Hands-onMX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael

THQ stopped by and gave us an opportunity to get our hands on the Xbox version of MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael.

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THQ stopped by and gave us an opportunity to get our hands on the Xbox version of MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael. The game is still currently in development and is scheduled for release this fall.

The game is a mix of traditional dirt-bike racing and freestyle competition. It mixes tricks and racing and uses a sophisticated control system similar to that of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, all of which make the game seem very nicely varied. The game features 30 real-life riders from the current 125cc, 250cc, and freestyle roster. The freestyle tracks give you an opportunity to explore the levels for monster jumps and trickable objects. And as with most motocross games of recent times, MX 2002 is a superfast racing game with big jumps and big crashes.

MX 2002 is for the most part a direct conversion of the already released PlayStation 2 version of the game. The Xbox version does, however, include two extra levels: Washington D.C. and the Tacoma freestyle track. In all, the game will have 22 tracks, including motocross, supercross, amateur, and freestyle. Through the use of satellite mapping, all the official tracks have been modeled as closely to their real-life counterparts as possible. The Xbox does also include, though, some motorcycle-tuning features not available in the PlayStation 2 version--these features will let you alter your bike's performance in several categories. The Xbox version of the game will also feature a two-player freestyle mode that's a rendition of the game Horse. One player will have 15 to 30 seconds to perform a trick, which the second player must perform to avoid getting a letter. If a player spells the word "horse," he or she loses.

MX 2002 has an almost Tony Hawk-style trick system that lets you pull off incredible maneuvers. The game's physics system lets you get major air so that you can flip through the air while executing tricks. The control system seems very well thought out, and the game's responsive controls make landing tricks and riding around the environments very intuitive.

Even in its current stage of development, the game already looks a bit better than its PlayStation 2 counterpart. The objects and terrain within the levels have received some extra polygons to give them a more realistic look. The animation and textures look, for the most part, about the same. The trick-animations are very smooth, thanks in part to the game's already steady frame rate. The levels are quite expansive and let you freely travel in any direction at any time.

While we'll have to wait till we get our hands on a final version of MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael before commenting further, it's easy to see that the game is already shaping up to be a fantastic motocross game. We'll have more on it as soon as it's available.

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