Friday, July 26, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 26 - MX Unleashed

Even though it is 15-years old now, MX Unleashed is still the best dirt bike game ever. Yeah, they made a bunch of sequels but the gameplay tended to get worse with each one and the games got bloated with too much mediocre content padding that wasn't as good as the dirt bikes. On Day 26 of Eric Vs. 365 we take a look at the seminal, wonderful, still fantastic MX Unleashed.

MX Unleashed still reigns supreme for me due to its simplicity. Later games always changed how you pre-load the suspension or made you constantly balance your rider via the right stick or something and they just weren't any fun. At all. MX Unleashed just gives you gas, brake, and clutch to worry about and you load your suspension by just moving the left stuck down at the base of a jump and pushing it up at the top. It is simple and easy to learn and works perfectly. You aren't constantly fighting the controls the way it always felt like you were doing in a lot of the games that followed.

I also feel like MX Unleashed greatly benefits from just being about dirt bike racing. The sequel added ATVs, which wasn't totally out of the blue since developer Rainbow Studios also made ATV Off-Road Fury for PS2, but they never ever felt as good as the bikes did (even in ATV Off-Road Fury, but that's just my opinion). MX Unleashed also had trophy trucks and monster trucks and silly stuff in the free roam modes, but they weren't the focus. As the series progressed, however, all of that extra fluff became the focus - and usually wasn't very good - while the MX gameplay started to get worse as mentioned above. They should have stuck to one thing and got it perfect, but instead they tried to dabble in a little bit of everything and ended up not getting any of it right.

I do want to say that even though I think MX Unleashed is the best full package - motocross, supercross, freestyle - dirt bike game available, I think the more recent Monster Energy Supercross games are the superior supercross (indoor) racing experiences. 

For this video I just wanted to play a little and show off how solid the game still is, and I think I did a decent job of it. I played on Xbox One via backward compatibility and the game is sharp and clean and great looking and runs smoothly. One thing of note is that the game soundtrack is all licensed stuff from 2004, which YouTube doesn't typically play nice with, so I turned it off and replaced it with royalty free rock tracks. If the music sounds weird, that's why.