you are adjusting so you're aware of what you're potentially altering on your bike. For most of the race settings you can look below in the description and learn what each function is, what happens when you raise or lower a setting, and what you want to do to optimize your driving experience. For someone like me, this is a fantastic idea. Although, it is tempting to see what happens if you totally alter the settings in the wrong way and see what happens, but consider that something to do under your own discretion. I don't personally want to alter my gameplay whatsoever, but that might be your thing if you're more seasoned.

The gameplay of MXGP Pro at times is a little frustrating at first, until you catch on to how the physics and controls function properly. You essentially are racing around a track, and the goal is to obviously win; however, with the physics being such a huge part of this sport, it can be a little difficult at times. The rewind function, as I briefly mentioned before, can retract your mistake for a few seconds, and that to me is a fantastic function to have in a racing game, as I had to rely on it heavily at times. There have been many times, especially in non-racing games, where I would love to have a rewind function. So bravo Milestone, bravo.

Character customization is pretty standard. You are able to type the name you want, then pick your number and the font, and this will be put on your jersey. Nothing too phenomenal, pretty straight forward. Straight forward is also how I'd describe most of the game modes included. There are two main game modes in MXGP Pro: Single Player and XBOX Live. In Single Player mode, you can choose between Grand Prix, Time Attack, Career and Championship. XBOX Live mode has you choose between Quick Match and Create Match. I honestly stayed mostly in Single Player. The few times I did try to connect to XBOX Live, it did not work for me. It kept showing an error and not connecting which was a let down. I did enjoy Time Attack and Grand Prix the most though, as it wasn't a boring game. You actually have to pay attention and know what you're doing to some degree. Even if you're playing the game completely casual, this is necessary if you want to at least make it around the track.

Overall, there are aspects of this game that I thoroughly enjoy. I enjoyed learning how to play the game decently and can see how it tailors to racing gamers like me, and the die hard motocross fan who knows what they are doing, and how to adjust their bike settings. I'm not the best at racing games, and I'm no expert in Motocross by a long shot, however, in playing MXGP Pro, I can at least say that it gave me some insight on the mechanics of a motocross bike and how the bikes operate. As for my recommendation, I would recommend this game solely on the gameplay being as decent as it is.

There is a minor letdown though. As mentioned, the XBOX Live mode never properly worked for me, and I wasn't able to solve this problem. Maybe it was the servers being in high demand, or maybe it's my connection. That being said, I believe that MXGP Pro is worth the money and worth your time if you're willing to make the effort to learn how to become proficient at the exciting sport. Sorry, I have to go, I'm going to catch up and win the race!

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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