THQ had a fire sale of their licenses when they went out of business. The big publishers snapped up their biggest franchises like WWE. However, Nordic games purchased the rights to several smaller franchises that either went unnoticed or had cult followings. One of those was the MX vs ATV series, and with that Supercross was born.
Supercross includes the modes you’d expect to find in a racing game. You have the single race, where you race against eleven other vehicles on one track. The career mode includes the meat of the game. By winning races you progress through the ranks. New tracks and equipment open up as you finish, and before long most of the tracks and bikes will be unlocked. While the standard bike that you get when you start can handle most of tracks, there may be those times when you want something more powerful to finish in first place. Eight-race seasons will challenge you, but you don’t have to race all of the races in one sitting, which should be a relief to those who have to get up and resume their life. If you are the type of player that wants a gold medal in all the races, you need them. Thankfully casual players won’t have a difficult time to see most of what the game has to offer.
Multiplayer includes both online and local options. Locally you can run a single race, but you can only race against one other person. Racers have had four-player splitscreen for quite some time, so having the ability to race against one other person is disappointing. The online option allows you to choose a bike and race against eleven other people. However, it’s difficult to find that many others to race against, and it’d be nice if a timer showed up to indicate how long you will be waiting.
Graphically Supercross reminds me of the original Quake, brown with a little color mixed in. Obviously most of the time is spent on the dirt tracks, but the tracks start to blend in together after a while. It wouldn’t be so bad if the graphics were better and had more variety to them. The stilted animations don’t help the situation either, making the racers look stiff, even in crashes.
No tutorial is given, so it can take a while to get familiar with the control scheme. The left analog stick is used for steering, while the right one is used for leaning. Using both analog sticks helps you control your racer better, especially for the turns on a MX bike. The learning curve for the controls takes a bit of patience though. The controls aren’t as strict as a simulation, but they are more authentic than what you’d find in an arcade racer.
Since it is called MX vs ATV, you have the opportunity to race both types of vehicles, and both can be in the same race. Their handling is much different as well. The bikes can turn quicker, but they are lighter and can easily be tipped in the wrong direction. The stability ATVs offer make them lose control less, but they aren’t as fast as their two-wheeled brethren. Eventually you’ll find the right vehicle for you, or get a better one that lets you finish the race faster than what you did previously.
Musically nothing stands out, as the generic nu-metal sounds go in one ear and out the other. The engines are significantly loud, with buzzing when they accelerate. You probably already have a good idea what these sounds are like if you have played this kind of racing game or watched a little of it on TV.