Championship Motocross: Featuring Ricky Carmichael Review

By: John Doe

What's with all these motorcycle games I've been playing lately? Okay so this is more of a dirt bike... Championship Motocross is not a sport that I'm into. I don't even know who Ricky Carmichael is, and I'm sure that sentiment is mutual. But I can tell you that he got lucky and put his name on a heckuva good game. Way to go Ricky!


First off, my absolute favorite thing about this game, other than that I dig the spot-on control is the backgrounds. They look great! In most cases the backgrounds are superimposed real settings and the effect works like a charm. The in-game graphics sport some of that texture overload the PSX is famous for and there is some polygon clipping especially after wipeouts, when your guy fades halfway into the ground, but for the most part it looks solid. There is hardly any pop in at all and this allows the graphic engine to concentrate on the tasks at hand, allowing the framerate to keep consistent and smooth. That being said there is a lot more to like about Ricky Carmichael than just the background visuals.

Motocross racing is an acquired taste. It doesn't have the wide spread appeal of Nascar, wrestling, hockey or golf. But I dare say for anyone who likes racing games, you'll like what Carmichael's peddling. All I have to say is "dirt bikes" and I've probably got 's of the male's attention out there. What guy doesn't love dirt biking? It contains two of men's favorite things: Dirt and biking. Cool. If you don't think the sounds of summer include that high pitched mosquito-like whining from the engine of a dirt bike than you're already a lost cause. Go play Hello Kitty, we have men things to take care of here. God, I love ragging on Hello Kitty...

Championship Motocross features 12 tracks that are made up of 5 motocross, 4 supercross and 3 enduro, and consist of either mud, sand, asphalt or a combination of all three. There are 3 classes to choose from at the start and one to unlock (125cc, 250cc, 500cc and Open Class) and numerous bikes to select. Once your bike has been selected, it is wise to observe what kind of terrain the track consists of and what the weather is like. You can modify your bikes performance by upgrading your bike to suit the needs of the track. There are 5 modifications in all (brakes, exhaust, sprockets, tires and suspension) and each offer 3 enhancements. Upgrading your bike is absolutely neccessary to conquering each track, and lucky for you, each upgrade is free of charge.

The control of each bike depends on what equipment you choose, but all in all, this game has a great feel to it. The steering is responsive and the powersliding works wonders once you become familiar with the technique. If you don't master powersliding you don't have a chance. Carmichael and the gang can pull off those amazing stunts you've seen (and if you haven't, unlock the Wrath Child Fox movie and watch it with quiet awe and remember those are real people doing that, not videogame polygons). The tricks are quite easy to pull off; most are executed by holding the R2 button or the Circle button while pressing in 1 one of the 4 directions. There are mostly airborne stunts, but a few terra firma stunts are here too, including everybodies first death-defying feat: the wheelie. Most of the time the stunts are strictly for show, because if you want to win, you'll have to quit fooling around and concentrate on landing that jump. Learing how to position your bike for take-offs and landing are two more things that you'll need to master if you want to see first place. Each track has high jump and long jump records which you can beat if you are good enough. If you've done it, the game will let you know that you just set a new record.

Musically this game is great. As most of you know, real tunes go a long way with me and this game features some great music from Godsmack, Guttermouth, Aversion, 2 Skinnee JS, Martin Schioeler, Puya and even, brace yourselves, Vanilla Ice. It really pumps the game and it sure gets noisy with the engines blaring and the tunes cranked, especially in my Intensor XL350 Chair, which is the only way to play vids. Hey, was that a shameless plug? You bet and not because I'm getting payola either. I'm telling you this because if you aren't playing in an Intensor, you aren't really playing.

With 12 intense tracks, realistic control, kickin' tunes and a ton of jumps and stunts to perfect what could be better than this? Sure it's an aquired taste, but one session with this game and you'll definitely acquire the taste. It is the definitive motocross game ever made for the PlayStation. Highly recommended.






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