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Jeremy McGrath Supercross World

Review By:  Jared Black

Developer:  Acclaim Salt Lake
Publisher:  Acclaim Max Sports
# of Players:  1-2
Genre:  Racing
ESRB:  Everyone
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  4-24-02

Itís always sad when this happens. You can tell thereís a good game trying to bust out here, but it just canít overcome a multitude of issues. Jeremy McGrath Supercross World is, unfortunately, probably the worst GameCube title to date.

Naturally, this gameís many problems start with the gameplay. Itís got the game modes youíd expect, including Single Event, Head-to-Head, and Career. Single event is your standard arcade mode, while Head-to-Head is the obligatory multiplayer mode. The Career mode is structured pretty well, starting the player out with minimal statistics that can be built up by winning a variety of different races. McGrath also has a decent trick system, with 30+ stunts that can be pulled off by holding down X and/or Y and pressing the appropriate directions in sequence with the analog stick. Points earned from pulling off stunts eventually fill up a boost meter, which can help the player pull out a close race.

All of this is OK. What isnít OK is the horrible controls. The physics are floaty, with seemingly identical jumps resulting in vastly different outcomes. Not only that, but landing the exact same way can sometimes result in a crash, and other times result in a successful landing. I realize that this is supposed to be an arcade racer, but even arcade racers need a bit of consistency in their gameplay. Otherwise, itís just a frustrating experience the player can never really come to terms with. The camera is poor as well, often losing sight of the player entirely. The poor camera often makes it hard to tell exactly when the player will land, resulting in a lot of crashes that never shouldíve taken place. Even the rumble effect is inconsistent, as sometimes hitting the ground will result in a rumble and sometimes it wonít. The gameplay isnít necessarily bad, just horribly inconsistent.

There are a total of 25 tracks, but almost all of them are of generic despite there being four different types (Supercross, Motocross, Freestyle, Baja). Perhaps most appallingly is the fact that all the terrains feel and react exactly the sameÖforget sliding around in the snow here. There are total of 7 pro riders to choose from, but it doesnít matter which you choose in the Career mode as they all start out with the same "1" rating in every category.

As bad as the gameplay is, the graphics actually manage to almost outdo it. Apparently Acclaim decided to go with a minimalist approach here, as each track features only a minimal amount of sideline objects and scenery. Itís almost as if they designed the maps for each track, and then forgot to add in other objects until a week before the completion date. Texturing is only so-so, with N64-ish track textures and riders sporting relatively few details. McGrath was an ugly PS2 game, and itís even worse on the supercharged GameCube. Amazingly, despite the fact that it isnít pushing the GameCubeís hardware with complex geometry and sharp textures, McGrath still manages to feature an amazing amount of pop-up, draw-in, and framerate jitters. Just look at the screens.

The soundtrack is this gameís only real highlight, as itís among the better soundtracks in the "extreme sports" genre. Featuring bands like Lunatic Calm and The Hellacopters, the combination of relatively unknown (aka not played out) and talented bands works very well here. It also virtually drowns out the bland sound effects, which is another plus.

Highs:

  • Well, it is playable despite its many problems.
  • The soundtrack is awesome.

Lows:

  • Funky controls and a camera system that hates you.
  • Simple N64-ish graphics, and yetÖ
  • Östill a ton of pop-up and frequent drops in framerate.

Final Verdict:

Jeremy McGrath Supercross World is bad on so many levels itís amazing. Itís playable, but you certainly wonít enjoy it. If you feel guilty about doing something horribly wrong and feel torturing yourself will stave off Godís wrath, then this is the game for you.

Overall Score: 2.9

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