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MX Nitro Review (PS4)

Rev your engines racers, a new motocross title is here for you. Race through the canyons, across the deserts, and inside the stunt arena in front a sold out crowd. It's a game about tricks, speed, and of course nitro, so be prepared for some intense races. Featuring gorgeous environments and a handful of unique progression ideas, it's up to you to own the 2D game mechanics and rise to the top.

MX Nitro Review

Introduction

MX Nitro, developed by Saber Interactive and published by Miniclip SA, is a motocross game in similar fashion to games like Trials Fusion, where players will ride their bike in a 3D looking environment using 2D mechanics. The camera is positioned almost on the side (slightly behind and can be rotated to the front facing backwards), and the dirt bike is driven in a straight line without any worry of steering. Instead, players will need to focus on how well they can execute tricks and how fast they can go in order to win races. It's a game about progression and commitment rather than sheer luck and skill. It features a solo campaign full of bosses, tracks, and challenges, as well as multiplayer.

You can buy the game on Steam, PS4, or Xbox One for $19.99.

Gameplay

The controls are easy and pretty straight forward; the right trigger will control the acceleration, the left analog stick will control the leaning (forwards or backwards), and the face buttons will perform tricks. There's a total of 55 tricks to learn and master, and they have more importance than simply just adding a visual flair to the races. An incredibly crucial part of every event is consistently building a nitro boost so you can either blast pass the competition or successfully clear a huge gap. Every trick you successfully pull off will give you more nitro (assuming you land it in the end). 
Even holding a wheelie will build up your supply. If you fail to stick the landing of your tricks, you'll eat dirt hard. The crashing and physics used are pretty violent and realistic, so maybe its worth crashing a time or two just to watch your rider. If you crash during an event, the chances of you still winning are slim to none; there are no checkpoints and the computer hardly makes mistakes for you to capitalize on. You can retry an event multiple times to better your ending position, each attempt rewarding you with credits that you can later spend on new bikes or upgrading the ones you own. There's 5 unique bikes, each with different strengths and weaknesses. 
Your first bike will be balanced between characteristics like agility, acceleration, top speed, and nitro boost, but others might specialize in acceleration and top speed, or instead they may suffer in top speed but have really high acceleration and agility for tricks. As mentioned before, the focus is not about getting through a tricky obstacle course, but rather picking the best bike for the situation, and executing the course nearly flawless. You won't win a race with a stunt bike, and you probably won't win a stunt event with a race bike. This takes out some of the skill factor, but in all fairness, the game needs it's own progression and competition mechanics. 
MX Nitro Canyon Run

Sound and Graphics

What's super impressive about the game is the sheer power you can feel in the bikes. When you slam on the throttle and see the back tire dig hard into the ground, sliding for a split second before launching you forward, it feels amazing. The environments look amazing regardless if you're flying through the rocky canyons, sprinting across the dessert, or stunt jumping in the arena. The only complaints I have are some minor screen tearing of the environment and the amount of zoom the camera has.

The approaching environments and track have an issue with rolling smoothly, and can be a little distracting to randomly catch glimpses of. In regards to the camera, it feels too close for comfort. It looks really good and adds a special cinematic-like effect, but isn't the best functionally. When hitting a jump, it becomes hard to see exactly how long you have before touchdown on the other side, leading to the occasional tragedy. The soundtrack is filled with rock music that feels fitting to the intensity of every race, but gets repetitive quickly (there's little in the way of diversity).

MX Nitro Stunt Arena

Conclusion

I have quickly developed a love-hate relationship with MX Nitro. It feels as though there's so much potential with it, and the fun I've experienced has been enormous, but the emphasis on grinding and a handful of small technical and mechanical issues makes it something to play in moderation to get the most out of. If you've played game like Trials Fusion, you have a general idea of what you'll get out of this title, except the core gameplay qualities (this is more racing oriented than obstacles and skills with the controller). It's a lot easier in comparison of difficulty levels, but here you'll find that the longer you play the more you'll be rewarded. The game decides which bike you need in order to win, and it really only comes down to how long it takes you to find what it requires and have it upgraded enough.  
ProsCons
 + Fast paced and fun action
 – Camera feels too zoomed in
 + Many different bikes, tracks, stunts, and bosses
 – Lack of true skill requirement
 + Very easy controls to learn
 – A few technical issues (screen tearing)
6.8
Fair

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