Total Reviews: 4
Average Overall Score Given: 8.25000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

MTX: Mototrax

Overall: I struggled with this score because the game has some issue but fortunatly I think the amount of fun the gameplay delivers outweigh a lot of the problems.

Gameplay: + incredable fun online.
+ fairly deep and engaging offline mode.
+ great track design.
+ deep trick mode.
+ offline track editor.
+ ton of unlockable gear.
- trick mode may not be for everyone.
- collision detection causes frustration on and offline. Luckily its optional online and offline it only really starts to be a problem in the most advanced pro races where every second counts.
- sometimes questionable landing physics.
- online options (no changing track/limiting bike classes) are weak link in this otherwise great online racer.
- online voice cuts in / out.
- split screen is average.

Graphics: Graphics are average and a bit on the dark side with no gamma adjustment. Overall they are workable but below Xbox standards.

Audio: Whiney bike sounds and typical gravel / mudd noises don't earn this game any kudos in the sound department. Great rockin' soundtrack if that is your thing. Custom soundtrack option.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Colin Mcrae Rally 04

Overall: I had to go back and see how I ranked the disappointing version 3. I gave it a 3.5 - in hind sight probably much too high, but if CMR3 was a 3.5 this is easily a 4.5.

Gameplay: This game nails rally like no other title on the Xbox. I am not talking about your 'rallicross' type game here though, so some of you may not find it 'fun' racing alone on a course - against nothing but the clock. But for true rally fans this game does so much right and so very little wrong it is a must own.

Graphics: Much improved over CMR3. Many more cleaner textures and many more 3D objects making up the scenery. Nice solid framerate. The game engine still shows signs of its PS2 roots but Codemaster has done an excellent job at hiding most of them. 3rd person perspective could have been done better but anyone who knows Colin knows the game is built to be played in-car. No game can touch the in-car view.

Audio: Some people might complain about no in race music. These people would not understand rally. In the car nothing compares to this game. Here the turbo spool, the engine back fire, rocks bouncing off car, branches slapping at you all while your co-driver Nicky Grist dishes up the best navigation notes in a rally game. Impressive and immersive.

Suggestions: Add even more stages, countries and cars. Yeah the game is packed with them but the more the merrier. Also setup online legue play and overhaul the poor Live scoreboard.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 V-Rally 3

Overall: While it may not top RSC's graphic power or CMR3 physics might it puts together a complete package short of none and delievers the most rounded and satisfying rally simulation on the Xbox. With several gameplay modes, lead by an extensive and immersive career mode, impressive graphics and animations, a multitude of damageable cars and courses V-Rally will keep WRC fans entrenched in their own careers for a while.

Gameplay: V-Rally 3 takes a slightly different approach to rallying than it predasesors; putting more of an emphasis on the career mode and less on arcade racing. For rally fans and Xbox owners this is a welcome change. The heart of V-Rally 3 is its extensive and well rounded career mode. You start by creating a driver and then vying for contracts with 1.6L manufacturers. Once settled into a deal your driver will race the 1.6L season (4 rallies/5 stages each - 2 service areas). Depending on your skills you maybe get new offers each year to move up but it will take a championship win to get any notice from the 2.0L manufacturers. Until then you will have opportunities to move up through the 1.6L ranks to better teams. Each team is broken has a few variables that will affect repair times and car reliability. Your car will take on damage and depending on your team it may have some drastic effects on your ride and be too much to repair at the service area. Most of these details are conducted in your office on a computer via email.

Handling will take some getting used to as the controls are very sensative, but once you settle in you will find the cars have a nice feel to them. The cars fly in V-Rally and if you stray onto the roadside you not only have to contend with trees but also a very bouncy ride. Some may find this unrealstic but if you are going 150kph and take to the bumpy grass your going to get bounced around in that car. This game tends to be about pushing the limit and hitting all your lines. The tracks are wide and while roadside objects are a large hazzard it seems to be much less of an emphasis than in some other sims that seem to set on lining the narrow roadside with objects. You have to go pretty far off course to get reset back on the track in V-Rally 3 but it is possible as they don't opt to tunnel you in with the wall of trees everyplace. However, you can go off a cliff, as I did once in the very rilable 206, and be forced to retire.

The pacing is nice in the career mode and even though I felt like an expert in the 1.6L cars I was put back in place once I moved to the 2.0L series (which adds 2 rallies to the season for a total of 6). All totalled there are 6 countries with 4 stages each. However, each stage can have different weather and also will be run in reverse so you never feel like stuff is always repeating.

There are two other modes in the game, single stage and challenges that can each be played by 1-4 players although it opts to pass the same controller around. Stage races are just that and you unlike the countries in order with each stage getting a little tougher than the last. Once you unlock all 4 you are given the reverse courses with different weather to unlock. Challenges are like mini rallies. Sometimes in a preselected car and usually mixing up stages from all the countries. These are nice in multiplayer because they act as little rallies amounst your friends. Once they are all unlocked you have the option to build your own challenges.

Graphics: The stages in V-Rally 3 are on pace if not surpasing CMR3 but probably short of what the Xbox can do. Frame rates fly but there are a few pop-ups here and there but nothing distracting. V-Rally 3 tends to have a brigher pallet than Colin and the devs did a better job of cleaning up the textures for the Xbox as everthing is nice and crisp. The stages really set themselves apart from Colin with all sorts of animations - everything from storm clouds, animals, fans, snowmobilers, trains and helicopters are animated bringing the stages to life. You can also smash up most of the roadside object like fences and if you shake a tree hard enough you will get sprayed with falling leaves. Raindrops can be seen splashing in puddles and your car kicks up leaves, mud and dust. Each stages has tons of fans and other objects parked along the road, and while many fans are cutouts there are quite a few animations spread out among them. The fans can be found concentrated near the start and finish and also only better parts of the course just like in real-life, and unlike in Colin which took place in a pretty spectator free world.

Cars in V-Rally are good looking but probably not the best things seen on the Xbox. There is a good selection of 1.6 and 2.0 cars including all the WRC cars of the past year with the exception of Skoda. There are also a few unlockable cars which are mostly 1999-2000 WRC cars. In the preview screens you can zoom and turn all about your car. You can even use the right stick to open trunks, hoods and doors and see a lot of nice interior details. The damage system is well done as well and actaully something I prefer to Colin. The crashes themselves look more spectaular in Colin because they tend to have little pieces flying off but the visualization in VR3 is more realistic. In Colin you would get a wobble and then an entire panel would fall off. No so in VR3 with the exception of the bumpers. Your parts get bent, tore and mangled in a convincing manner. The interior view is nicely done with a dirt collecting windscreen that gets very smeared by whipers and is very hard to drive from. It doens't seem to give as good a view as Colin's in-car view and while the weather effects are good they don't match Colin's outstanding effects. I prefer the hood view in VR3.

Menus are slick and fast. You can view everything from stage times to overall time to manufacture points with the click of a botton. The rally layout can be viewed at a glance as well. There are a few cut scenes to keep it interesting but the graphics do look a little rustic in these.

Replays cannot be saved but sure look impressive. You get a wide range of controlls including a half dozen or more camera views including a tv view and my personal favorite the Heli-Cam. Just like footage from TV the helicam flys above the treeline following the action below, never cutting from one spot to another but flying along like a real heli-cam occasionally loosing the action behind trees or in tunnels.

Audio: No custom sound tracks and no in race music. Menus have some english sounding techno stuff playing in the background but the stages themselves are reduced to a roaring engine and a co-driver just like it should be. Co-driver sounds good but not as nice as CMR3's Grist. I drive without visual arrows and haven't known him to miss a queue yet although I have got him mad enough at me to get bleeped on occasion. Engines, turbos and backfires all sound good. Gravel and other trackside noises are present but sometimes too loud...but possibly done that way for feedback.

Suggestions: Tweak handling a bit to be more realistic or offer optional setting. More stages overall. More stages per rally. Option to set damage to be highly realistic. Harness the power of the Xbox. Otherwise great direction for this game. Love everything about it. Colin who?

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Colin McRae Rally 3

Overall: A great solo player sim that tends to misfires far more than its predecessor. Luckily the driving experience alone will keep most people happy for a month or so but after that the lack of features will add up too fast to keep this one going. As a multiplayer racer Colin is just a horrible excuse.

Gameplay: Handling in this game is very realistic and may turn some off. It is all about rally driving and nothing is comprimised in the physics department to please the casual racer.

Unfortunatly while the driving is spot on, and the damage is extensive and the stages are varied the game has many little misfires that put the brakes on it too early.

The driving experience is so immersive it feels like your in a real car, however, everything else in the game seems to be there to take you back out of the moment. The menu system is sleek and stylish but stuff you need to see (rally standings) is not an option. It has been reduced to a tote board you get to view for 2 seconds (no joke) before the start of your race. No way to pause so you can see how close your rivals are or how hard you need to push.

Colin does offer a lot of option for setup even if they are reduced to a basic hi,med,low. Usually the team has already setup the car close to perfect though so little tweaking is required unless you have your own preference for how the car should feel.

Also although you can damage your car quite extensively there is no way to view the damage other than an automatic and laborus display before the start of a stage. No way again to pause or skip ahead. Not that any of it matters because you have no voice in repairs. Your team does it automatically and you dont even see them doing the repairs other than the same old garage screen with them working you always get. No sliders going from red to green nothing. This does a great job of taking you even more out of the sim and making you not even care about damage since it is a hassle to view it during the stage and you have no say in repairs anyway. You will be asking yourself, what is the point.

So you think the point might be for cool replays? Wrong. replays are worse than CMR2. No control over camera - no FF,RW, Pause anything. And no save. Most of your crashes will be off camera as it doesn't follow the car and stays planted on an empty road as your car flys off into the woods. The replays also use too much in car and hood view which is bad because you just finished the stage in one of these views and want to see it from trackside angles.

At first I didn't mind only being able to drive the Focus in championship mode. But wait a month when you complete the game and want something new and all you have it the boring single stage mode. Another dropped ball.

There is nothing good about the multiplayer either. No contact in split screen (you dont even see the other car) and no co-op championship mode. You can't even race an entire rally vs a friend only stages.

Graphics: While Colin doesn't push the Xbox to its limits with huge textures or tons of polygons this game does fly at a fast clip (60fps). This means most minor annoyances will go unnoticed until you go head first into a pixalated bush.

The In-Car view is probably the most immersive view Ive seen in a console racer and the weather and special effects are spectacular. You really need to see them to believe. If you get the game force yourself to drive from the In-Car view as the other views cannot compare.

Cars and damage is nicely displayed, however, the lack of a quality replay system will leave you wondering what the point of the visable damage even is.

Audio: Sound is well done from the engine, the backfire, the turbo spooling up, gravel kicking up and branches thwacking off the car when you get to close to the roadside.

Music lovers need not apply because in game there is no music (excpt menus). This is a sim and instead you get the wonderfully done pace notes read to you by the real xWRC navigator Nicky Grist.

Outside ambiance is lacking as is the roar of crowds and airhorns.

Suggestions: All cars in championship. A real career mode. A real replay system. Let the player do more than just drive (ie rapair choices). LIVE! enabled. Multiplayer championship.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10

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