Anyone who is into motocross and PlayStation knows that the best motorcycle video game of all time was 989's Supercross Circuit (excluding ATV Off-Road Fury 2 because it's an ATV game, of course). Others have tried to develop some version of this game, and some have come close—as in Jeremy McGrath Supercross '98 by Acclaim or MX Superfly, THQ's previous game for PlayStation 2—yet even those failed to match the realistic speed and physics of Supercross Circuit. That was until THQ joined with Rainbow Studios, the makers of ATV Off-Road Fury 1 and 2, to create the most-realistic motocross game to date: MX Unleashed.
On our first crack at MX Unleashed, we instantly noticed it has a much-faster frame rate than MX Superfly, and the characters and bikes react to jumps, whoops and kickers much more accurately; even the crash scenes are quite realistic. We were a little disappointed that you still cannot ride the berms through the corners, as you could in the 989 game. However, in MX Unleashed, the clutch is quite effective for squaring off the corners, something new even for ATV Off-Road Fury 2 users. The supercross and motocross tracks in Unleashed are a good balance between very technical and fairly easy.The second portion of the game includes freestyle, and several fun minigames such as racing against other machines. You can even drive the machines after you have beaten them in a race challenge. You would think it would be simple to beat a monster truck in an enduro race through some loamy hill terrain, but it is really quite challenging. There are so many good things in this portion of the game that it could take you weeks to get through it—and that's if you played the game nonstop!MX Unleashed also has a new race series structure, which allows you to unlock new tracks with wins, but for those of you who like to jump ahead, we added some cheat codes on our web site for you at www.dirtrider.com/features. You can also unlock new bikes, say, 50cc or 500cc, which can make the game even more challenging. All of these fun factors definitely make MX Unleashed our new favorite video game.DR Tested: 9.6THQ: www.thq.com