Motorbike racing games are possibly the most under-represented genres on consoles by a long shot. Supercross even more so with very few options for fans of the sport. Fret no more, Monster Energy Supercross 2 is the game for you, or is it?
The Supercross championship is an American motorcycling racing series that is similar to motocross but the stages are man-made and usually within a stadium to allow for spectators to view the events. These stages are dirt tracks with mounds and other hazards to make viewing more entertaining.
So, your first question might be, does that mean we can make our own tracks? Thankfully the answer is yes, there is a track editor! However, to make it easier, the developers have provided you with pre-made sections like straights, curves, ramps etc. The idea is novel, but it does mean the tracks all look very similar.
The single player Career mode is where you will want to go first, it is designed for the fans and lets you live out the fantasy of being a professional supercross racer. Not only do you get to race, but you are able to select your sponsors, what bike you drive and even select what you do throughout the week leading up to the race itself. These vary from Training, Challenges, Media and PR events. Some are automated sections that increases stats and currency but the challenges involve simple tasks that change up the gameplay before race events.
Gameplay is king and the racing has more depth than you might expect. The racing line is key is every racing game, but when you have to take jumps and land perfectly to maintain your speed it literally elevates the degree of difficulty. The forward and backwards leaning will allow for better landings and the ‘Scrub’ mechanic will help you reduce the air time by pushing the analog sticks apart. But you will need to be careful and time it just right so you land smoothly with your bike facing the right direction.
Visually the game looks great. The mud looks sloppy and glistens and sprays all over the place. Accelerating causes a lovely motion blur and the rippling of the rider’s shirt is also a nice touch. The only negative is that most of the stages look very similar due to being indoor events.
Outside of the career mode you have single events, time attacks, a championship mode and an interesting ‘Compound’ mode. This is almost a freeplay area, which reminded me a lot of the Tony Hawk’s Underground series. This is an open area that looks different to the usual visuals and lets you go off-road. Unfortunately, it is very limited in space, you can expand it the more you play, but not as much as you may want. But I really think this area missed a trick or two. It really opened up the potential for a more Tony Hawk-esque based tasks like jumps or tricks and scoring points, unlocking areas by smashing barricades for even collecting tokens scattered around to improved your skills as a rider.
If you are a fan of this sport you have to buy this game, it is made for you and even has licensed names of racers. Those who are slightly interested will also get some joy from the game, but I feel casual players will simply struggle to have fun with it.
- Replay Value