Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 289 - Monster Energy Supercross 3

I like the Monster Energy Supercross games. Despite what blowhard YouTubers like Angry Joe who play them wrong on purpose for the lolz try to tell you, they're excellent dirt bike racing games that are undoubtedly among the best the genre has ever had. The newest entry, Monster Energy Supercross 3, is just as solid as the first two, though it ups the challenge a bit (in a good way). Read more and watch gameplay here.

Monster Energy Supercross 3 makes a somewhat significant change to the formula in that now your rider and bike are separate entities that need to be managed separately. You steer the bike with the left stick and move the rider with the right stick. The old THQ MX games tried this (and failed miserably because it makes the game too complicated to control) but it seems to be OK in MES3. There are lots of options to let the game assist you quite a bit with rider positioning, so it never feels too overwhelming.

It does, however, contribute to making this game quite a bit more challenging than the first two games. The first two definitely had a learning curve to them as well, but after just a couple of races I had figured it out and could pretty much win anywhere. Not so in MES3. I struggled a lot at first, which I attribute to the new physics but also just an effort by the devs to make the A.I. better and the game more challenging. Honestly? I love it. I love that I actually have to learn tracks and practice to figure out how to play properly. Racing games don't really challenge me much anymore, so having one kick my ass like this was a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Learning to play is satisfying. I didn't win on this video, but I did show obvious improvement and if I had wanted to record another race I almost certainly would have won. That's kind of why I stopped when I did - to show viewers that improvement is possible and organic and a satisfying part of gaming. 

I like Monster Energy Supercross 3 a lot. I wish it wasn't $60 - that's just too damn much for a yearly sports game, come on - but I do plan on picking it up for reals when the price drops. I played it on a free Xbox weekend, just FYI.