A guest review by AL.
Created by the company 'Rainbow Studio's' That have brought us 3 other off road racing games, comes the fourth, MX Unleashed, 78 episodes of adrenaline filled racing madness.
You would think that after making 3 other off road games would make it difficult to come up with new ideas. This game is quite similar to Off road Fury' One of Rainbows previous off road racing games, except this time your on two wheels rather than four.
Giving you the opportunity to play as real motor cross racers that some extreme fans may recognise. There are a number of real racers you can choose from, and a number of bikes too, which can be upgraded from a puny 50cc to 250cc after unlocking later levels, however all the bikes engines sound like a swarm of flies attacking. You can even change their racing clothes to make your character that little bit more personal. Which is nothing new really, but is something that gamers have gotten accustomed to.
The basic idea of this game is to rise through the ranks of the racing world and up your world ranking in order to unlock further courses and new events and tracks.
It must be pointed out though that is definitely worth checking out the instructions before or during your playing of the game, as it can get a bit confusing on some of the game menus and you end up retrying races that you have already completed, and you also can get lucky and find courses that you have not viewed before, such as a stadium track consisting of four races, as do all the tracks on the game.
The game starts out pretty simple, choose your player, your bike, your clothes, all important that you don't look stupid on your new bike in colours that clash. And your off.
You shouldn't' have any trouble winning the first few races in the game, as the 7 other racers you get to play against seem too busy just trying to stay on there bikes rather than winning races. This does change quite dramatically after just three or four races, in which a your player can go from first to eighth and vice versa in a matter of seconds. Just braking too softly around a corner can allow a margin of error large enough to get three or four racers squeezing past you and taking that lead that you've been holding on to so dearly for the last 2 laps. Most of your opponents stay pretty grouped together most of the time, making it even harder to gain places as you have to dodge and weave as well as keep your eyes on the tracks which have no barricades or borders, making it quite easy to lose your placing. If you do happen to go off the track the computer gives you 5 seconds to get back on the track as close to where you rode off, if you try to get back on a few yards later, the countdown timer will continue to count down from five to zero and then place you where you left the race.
Racers can be knocked off there bikes as well to help gain those placements which make points, but not in the old school style of need for speed which throws kicks and punches, more of a fluke landing off a ramp onto another players head! There's also the chance to slide into them on corners or cut them up and off the track, which can be turned into a handy art form in itself after a few attempts.
Landing angles are also pretty important to adjust mid-flight by holding back or forward as it can improve your landings and help to avoid the suspension throwing you up into the air and costing time.
A nice extra which a lot of racing games of late have added is the ability to throw tricks and stunts whilst speeding around the tracks, the developers have made this game as rough and off road as possible, adding ramps and jumps which can launch you into the air for a superman stunt but can also cause you to lose valuable speed and time in your race for the finish. Which some people may forget about as there is sometimes a little too much to think about whilst racing. Add on that you have a bar in the corner which you have to hold down to get a good head start jump on the ramps by letting go and pressing forward on leaving the jump. Throw in that you also have clutch control, which isn't really control, more just hold it down and release to get a few extra yards. This can be used on the start line to get a boost start and also on corners where you tend to lose speed. The computer will remind you of this feature if you happen to forget it and give you tips at the end of the race to help you gain that edge that you need.
There is a map in the corner showing you as a dot so that you can see how far behind or ahead your opponents are and also which way to expect to have to turn. And a points counter that totals all the bonuses earned through stunts on that level is in the other corner.
Upon completion of more races, a whole variety of freestyle events are unlocked which allow you to choose the order which you want to participate. There you get the chance to race against a monster truck, or complete checkpoint jumps against other players. And a stunt mode requiring you to earn 100 000 points in minutes, which can easily be accomplished as double stunts in the air double your points.
The soundtrack is also pretty rocking , with some good rock and metal bands contributing for the game, which is great if you're into music that makes you hate parents/partner, life/death, school/work, etc... And it can sometimes get a bit tedious as there aren't many songs and especially irritating if not a heavy metal lover!
Also the game is only 2 player which is surprising from a new game like this and there aren't any online capabilities for you to race over the internet and compete against strangers from around the world.