Reviews

Eat my dust — Monster Energy Supercross 2 review

Racing games are incredibly popular and come in a variety of forms. You can race cars, boats, planes, ATVS, motorcycles, and more. You can end up in the open world or on man-made tracks. Monster Energy Supercross 2 focuses on the latter as you hop onto some dirt bikes and ride.

Monster Energy Supercross 2 is based on the very popular, real-life sport of Supercross. As such, in this game, you can choose to play as one of forty real-world Supercross riders from the circuit. If you prefer, you can also create your own rider to play as; although you’re forced to create someone if you want to play career mode. There’s little to start with in terms of customization, but that’s to be expected at the start. You can even choose your starting bike. Once you’re done, it’s time to start your career.

Career mode lets you choose between two circuits, the 250 East or 250 West, with the 450 being locked at the start. Each circuit has its own tracks and racers you’ll be competing against. The 450, instead of being a totally new circuit, is a combination of both of the previous circuits though. Your career is broken up into weeks, where you get either two or three days to plan out activities. The reason you only get two or three days is because every other day is booked for resting. That means a week with two days of rest leaves three days for activities, and vice versa. That takes up five days, which leaves the final day of the week for the race, and the seventh day is for traveling between tracks.

There are four types of activities to choose from: training, challenges, promotional days, or media days. Training days give you the choice to focus on one of a few racing characteristics, including landing, leaning, and reaction speed. Each of these has its own mini-games that task you with completing certain goals. For example, the landing set places you on a track as you make jumps and attempt to land inside colorful bullseyes. The better you do, the more stars you get, with a max of three stars. If you want to reach the next difficulty of those sets, you need to complete a certain number of time attack challenges and one versus one challenges.

Challenges let you go head-to-head against other AI racers to prove your skill. The other racers have their own rivalry percentages next to them, which changes what kind of challenge you can do with them. Racers at 50% or less offer one versus one races, while racers at 50% or more provide time trials. It’s a little odd, but there’s some overlap at the 50% mark. The one versus one races are just that: you and one other racer going head to head. The time trials toss you onto a track and give you a lap time to beat. You get three lap attempts to beat this time; if you finish faster on any lap, you win. Winning either of these challenges rewards you with experience and also reduces that racer’s rivalry percentage.

The promotional and media days don’t require anything from you besides clicking through them. These are free days that either offer you extra money or extra fame. Promotional days net you cash, while media days net you more fame. These are useful because they give you more money to quickly unlock sponsors and bike upgrades. Upgrades are pretty costly, but they are easily worth it. Some things that you can buy are purely aesthetic, while others improve your bike’s performance. The first thing I bought was a better exhaust pipe, which boosted my speed and acceleration. I could tell the difference instantly. In addition to bike add-ons, you can purchase different helmets and suits. They are purely for looks, but if I’m looking at my guy’s back for hours, I want him to be wearing something appealing to me.

The sponsors offer a signing bonus, promotional day payouts, and rewards based on specified racing requirements. For example, a sponsor may offer $1,000 for signing, $1,400 for a promotional day, and $1,800 for every race you finish in 13th place or higher. Not every sponsor is available from the start though; you need to reach a certain level of fame before better sponsors will give you a chance. Better sponsors mean higher payouts, but that comes with the expectation of finishing races in higher positions. Now, every sponsor only has a limited time for its contracts. It tends to be between two and four weeks on average. After the contract ends, you must choose another sponsor, although you can re-sign with the sponsor you just had. So choose who you want to represent based on what rewards they offer and how well you think you can meet their expectations.

Racing is the biggest part of the game of course, so let’s get into it. You’ll use R2 to accelerate, L2 to brake or reverse, and X to drift. Steering takes some getting used to, especially when you’re riding on the bumpy, muddy tracks. At first you might have trouble racing alongside everyone else, but once you get the hang of things, you’ll be in contention. I had some issues controlling my bike and making turns like the others did, but the more I played, the more I learned. I’m nowhere near an expert, but practice makes perfect here. Learning to adjust speed according to the situation, angling to land jumps, and turning without going off the track are all crucial to success.

In addition to the career, you can also race tracks in single events, play multiplayer online with other players, and participate in special championships. Considering I played Supercross 2 pre-release, I unfortunately didn’t get to try out the multiplayer function. One feature that slightly connects to the idea of multiplayer is the track editor. I went through the tutorial and played around with the editor to see how it felt. It’s intuitive and feels like some creative people could come up with some fun tracks to race on.

I said before that this game was based on a real event, so why not make things look visually realistic? Monster Energy Supercross 2 is rather graphically impressive, especially in terms of the dirt and muddy tracks. That may sound weird, but something about the tracks looks great to me. That even comes into play when turning since the mud feels like it’s actually slippery. The realism is taken into account both visually and gameplay-wise. Adding the pumping soundtrack to that makes the gameplay more adrenaline fueled, which I appreciated. That being said, Monster Energy Supercross 2 is an enjoyable and challenging racing game that fans of dirt bike racing are sure to love.

90

Excellent

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 2

Review Guidelines

Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a fast-paced dirt bike racing game that provides a tough yet enjoyable challenge. The controls take some getting used to, but after you get time in with the game, you'll be racing like a pro. The graphics and soundtrack keep the blood pumping and the eyes pleased.

Codi loves to play video games and watch movies. He will watch almost any kind of movie just to experience them. His ideas take inspiration from the shows and movies he watches, and games he plays. He also loves a good pun.
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