Yamaha Supercross (DS) review
"Itís easy to make mistakes on the windier tracks that task you with straightening quickly from a sharp corner to fly into a sadistically placed camel hump, but itís all the game really has. Mistakes are not punished harshly, nor outstanding lines rewarded thanks to the rubber band racing physics that ensure the pack of rival riders are neither too far ahead or too far behind you."
Yamaha Supercross makes some fuss on its packaging about how you take over for your injured brother in the Yamaha Supercross team. Then never mentions this again. In making this my introduction to the gameís review, Iím actually highlighting it a lot more than Coyote Console ever managed to do.
Which is handy because, otherwise, Iíd just have to start talking right away about a game that covers all the bases, but really doesnít do anything other than provide basic competency. The expected options all appear; a championship mode that has you race all nine tracks in an effort to come up trumps as well as an arcade and practise mode that allows you to run wild on any of these tracks youíve unlocked. Thereís scoreboards that keep track of your best efforts and the entire Yamaha YZ range of bikes to unlock along the way.
Some of the tracks are faithful reproductions of the real thing. The initial track, labelled as Atlanta, is a virtual copy of the Georgian Dome, complete with the simplistic oval track and bevy of camel humps to surge over. The handling of the trial bikes is also captured faithfully, complete with how easy it is to oversteer and veer out of control if you try and lean too far into corner. Unfortunately, itís hardly ever put to the test. To win the Atlanta event, all you need to do is line your bike up reasonably well with the jumps and then try and land half decently. If you feel like showing off, you can even pull a superman stunt while in mid air just because.
And, though the tracks up the challenge with their design, be them replicated versions of trickier existing tracks or ones custom made for the game, victory is really all about lining up the jumps right. Itís easy to make mistakes on the windier tracks that task you with straightening quickly from a sharp corner to fly into a sadistically placed camel hump, but itís all the game really has. Mistakes are not punished harshly, nor outstanding lines rewarded thanks to the rubber band racing physics that ensure the pack of rival riders are neither too far ahead or too far behind you. On the winding and confusing second track, I missed one of the markers that told me the raceline was straight ahead, and sped up one of the intertwining tight turns instead, racing for about a minute or so before the flashing U-turn sign signalling a rider going the wrong way gave up and I was transported back to the wrong turn I had taken. Thanks to a few mistakes by the three riders who had a full minuteís head start on me, I was able to catch up quick and claim the lead. From then on, the winner was always going to be the person who crashed into the barrier the least, not who took the merciless corners the best, or who employed the right line.
In my case, I battled hard with a racer that should have been miles ahead after my initial error and then, somewhat ironically, nowhere near me after I overtook him later and pulled off a flawless lap. We took the last hump simultaneously, my biker sprawling in tight to best hug his way through the last corner. I was the first over the finishing line but because Iíd been so wide on my approach and not gone over the painted line that signified the end of the lap, my effort was not counted. Instead of winning, I came fourth as my last lap counted for nothing, devoured by a programming bug and damning me to last. Perhaps it was deserving after the heinous error suffered right off the starting line, but Iíd prefer my bad racing to be punished by bad results and by the shame of losing to better racers, not snatched away from me by a slice of poor programming serendipity.
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