"Take a Scrub Through the MUD"
MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship is the definition of "run of the mill". A motocross game that takes players around the world to compete in different events, the experience I had with the title was pretty underwhelming.
MUD is basically an extremely arcadey title that attempts to throw in replay value by making the player earn points to unlock virtually everything. The main mode, event, lets players control up to four "Heroes" (riders) that can be leveled up and given different equipment that changes stats in races. There are four different types of events available in this mode: Race, Head to Head, Checkpoint, and Trick.
Aside from simply pressing the pedal to the medal, MUD – FIM Motocross has a versatile boost system: there a number of ways to get boost. Some of these make sense, such as letting go of the brake right after the gate drops, but some of them just feel unfair, like the bonus given at a gate that's really close to the starting line. During each track there are hills from which you can jump off, at which point the game will tell you to press the "A" button to scrub, which makes you lean on the bike in midair. Finally, your character can drink branded energy drinks to gain a performance boost which acts as a turbo/nitro would in other games.
The game isn't very fun, unfortunately. The experience feels very barebones, and the game doesn't even fully believe in its gameplay systems if the option to turn off the ability to scrub is available. The cars don't have any weight or feel to them, so races just feel bland. Even things that may be taken for granted, such as controller vibration aren't here in the way they should.
The point system used in the event mode is also very easily abused in order to earn points to unlock high point-earning events and items, and if the system was meant to be like that, then why force the player to unlock everything in the first place? The event mode literally starts the player off with one racer out of four, and one whose stats start off at 1 out of 10, with more points having to be bought through additional points. The event mode fails to strike a balance between being fair and providing a challenge; one moment you'll get 0 credits for an event, and the next moment you'll get tons of points from one event that can very easily be grinded to unlock the later events easily. Even when doing this, most of the time the game makes it seems as if you failed an event because you didn't come in at first place.
The graphics here definitely seem to come from a small budget, resembling something that wouldn't be out of place 10 years ago. The tracks all appear to be dark, even ones set during the day time, and none of them have a unique feel. In fact, I couldn't even tell when I was completing a race or a lap until the results screen appeared.
Environments are filled with barren trees, and for a game called MUD, there aren't any mud effects to be seen. The ground doesn't feel like a unique surface, just a brown bumpy road. Physics also feel off. Oftentimes bumping another rider won't knock you off your bike, but simply tapping a wall will make your rider ragdoll like the rider in Trials HD.
For a game with three arguably fully featured modes MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship feels very barebones. After playing the career mode, the championship modes and the online modes, all I can walk away thinking about is how barren and uneven everything felt when in a race, from the handling on down to the roads and graphics. This title lives up to the name MUD, but for all the wrong reasons.
GameDynamo's Score for MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship (PS3)
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