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Author Topic: [PC/X360/PS3/VITA] MXGP - The Official Motocross Videogame  (Read 404 times)
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jztemple2
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« on: March 29, 2014, 04:29:33 AM »

I picked up the Steam version of this game tonight. The last time I was on a motorcycle was about forty years ago eek, but I like racing games and I'm fond of motorbikes; I was thrilled when they were introduced into the GTA universe in Vice City. I played around with the demo and I liked it. The Steam forums were of mixed opinions, mostly how it wasn't as realistic as it should be. Since I have nothing to compare it to, I just have to say for a video game about motocross, it feels good to me.

It's on a 15% off Steam sale till April 4th, and as I said there's a demo you can check out.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 05:44:42 AM »

Some snaps (all are click to enlarge)

On the start line. My race number is the year I got married; good way to get the wife involved slywink


She seems a bit... stiff:


Look at that great form!


60 frames a second makes it sure look pretty:


And finally, a dramatic action shot:
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Zekester
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 12:55:02 PM »

The game seems decent. Are there weather effects? jz, did you use the keyboard or a controller?
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jztemple2
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2014, 01:59:44 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on March 29, 2014, 12:55:02 PM

The game seems decent. Are there weather effects? jz, did you use the keyboard or a controller?

No weather effects. I'm using an X360 controller which works fine for me, it's what I use in all my racing games so I'm used to it.

I'd check out the reviews before getting it. A lot of folks say it's too easy; I've already set the AI to hard (highest of the three settings) and I'm not that good. I'm sure there's an online component, but I haven't even looked for it, I wasn't playing to play online.
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 04:18:57 PM »

I tried the demo briefly and from what I played it seemed a lot like MX vs ATV Alive with the two sticks, one for bike and one for rider.  And just like Alive, I found I did much better if I just didn't touch the overly sensitive rider stick much at all.  Which seems wrong.   

I must really suck, too, since I got my butt kicked in the demo.  Mostly because I was crashing every few hundred feet I guess.   icon_confused
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jztemple2
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2014, 03:52:09 AM »

I played online this evening, just to try it out. You set up an ID and password in the NETWORK menu on the launcher, click the link they send you in a confirming email and you are good to go.

When I went to the multiplayer section there were only about six games going and only one has more than three players, it had seven of the max twelve. There are a number of options. You can choose whether you want AI in the race to fill up the remaining empty slots. You can also select the mandatory physics setting (base, medium or pro) or leave it free. You can select the number of laps. You can select whether to allow collisions or not. And you can select the track or let it be random.

The one lobby that was up and running had no AI, free physics, no collisions, five laps and random tracks. I raced several times there. The no collisions setting makes a lot of sense especially since I was playing with people who had very few bars, which I assume is a high ping (probably on the other side of the Atlantic from me). On my end the race was not laggy at all, but the other racers were jumping around a lot. This wasn't much of an issue as I just raced the track most of the time. I raced using Pro Physics, which only one other guy used, the rest mostly Base with one guy doing Medium. Since I'm playing the career at Pro Physics I didn't want to unlearn any bad habits.

I did pretty decently, especially considering I might be three times the age of some players. I ended up mid-field on several races and finished up with a decent third place in a field of eight; it was especially satisfying that all those who finished behind me were using Base Physics icon_biggrin.

The career mode is fun, but nothing you probably haven't seen before. There's an office where you go between races. While there you can check the standings, change your appearance or helmet, read your emails and <sigh> read the tweets people have sent you Roll Eyes

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

There are fourteen event in a season Each event consists of a practice, qualifying, and two races (you can skip any segment you wish). Your career however starts off with just two events, then you sign with a team and start a full-time career.

The graphics on the track are detailed, the riders and the bikes especially so. Trackside is fairly basic, but pretty well populated with objects.
(click to enlarge)

I may have to figure out a way to remap the Steam standard F12 snapshot key to my X360 controller so I can take pics while in a race. In the meantime, you do have the option to replay an entire race and stop it at any point to take pics, which is pretty nice. I should repeat that I have the PC version, I don't know how consoles do the snapshot thing.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 04:16:25 AM »

I just published my review on Steam:

Quote
Before I say why I recommend the game, I'd like to put forth a few caveats. First of all, even on the highest setting with Pro physics, the AI isn't too hard to beat, and this is coming from someone born the same year Mount Everest was first successfully climbed. The AI appears to have enough straightaway speed but the human player seems to be able to negotiate the corners better. It's not a deal breaker for people like me, but for the very skilled, well, you're going to be bored against the AI, but then that's why there's online racing.

To be clear, it's the overall speed of the AI which people might find not as challenging as they wish. In all other respects, the AI riders are outstanding. They take different lines through the corners. They battle one another and occasionally they fall over or crash. They will react to a human player or another AI driver by moving over or sometimes changing lines to block. And they ride differently from one another as they race, they don't all run some hypothetical best racing line. They do seem very much like human racers.

If you do want more of a challenge, race in first person view rather than third person or chase view. You will need a video card that can handle it and probably a strong stomach as well, as this can be a bit nausea inducing. It does make the racing more difficult, but at a cost, so I can't really say that it's a viable solution for everyone.

I'd also mention that I've never raced motocross, and it's been four decades since I've been on a motorcycle. So I cannot address the realism of the representation of motocross racing versus the real thing from an actual rider's point of view. However, I think this is true for most people playing a racing game. Also, realistically there's no point in trying to sell again that's so realistic that it would be impossible for most people to play it with any level of accomplishment.

My thumbs up recommendation is based upon my perception as I play MXGP. It seems like what I would imagine a motocross bike would feel like to race. I'm using an Xbox360 controller on my PC and controlling the bike is smooth and intuitive. I race with Pro physics and using the two sticks for steering, bike tilt and body lean, I have no issues at all.

In my opinion, a successful racing game should present the player with a risk/reward challenge. MXGP does this well. It's possible (again, using Pro Physics) to drive easily and stay upright and on course. However, by judicious pushing at the right time, the player can be rewarded with a lower lap time, although he or she risks a tumble if pushing just a bit too much, or if an AI or human opponent gets involved. This is what a proper racing game should do, give the player a sense of satisfaction for taking risks.

Additionally, the tracks in MXGP don't force the player into a "best" racing line. It's possible to try different paths in corners, over jumps and even on straights, trying to tie together a better lap. Again, as a player, it's my perception that I'm going faster because I'm exploring difference approaches to each section of the track, and that's enjoyable. The tracks have realistic looking ruts, humps and bumps and during my races I felt that those track features made a real difference to my racing success or failure.

The tracks in MXGP present an interesting variety of layouts, elevations and difficulties. I find the variety challenging and again, enjoyable. Graphically they look pretty good as well. The graphics are not 2014 cutting edge, but I think cutting edge is a waste in a racing game outside of the track itself. It's good to have trackside objects to give of speed and provide a sense of immersion for the player, but objects that are too complex a polygon count would raise the minimum and recommended specs for the game for no real additional purpose. It's better for more folks to enjoy the game at 60 fps. This is not to say that the trackside objects are sparse or of poor visual quality. The opposite is actually true, there are plenty of things to see and they give a great visual appeal to the venue where you are racing.

The lack of a challenge from the AI mentioned at the beginning is really the only serious complaint I have, and of course there's always online racing if you want more of a challenge. I've done several online races and it's pretty straightforward to find a race. I did experience a lot of lag of the other players' avatars, but probably most of them are on the other side of the Atlantic from me, so that's to be expected. The game did run smoothly even with the other racers' lag and with the collision option set to off it really didn't affect my enjoyment.

So overall I'm giving this game a positive recommendation. I would strongly suggest that anyone who might be interested in purchasing the game first give the demo a try. The demo is very representative of the experience you'll find in the game.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 05:42:15 AM by jztemple2 » Logged

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