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Supercross 2000 (N64) Review


One's enjoyment of Supercross 2000 will hinge on one question: Do you favor a sim-heavy racing title, or do you like to have fun? Supercross 2000 is pure simulation, and not for the casual fan or arcade racer.

Presentation/Graphics : 82
Even when not in hi-res mode, Supercross 2000 features impressive graphics. The riders and bikes are detailed, so you can easily distinguish which is the rider in front of you. Each of the 24 real-life riders have their own color scheme, their own bikes and stand out from one another.

The different stadiums are well done also, although the only major difference between stadiums is the track layout. The tracks and ground are smooth, like tracks are meant to be. They also develop grooves and ruts as the race goes on. Hit a groove the wrong way, and you may hit the dirt.

In hi-res mode, the overall view is less pixelated and adds eye candy that this game needs. Rider and bike details are more easily seen, and the overall contour of the tracks are enhanced.

Unfortunately, all races take place in indoor arenas, and therefore there are no scenery graphics, except for the crowded stands.

Presentation/Audio : 74
I must say, this game has a pretty cool assortment of music, especially considering it's on the N64. The menu screens feature a sort of hip-hop beat. I actually noticed the music the very first time I played. I think if the player notices the music, then the music has done its job.

The sound effects during the race are effective. Engines roar, as you would expect, and the crowd cheers when someone gets knocked off their bike. There isn't much in the way of ambient sounds, but then again, you're in a stadium, so it's just the bikes and the crowd.

The TV commentary, while useful, gets to be monotonous. Art Eckman of ESPN provides the commentary for the game. He announces when the rider in first, second, or third place loses their spot, and when someone falls off their bike, but otherwise he has nothing much to say. It is somewhat helpful to know who's in first, but a little more variety would have been nice.

Interface : 80
The main menu screen is easy to navigate, and intuitive. You are given the choice of Quick Race, Single Race, Season, and Freestyle. Then you have the choice of Beginner, Rookie or Pro.

Go to the options screen, and you will find the real gem of the game. Much of the game is customizable and features sliding bars for everything from the number of laps to collision sensitivity. You will probably want to toy around and find the right settings for you.

Gameplay : 62
Of course, in a racing title, gameplay is what makes it or breaks it. Here, it is broken. Unfortunately, the makers decided to concentrate solely on producing a sim game. And they made a game that is very much like watching supercross racing. The key word there is "watching."

There is no arcade mode or even feel to the game, and it is just plain frustrating at times. On a straightaway, the smallest tap of the control stick will send your bike flying to the left or right. Try to straighten out again, and you'll fly the opposite direction. Remember when you were a small child and would pretend you were steering a car, constantly moving your hands from left to right? That's what your bike will look like.

As sensitive as the controls are, I couldn't get my bike to go around the hairpin turns. This is a major problem, because each course consists of at least two hairpin turns. Granted, this is a simulation, and the never-before-used brake button will have to be used, but even still, turning is a chore.

The game allows you to "customize" your bike, but I was a little disappointed with the shallowness of this feature. There are 250 and 400 cc bikes, as well as sliding bars for traction, gearing, and shocks. No matter how much I adjusted each, I never found a setting that made controlling my bike easier. And since top-speed will never really be reached, gearing your bike fully towards acceleration provides you with a great advantage over other racers.

I do like that EA went out and got 24 of the top real-life racers. It adds a nice touch. I would have liked to be able to perhaps create a racer, but with 24 to choose from, there is decent variety and depth.

The 16 tracks offer all of the jumps and turns of real supercross, but after seeing five or six tracks, you've seen everything that's to be offered. Again, I would definitely suggest honing your skills on the five amateur tracks before moving on.

Replay Value: 54
There are 24 riders, and 21 tracks in all, which are both pretty impressive numbers. The season mode seems a bit empty, taking you through 16 tracks and tallying up points after each race. If you've played through it once, you probably won't play through it again.

The game really could have benefited from a track creator, or at least a track editor. I would have thoroughly enjoyed racing on my own creation. It would have at least provided an opportunity for non-sim fans to create more arcade-like tracks.

Overall : 66
Like I said at the top, if you enjoy simulation-heavy racers, and are a big supercross fan, you may enjoy this game. If you just want a fun, arcade racing experience, you may want to hold off and see what Jeremy McGrath has to offer in a few months.

By: Adam Daehnke 1/18/00

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