Motocross Madness [PC]
March 30, 2009
Still as fun as the day i first got it, this Windows 95 antique continues to entertain even now 11 years since its original August release. It was the first motocross game to incorporate separate player and motorcycle physics, this is MotorCross Madness, in all its glory.
Where do i start, it’s hard to believe this was a Microsoft game. For those unaware of what MotorCross Madness is, shame on you! Imagine the physics mechanics from The Force Unleashed, applied to a skinny player on a motorcycle and dialled back for Windows 95. That’s MotorCross Madness. The game features over 30 courses, customizable player models and bike decals as well as the ability to tune up your bike to what you prefer. Back in the days when owning a Joystick was a status symbol, MotorCross Madness provided a large amount of flexibility, with preset controls for various sticks built in, and actually worked surprisingly well. I whipped my old clunker out for this review and found it quite fun.
MotorCross Madness provides a number of game modes, from modes focused on Stunts, to Waypoint games, to the obvious Motocross and Supercross modes where you race around huge circuits in a jam-packed stadium of spectators who ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ and ‘owwww’ at each moment of gameplay.
However obviously the most indulging feature of the game is the physics mechanic, providing endless hours of enjoyment as you race across the map at full speed only to hit a hill and be launched into the side of a crevice, resulting in a satisfying yell from the character, and consequential thud of the motorcycle as it lands on his head. And the game embraces this, providing the ability to watch from multiple camera angles; perform a spectacular Kamikaze move at a button’s notice; and punch other players as you fly through the air. What happened to modern games just enjoying flinging characters around, or are we just too sophisticated for that sort of fun?
Obviously with the limitations of Windows 95, there were resulting gameplay limitations, one of which was the fact that the map needs to end eventually. The solution was to build a cliff-face around the map, however you can still jump your motorcycle onto the top of the cliff, and ride along as the way to freedom seems clear. However let me introduce you to; the cannon! Stray to far while on top of the cliff and you get launched off the cliff. No kidding; launched; it sounds like a cannon and is complete with “Bugs Bunny” Style Cartoon Falling Sound Effect. It’s not some pitiful little fling off the edge of the cliff, you cover probably half the map as you get flung head over heels.
So as you can see, it’s a crazy fun game, even if you don’t actually get around to playing a single motocross event. It has LAN capabilities and at $2 off Amazon it’s incredible value for potential hours of joy.