||Jun 16, 2000
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Killer arcade-style racing for the PC
If you're a fan of the arcade-style motorcycle racing served up by the original Moto Racer, you won't go wrong with the sequel. MR2 delivers more tracks, more bikes, a fast Direct3D engine, and perhaps best of all, a track editor to create your own races. The graphics easily rival anything you'll see on a console, with less scenery pop-up than the original game, and new features like varying (and user-configurable) weather conditions, night racing, and lens-flare effects. The eye candy has to be seen to be believed.
Unlike the original MR, where you had to place in the top three in the first four races to unlock the additional tracks, every track in the game is accessible right from the start, and there are several different championship modes to play. There's also a new points system, so you don't have to win every single race in order to win a championship.
But the best new feature of MR2 has to be the track editor. It adds nearly limitless replay value to the game by allowing you to create new tracks for either motocross or superbike racing, and you can use the tracks to build a custom championship series. The editor is simple to use, and you can trade tracks with other MR2 players on the Internet.
The sound and voice effects appear to be carried over directly from the original game; there's nothing particularly special about them. And while the cheesy Euro-techno soundtrack of MR was merely forgettable, the faux-punk/thrash tracks of MR2 are annoying as hell. You'd do well to turn off CD audio entirely and listen to more palatable music through your MP3 player.
And, like with virtually any Direct3D game, there are a few graphical glitches; on my machine (equipped with an S3 Savage4-based card), some of the scenery occasionally appears on black backgrounds. Switching from full-screen to window mode and back usually fixes the problem.
Oh, and there's no motocross track modeled on the Great Wall of China, one of the more inspired bits of zaniness that defined the original game.
The Bottom Line
If you're a hardcore racing sim fan, you're not going to get much out of MR2, even with its "simulation" mode (which apparently means you crash every
time you hit the wall). For those of you looking for an eye-popping arcade racer with lots of replay value, however, Moto Racer 2 is a must-have.