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Motocross Championship (Sega 32X) artwork

Motocross Championship (Sega 32X) review


"Wheelie, Wheelie Tyred"


I bring this on myself, Iím constantly reminded. The world really doesnít need someone talking about the Sega 32X, a console few people can remember and even fewer ever purchased. Randomly deciding to champion it decades after it became obsolete probably ranks as one of my dumbest ideas, but Iím waist deep in it, and itís probably easier to keep wading through than turn back now. The kicker is, in the nineteen games Iíve since reviewed for this ill-advised add-on, I honestly thought the worst was behind me. I slogged through all the poorly produced FMV games, the clumsy arcade ports and that one golf game (that turned out to be pretty good), after which what I assumed to be a sea of mediocrity looked like a step up in quality. I was ready for the ordinary and the uninspired; I was not ready for Motocross Championship. No one is.

How a game can be so consistently bad on so many levels is borderline impressive. On the surface, it seems like it wants to be taken seriously as a dirtbike racer; it has three different engine classes ranging from 125cc to Superbike, for example, which does provide noticeably different top speeds, if nothing else. There are twelve available tracks to race on, all providing big jumps, sharp corners and all manner of things to wipe out on. It wants you to race them seriously; thereís no elastic band progression where youíre never too far in front of the pack to cruise to victory, nor too far behind it to rule yourself out of a placement. You win and lose on your own racing merit.



Except you donít. Because you also have the ability to throw elbows into your fellow riderís faces, and that mess ainít kosher. Perhaps the purists out there will find some comfort in knowing that Motocross is certainly no Road Rash; elbows will rarely find their intended target (and will often hilariously get thrown on the wrong side, pummelling nothing but air) and donít make much difference when they do. Mostly because you share the track with a pack of twelve rival racers who invest very heavily in the pack mentality. For the most part, youíre better off considering this pack as one hivemind swarm; they take the same racing line, crowd out the best way to take all the corners and make overtaking the thing of virtual nightmares. You could mash one in the face with a cheeky elbow, but it doesnít really matter. They are many and you are but one. For every rider you illegally nudge behind you, the swarm will ensure another takes its place.

There are so many reasons you want to get away from this angry crowd of motorcyclists; the upshot is that if you do manage to get ahead, they will struggle to ever catch you as they do their very best to merge into one. Racing among them is certainly not recommended; in a twist that should surprise no one by this point, Motocross Championship is an especially ugly game, made more prevalent by how badly it struggles to keep the swarm as a collection of clearly defined individual racers rather than an ugly patchwork of slowly merging pixels. Itís kind of like what might happen if John Carpenterís The Thing took up an extreme sport and had a production budget of £7.20.



Beat the legion, and all you have to contend with then is things like the mumbling apology of background music which, I think wants to be recognised as midi metal. Thatís okay; itís why we have mute buttons. What you canít fix, though, is how the game has a go at scaling the tracks since itís on the superior hardware of its time, and fails miserably. Motocross Championship is plagued with pop-up that gets so bad that, should you manage to take to the air off a particularly well-taken dirt ramp, the course ceases to exist until you start losing altitude again. Good luck planning that landing.

Worse still is the idiot who grinds away at the game, the one who finds ways to outsmart the swarm, to survive dropping into the unknown. If you put in the work, you can learn the best way to slide past the collective and leave them hissing in your rear view. Place in the top ten, and you obtain a cash reward, but thereís no spending it on newer bikes or snazzy upgrades. Finish the twelve race season top of the leaderboard, and you advance an engine class. You need to crawl through three seasons -- thirty-six races! -- and when you eventually reign as superbike champ you are rewarded with nothing. No hidden bikes, no new tracks. Barely even a Youíre Winner screen. Congratulations, hypothetical totally-not-me person; you are the king of nothing.

I need to find a new hobby.

1/5

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (January 02, 2019)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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Feedback

If you enjoyed this Motocross Championship review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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Masters posted January 02, 2019:

Awesome bash review to start your year off in trademark Emp style!
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EmP posted January 02, 2019:

Thanks, Marc. Been kicking the game around for a while and now seemed as good a time as any to write the review and banish it from my life.

Another one down.
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Masters posted January 02, 2019:

Oh, I almost forgot: nice tagline, although does it need every word capitalized?
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EmP posted January 02, 2019:

How else will people recognise it as the greatest pun ever made?
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hastypixels posted January 02, 2019:

For the most part the Sega 32X was a painful experience that buyers convinced themselves was great because otherwise they'd have to admit they were out of pocket for an unloved product. This ignoable title does nothing to assuage that notion.
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jerec posted January 03, 2019:

I used the "Wheely" pun on my Rocket: Robot on Wheels review back in 2001 or so. The review is long since deleted. I found it on my computer and it made me cringe so hard.
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EmP posted January 03, 2019:

My fallback was "Yamahahahaha".
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honestgamer posted January 03, 2019:

The bigger the cringe, the better the pun.
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Masters posted January 03, 2019:

Folks are just trashing your tagline, Gary. It was so bad it brought Jerec out of lurking mode. I hope you're proud.
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EmP posted January 03, 2019:

People always struggle to understand greatness.

I declare 2019 The Year of Puns
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honestgamer posted January 03, 2019:

I am on board with this, even if some people are already bored of it.
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Masters posted January 03, 2019:

I can't believe this is a wheel discussion we're having. Looks like I'll have to be the one to get us back on track because we were going in circles there.
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jerec posted January 03, 2019:

At least vehicle puns are fresher than food puns and don't leave such a bad aftertaste.

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