Appropriately titled MUD, since there’s certainly plenty of it to be seen in Black Bean Games recently published title from developers Milestone – it’s time to get down and dirty on the tracks in MUD: FIM Motocross World Championship, and the game is available in stores now.
As the officially licensed FIM Motocross World Championship game, Milestone has done all they can to make sure this is the ultimate championship of motocross racing for your console in its features if nothing else. It features MX1 Premier, MX2 Junior, and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations championships with access to 84 real riders – including world champions Tony Cairoli and Ken Roczen. It has a funky comic style visual layout system for the title screen and menus with a rockstar soundtrack to psyche you up between races.
There are three modes of play available to you – Official Mode, MUD World Tour and Xbox LIVE. Official Mode allows you to play the Official FIM Championships and a Monster Energy Championship; the MUD World Tour lets you race on the tracks of the world after you select your hero and improve your skills and technique to eventually reach the penultimate race – Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations championship – and finally, Xbox LIVE, is your portal to racing in the mud with up to twelve random players or your own friends over an Xbox LIVE connection.
Ultimately, regardless of the modes that you choose to play, the aim of the game is to control your MX Bike and compete over bumpy, hilly terrains and in some cases extreme conditions. It does get a bit bumpy and even your riders weight will influence the bike trajectory and inclination – so it’s all about great control, good timing and precision with your landing after a jump.
As well as performing jumps and aiming for great use of control around some winding muddy bends, you are also required to perform “scrubs” . A scrub in motocross is used when going over a jump because as physics would have it that when you’re in the air you’re losing speed, so the quicker you get your tire back on the ground, the faster you can go. As soon as a jump is approaching in the game you are prompted to press the A button, and it’s how long you hold it as well as your timing from the jump and even after the jump that determines how good your scrub was. A good scrub will see you gain some speed boost when you land, or at the very least a whip (a scrub performed not well enough for boost), where as a mishap in the button pressing will see you fall of your bike! Falling off your bike can cost you a few positions, so performing a scrub should be considered mandatory.
Not only is Monster Energy drink pretty much advertised throughout on all tracks, a neat addition is the use of Energy Drinks to give you a speed boost whenever you need it during a race. They are limited, but this helps you gain some much needed catch up distance if you’re prone to falling off.
The best part of the game is the Xbox LIVE options because you can play and talk with up to twelve players in one race. Within Xbox LIVE is the ability to play a Quick Match, Custom Match or Create Match, which will allow you to choose your own settings. There are 12 different tracks to choose from each varying in length and difficulty due to the bumps and winding terrain, and two different game modes – Quick Race on your selected track, or go full for the lot in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Championship. You can additionally choose your preferred race time, number of laps and public or private races.
MUD is basic in its presentation style, basic in its visual quality and since all tracks are mud based due to the nature of the game’s franchise – in the gaming world it all starts to look and feel like the same track with different scenery now and then for good measures. Some tracks do have wet mud, whilst some others have dried cracking mud which affects your speed…so that’s a good thing – right?
For a racing game, MUD doesn’t feel very challenging and sadly doesn’t offer any tricks to master other than the perfect timing of your Scrub landing for a speed boost. The fun only lasts for a short time before it all starts to get a bit boring and repetitive. It so desperately tries to be cool, but plays out as nothing more than average. It’s an okay game, and easy to master even if you’re not typically into racing games, but the only setback is that this looks and feels as though it belongs on the Xbox LIVE Arcade!
Since this is a budget priced Xbox 360 title, its simplicity in almost everything could be forgiven if you like a sluggish chug up the dirt track.