Developer: Left Field Productions
Released: March 2004
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
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
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
Replay Value: 7.5
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.
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