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MX Unleashed


By Charles Longer, Leisure Ninja

Motocross games have traditionally been average because the in-game physics always hurt the overall control.  When you'd hit a jump, you'd soar through the air like you had a jet pack on.  It's improved over time, and MX Unleashed has finally found the right mix of control and over-the-top aerobatics.

Bike control is precise, but it's not overwhelming; you don't need rock-steady hands to stay on the track.  The tricks are easy to complete when timed right, but if you get greedy and try to pull too many on a jump, you're in for some hot crashes.  (While you can't literally kill yourself, your character is subjected to some pretty horrific bends and twists when you wreck.  It's nice to see that they paid attention to this small, yet meaningful, detail.)  The tracks are all well-designed, and once you're able to figure out the smoothest line through the jumps, you can really move.

There's a good career mode that gives you plenty of customization (for those of you who really care about the color of pants your rider is wearing), and the computer competition is tough-yet-beatable.  The other gameplay options (trick runs, freeride, races against various trucks, planes, helicopters, etc.) offer a break from the normal track racing, and they're worth spending some time in, too.

My only complaint is the limited range in the freeride areas.  I don't expect the programmers to create a landscape of the entire globe to explore, but you really feel restrained on where you can (and can't) ride.

Overall, an easy-playing game that's a fun way to burn a few hours in the evening.

Rating:  $40


You can reach Chuck at


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09