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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
7.0
Visuals
8.0
Audio
5.0
Gameplay
7.0
Features
7.0
Replay
5.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Game Boy
PUBLISHER:
THQ
DEVELOPER:
Tiertex Design Studios
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
October 05, 2000
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
MX vs. ATV Reflex

MX vs. ATV Reflex

MX vs. ATV Reflex

MX vs. ATV Reflex

MX vs ATV Untamed

More in this Series
 Written by Alan Rumpf  on November 27, 2000

Review: The title is the only thing longer than the tracks.


Championship Motocross 2001 for Game Boy Color shows off the power of this?portable unit?while, at the same time, delivering a rather medicore experience, much like its PlayStation console counterpart. What better console then the never-tiring, overly popular Game Boy Color. While this game has some major potential, there are some slight issues, which set it apart from other great games on the handheld system.

The developer, Tiertex, did a good job with some aspects of this racing title. The first thing to strike me were its graphics. The perspective is third person much like the perspective in Road Rash, however, the camera doesn't change and pretty much stays directly behind?the rider. The tracks are made from Full Motion Video (FMV) segments that are cut into pieces and are played at different speeds depending on the speed of your bike. This method allows there to be better looking 3D turns, jumps, objects, etc. Now don't get your hopes up, the graphics could be described as psuedo-3D at best, although it's a nice change for the Game Boy. The menus have a very nice layout and extreme ease of use.

Now, for the bad part of the visual aspect of this game. While at first glance the aforementioned ?wow effect? takes place, this feeling quickly fades. Not because the graphics diminish as you go further into the game, the problem is in the fact that the track layout does not change. Think of a set of track pieces, 3 different jump pieces, 5 different turn pieces, and 1 or 2 straight away pieces. These pieces are put together to make the tracks and after a while, though the colors change, it always feels more or less like the same track. The tracks are very long and even with the minimum of 3 laps you can set up in the option menu, the game feels like it drags on and can seem more tedious than enjoyable.

However, like I said, not all is bad about this game. The control system is pretty solid as far as a Game Boy game goes. The learning curve is about 5 minutes. The time it took me to realize I can't go until the green light comes up, and the fact that if you touch the sides of the track you fall. Your thumb will hurt from holding down A to accelerate as you will never need to slow down. Overall though, the control is better than average. THQ and Tiertex included a freestyle mode in which you can perform tricks for points as is the new craze in motocross. The mode works by setting you up on a track that consists basically of huge jumps. From there you rev up your engine and go flying into the air while pressing the B button and a direction to perform a trick.

There are 8 tricks and each decrease in point value as you perform them repeatedly. It's too bad that you can only perform tricks in this mode and not the main racing mode, but it's better than nothing. This mode is a nice feature however you have to be almost perfect and have the right combos in order to beat it. Speaking of difficulty, if you do not set it on the easiest level, the AI can provide quite a challenge. On Amateur (medium) mode the race is quite difficult and while you can manage to beat the other racers out if an opponent gets too far away from you (over 2 turns ahead), forget about ever catching up to him. This experience can get frustrating,?giving you little reason to want to replay this game after the first couple of retires.

While it could be enjoyable to whip this game out and play a quick freestyle mode, the other modes you'd be hard pressed to play. A single event takes at minimum 15-20 minutes to complete. The championship mode consists of multiple single events tallied up at the end for your riders. Each single event is 4 LONG races, and if you want to save your championship mode after completing the single event you have to memorize a long agonizing password consisting of upper and lower case letters. Personally I thought the days of these passwords were left behind in the NES days and when your on the road you don't really feel like whipping out a pen and paper to write down 20 letters, only to retype them if you want to turn of your GBC for awhile.

Bottom Line
Championship Motocross 2001 featuring Ricky Carmichael is a decent game. My feelings about the title are mixed. At first I was ready to give this game a high score, then my feelings about it plummeted after playing for awhile and seeing it's repetitive nature, however the game presented itself well enough to attain a decent score. While the visuals and play control are good, the repetitive nature of this game as well as the lack of replay, almost impossible AI at some points, and huge passcodes don't score well. If you're a big motocross fan with 30 licensed riders, more than 20 tracks and16 bikes this game is a great buy. For the rest of us I would suggest maybe trying it out if you have an interest in racers of this sort, and maybe waiting until it's the $9.99 bin if you just feel like checking the game out.


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