MTX Mototrax
System: X-Box
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Left Field Productions
Released: March 2004
Genre: Motocross
Capabilities: Memory Unit, Custom Soundtracks

Review  Written: April 5, 2004

MTX Mototrax is the latest motocross game from Activision and developer Left Field. There hasn’t been anything too remarkable with the motocross games in the past few years until the recent release of THQ’s MX Unleashed that gave this genre the much needed boost that it needed. Left Field’s game dishes up all the usual suspects of gameplay and has a few bright spots that the competition doesn’t, online play in particular, but ultimately, it is just more of the same.

Getting the hang of the controls is easy enough, and within minutes you’ll be popping wheelies and busting out tricks. One of the key factors to gameplay is to build up your suspension before a ramp so you unleash it to get that much needed boost to clear an obstacle during an enormous jump. It is quite easy to get the hang of it either hold A for a split second or hold back on the analog stick and release it at the zenith of your jump to get that extra needed airtime. As you expect, there is a little bit of a trick system thrown into the mix as well. Doing simple button combinations and sequences with the B and Y buttons will have the rider performing the regular dose of handstands and whatnot.

There are two main ways to race, first there is supercross which is what you usually watch on television as it takes place in the confines of a stadium, with a lot of tricky turns and jumps in each supercross track. The other way of racing is motocross that takes place in larger outdoor settings where the laps usually last a bit longer and the terrain can be quite dangerous.

The main draw to MTX Mototrax is the career mode, as it is the main method of unlocking everything in the game. In it you start off as a rookie rider just joining up with a team. As soon as you start placing well, your team will get sponsored. The whole thing is organized pretty well with an intuitive email system where you get messages that notify you of your winnings from a race, and new sponsor and team recruitment offers. This will take a great deal of time (we’re talking about nearly 20 hours) to unlock everything. The only drawback to this is that you must place first in each series in order to unlock the proceeding levels, nothing else will suffice.

Besides the racing there is also a free ride option included, which is almost exactly like the Tony Hawk games, but with motorcycles. Simply free ride around the level practicing stunts and tricks at your delight, but you’ll notice other riders and pedestrians littering the stage as well. By riding up next to them they’ll give you a goal much like in your latest Tony Hawk level. This can be anything ranging from outperforming fellow riders in combo contests, to collecting X amount of items before a time limit expires. There is also another form of gamplay called freestyle that takes place in a stadium as you must wow the crowd and judges by giving a stellar performance of tricks with a minimal amount of wipeouts in a given time limit. These two modes are definitely a welcomed change of pace and a nice diversion from all of the racing events.

There are a nice amount of multiplayer options available in MTX Mototrax. There is offline split screen support for up to two players to compete in single races or a series of four races in moto and supercross events. Then there is System Link compatibility also for up to a total of eight players. Finally, there is Xbox Live support for up to eight players to compete in any of the game modes available plus an exclusive King of the Hill mode for online only. The game runs great online, with not much lag being apparent, even in the most heated of races. As you expect, it is compatible with all the standard Xbox Live goodies like nationwide scoreboards, and voice-chat with the headset. Unfortunately, there are no content download options available.

The developers at Left Field did a tremendous job on the graphics. All the character models are incredibly detailed as you can pinpoint all their sponsor logos on them and they are animated well as I have no gripes for any of the trick animations. The tracks also are well done, and there plenty of nice touches such as the blazing trail of dirt being kicked up from the ground from the cycles. Aurally, Mototrax sounds just like a motocross event as the roar of the cycles is what you’ll be hearing the most of, and there’s an ecstatic PA announcer you can hear in the background too. Activision went all out on the soundtrack, licensing some of the top names in rock such as Slipknot, AFI, Disturbed, Dope, and Metallica. If those likes don’t float your boat then there is the option of jamming to your own custom soundtracks instead.


Graphics: 8.3
Sound: 8.6
Gameplay: 8.0
Replay Value: 7.5

Overall: 8.1

When it is all said and done, MTX Mototrax is a solid title that should easily please any motocross fan, but it just more of the same. While there are a few notable standouts like being the only online motocross game on Xbox and the Tony Hawk-esque free ride levels the more casual gamer and motocross fans too will be far better off with THQ’s MX Unleashed instead.


Back to Gruel's GameFAQs Review Page