Though there's a low count of tracks and weird Avatar implementation, Microsoft's downloadable biker is well worth the ride. Especially with friends.
Motocross Madness has been revving across PC's for years now, getting its start back in 1998 under the direction of Rainbow Studios (who since worked on THQ's MX vs. ATV series before eventually folding up shop), but it's never made its way to the Xbox 360 – until now, that is. Microsoft officially announced the Xbox Live Arcade version a little while back, and even gave it a public showing-off at the Game Developers Conference, where would-be buyers could take it for a spin. Now it's finally here, and players everywhere can see what the Madness is all about.
And to be honest, the series does live up to the hype, even with its different approach. Instead of being entirely "sim"-my, the game mixes realistic races with the ability to use your Avatar. So, yes, if you ever wanted to see yourself in racing gear and celebrating a first place win on a dirt bike, you can do so. Though the cartoony vs. realism look can be a little hard to accept at first, you eventually accept it and get into the groove.
The races themselves are good fun, as you compete for first place victory against either AI or online players. Along the way, there are a few things to discover, including strings of coins that you can use to unlock new gear for your rider, hidden shortcuts to gain an advantage, and the ability to knock a player around with a well-placed kick, Road Rash style. (No crowbars though, sorry.) You can also explore the tracks at your convenience, in a nice open-world environment where various challenges await.