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Championship Motocross | 2001 | review | game | Lollipop

Championship Motocross 2001

(THQ for the PlayStation)
by Shane Yeager

Ever dream of digging up the mud on a 250cc bike, tearing around corners on one of the country's premiere tracks? Championship Motocross 2001 gives you that, all sponsored by Ricky Carmichael, who has dominated the motocross circuits over the last few years. Brought to you by THQ (makers of MTV's series of extreme sports games) Championship Motocross 2001 lets you choose from two classes of motorcycles, 20 different tracks, and 28 drivers for either a single race or a championship mode, where a series of races are linked together. A freestyle mode lets drivers get scored on various tricks landed during a run, plus bonuses for their highest and longest jumps. A career mode follows a driver through several series, where bike customization and the right sponsor can take you straight to the top. Decent graphics, right down to mud flying at you when you are passed by an opponent, are linked with smooth and easy gameplay in this arcade-style simulation. Anything short of a high-velocity crash, and you stay on your bike, so realism isn't the biggest strong suit of this game; the high points wash away that minimal criticism.

The choices among the styles of play will give anyone a game that satisfies, whether it's the long journey of taking a driver from the beginning tracks into the big leagues, or the more immediate joy of leaving your buddy in the wake during the two-player mode. Extreme sports fans will go for the freestyle mode where a variety of tricks can be pulled off with minimal difficulty. Racing buffs will enjoy the customization made possible by all the combinations of tires, brakes, sprockets, and engine types. True fans of the professional motocross series will see all their favorite riders in action, and take one of them through the series themselves. Notice the soundtracks when you play it; you'll hear bands like One Minute Silence, Taproot, and Guttermouth in full display (the lyrics of the songs even give the game its "T" rating) adding energy to the fast pace of the runs. While the physics in place in the game take an occasional detour from what would happen on a real dirt track, Championship Motocross 2001 builds on last Fall's original Championship Motocross and gives fans of the sport a solid effort, striking a balance between simulation and stimulation that is rare in a racing game.

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