989 Sports

989 Studios


SuperCross Circuit Review

By: John Doe

What's that loud buzzing sound? Either it's a swarm of mutant mosquitoes or a pack of dirt bikes headed this way or both. Ah yes, there is nothing quite like the sound of a dirt-bike engine; high pitched whining and guttural gear changes that tear into your relaxing summer day like a wet dog at the beach. 989's entry into the SuperCross sport is welcome friend however. It's fast, controls well, has 25 tracks, real pro riders and captures that "sound" to a tee.


Having played a few games in this genre already, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect: Dirt bikes, hills, and noise. What I didn't expect was the speed at which this game performed at, while maintaining a constant framerate in both one and two player games. Impressive. The game features all real pro riders (or name your own), 25 tracks, 125cc to 250cc bikes, a Freestyle mode (tricks), Season mode (compete on all tracks to earn cash for upgrades) Arcade mode, Practice mode and even a Create-A-Track feature which can be saved to memory card and taken to a friend's house.

The graphics tend to look a little blocky and pixilated at times, but if that's at the mercy of the speed and framerate, so be it. The game offers three camera modes (behind bike, handlebar view and behind rider) and I found myself switching between views during some races due to blindspots that arose in certain areas using certain camera views. After awhile it became second nature, but some players who like to set "it" and forget it, may find themselves behind the pack if they don't try and adapt to switching views.

The control is outstanding and aside from the speed (I'll stop mentioning that now) is easily my second favorite aspect of SuperCross Circuit. Three buttons are used (gas, brake and throttle boost) for the main game although the L2 and R2 buttons are used along with various D-pad motions for tricks. The analog control is tight and even beginners will find themselves in control of the game very quickly.

The Season mode involves racing for cash that can be used towards upgrading engines, exhaust, suspension, tires or even new bikes. Freestyle mode (which must be unlocked) is where you pull tricks for points. Learning when to goose the throttle for big air off jumps is the key to success in this mode. Arcade and Practice modes are self-explanatory; you've probably played enough games to know what to expect here. The two player mode looks great and does not lose any framerate, even with the number of bikes on the track.

If you are a fan of dirt-bike racing, you'll be pretty excited about 989's new series as it's the best of the bunch, leaving EA's SuperCross 2000 behind in the dirt. With 25 tracks, 5 excellent modes of play, tight control, snappy framerate and high speed, you'll be playing this one for a long time and enjoying every minute of it. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.






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