Realistic supercross on the iPhone with crisp clear graphics and gameplay filled with adrenaline pumping action, is it possible? 2XL Games set their goals to create such a game, but how well have they succeeded?
The opening video clip in 2XL Supercross is truly inspiring and gives a glimpse of the real thing in under a minute. It does also show some things that is not available in the game like outdoor tracks and mid-air tricks. You are then greeted by a winged skull bearing the title of the game and the options to race, check records, manage game options and get some help.
In the options you can find eight different control presets where you get to choose four different tilt presets and four different touch presets depending on whether you play as right handed or left handed. The touch controls are further divided into ordinary and advanced depending on whether you want to control forward/backward orientation during jumps and landings. I can’t think of any game with this generosity when it comes to providing different control methods and all those for right handed worked for me. I prefer touch controls and those I really love. At times the thumb used for steering weirs too far off the joystick and I find myself going straight off the tracks instead of that sharp turn I wanted, this is due to my own clumsiness and not the controls as I manage to take the turns when I concentrate.
The most interesting menu item is of course race and when you chose it you get to a track select page where you can choose to race on any unlocked track you like. Next you get to choose the look for your rider and bike as well as the engine size of 125cc, 250cc or 450cc. Now it is time to choose what kind of event you want and you have time trial, practise and race to choose from as well as the difficulty of the opposition and number of laps. As you might notice there is no career or championship mode that I really would like to have.
You get a nice fly by view of the track before zooming to the starting line and you r bike. You got four different views of the action, two third person views, one view first person with handlebars and one view first person without handlebars. All views work quite well and I got further impressed by what 2XL Games has managed to squeeze out of the iPhone. The racing is really fun and immersive and I find myself looking forward to those big jumps and trying to land better without losing speed on the next lap.
When you finish a race you get the times of the riders and that is it, upon touching the screen you are sent back to the main menu. This to me is a bit of a downer as I feel pumped to keep the action going and instead I have to go through menus again. I hope 2XL Games updates the framework to give us at least championships and if they are really out to please they could include a career mode with upgradeable bikes and unlockable outfits. Even though those are wishes of mine I still think that 2XL Supercross is worthy of your time and money.
In conclusion I have to answer the opening question whether 2XL Games has succeeded or not. And I have to say yes they have, this is realistic supercross on the iPhone with crisp clear graphics and gameplay filled with adrenaline pumping action.
Presentation & Graphics
This is one of the best looking games on the iPhone period. I can’t really fathom how smooth this runs and the tracks look realistic. The rider and bike models looks just as good as if you see them on the telly, amazing. Menus are easy to understand as soon as you get used to the fonts. All the effort put into making this an enjoyable game shows and even the title logo found on the main menu moves depending on how you tilt your phone. It lacks mud and particle effects which can be a drawback to some but to me it is a minor aspect of the game.
Great heavy metal riffs and drums at the menu screens set the mood of the game at max adrenaline production. I don’t know if the music need to be licensed as there are short clips from known tracks by for example Guns n’ Roses. The engine sounds are as I remember them from the real thing, top notch. At times I don’t understand why the crowd cheers or boos but that is a minor complaint as well as the fact that I would love to have the metal music or my own iPod music while racing.
There are eight control presets and all of those for right handed players work well for me but in the end I prefer the touch controls with either slider or a small joystick(advanced). I like the fact that you can choose to play with simpler control presets with auto balance of the bike as well as advanced where you have to make sure you land evenly by adjusting your forward/backward rotation.
It is really immersive game and I find myself cursing the opposition while racing. On the iPhone you only get to race versus two opponents whereas you get four opponents on the more powerful iPod Touch. Beating two or beating four doesn’t really matter to me, I am out to be number one at all times.
The only major complaint I have is that there is a lack of incentive to go back and play other than for the fact that it is really fun to play. There is no career mode, no online leader boards and only tracks to unlock. It took me a couple of hours to unlock all tracks which could have been lengthened by for example only being able to unlock if you win a race versus medium difficulty opponents over a three lap race. Now you can breeze through on easy racing only two laps.
One of the best racers you can find on the iPhone with great production values. Top notch handling and enough control presets to satisfy everyone. I can give it my full recommendation if you are looking for an adrenaline rush. It might be somewhat shallow and I really hope that a career mode or at least some sort of championship mode is implemented in future updates, that would probably bump up the score to 4,5 stars.