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Aspyr Media
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MTX: Mototrax
August 27, 2004 | Eric Ford

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Aspyr continues the plethora of Macintosh ports with MTX: MotoTrax a fast-paced racing title developed by Activision. Soon, players will be able to strap on their helmets and join the motocross venue in this deep simulation of the extreme sport that has gained much ground over the last few years in the U.S. Players will be able to participate in your usual exhibition races through supercross, motocross, freestyle and off-road challenges, but that’s only the beginning.

One of the main selling points of MTX is its deep customization features, particularly the ability to create a your own rider and race him up through the ranks, earning company sponsorships, money, and new upgrades, until you can participate in the culmination of extreme motor-biking events: the X Games. The road to the top is actually quite simple. The more races you win, the more money you can collect from sponsors. You can then use that money to upgrade your bike to make it even easier to win against the competition. Although character customization was is at a minimum when you start out, players can earn different outfits the more one races and accumulates sponsors. Also, I’m sure the final product will have even more options than were available in this preview.

The Create-A-Track feature was definitely one of the more interesting options that I was looking forward too, but the interface was really slow, and it just looked like it wasn’t polished enough to play with. However, I’m sure this will be one of the more useful features in retail since it should provide almost unlimited replayability for racing fans out there.

One thing that I noticed quickly about MTX is the steep learning curve. Even though the controls are simple enough, and I found myself finishing in first place on my first track, the next two courses completely decimated me, forcing me to go back and learn some advanced maneuvers to keep myself alive. Perhaps when the tutorial level is in playable shape, all questions will be solved for the beginning player.

Accompanying MTX is a good soundtrack filled with all the hard rock/grunge stuff that goes so well with extremely loud motor bikes. Featuring artists such as Metallica, Slipknot, Dope and Pennywise, there will definitely not be a lack of variety for when you’re racing through the dirt.

One of the boasts for MTX is that it will be able to deliver all the racing thrills with superb graphics at 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, this currently isn’t the case, as there are quite a few graphical glitches still in the game as well as a good amount of slowdown in a few tracks (especially the tutorial areas). However, considering that the rest of the game is pretty much complete, the majority of the time can now be spent polishing and fixing these minor graphical errors. One thing that should be pointed out is that when you are playing on a track that’s been polished, it really does look and feel amazing.

Will MTX become the next great racing craze for the Mac? Right, now its hard to stay. There’s still a bit of polish that needs to be done in order to get the title into shape. However, I have faith that when all is said and done, you’re going to be looking at one hell of a game.

Current (Not set in stone) System Requirements:
•Mac OS X 10.2.6
•PowerPC G4/G5, 800 Mhz or faster
•256 MB RAM
•1.4 GB free disk space
•3D Graphics Acceleration required (ATI Radeon 7500/nVidia GeForce 2 or better, 32 •MB of VRAM)
•8x CD-ROM


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