RRP: $ 89.95 ( re­viewed on PS3)

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wil­cox Email mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

IF there’s ever been a video game genre that has lacked the love, it is dirt bike rac­ing. The aerial thrills and spills are the ideal fit for adrenalin- fu­elled gamers.

For­tu­nately there’s ded­i­cated Mi­lan­based de­vel­oper Mile­stone, which has been re­fin­ing this genre for more than a decade.

Like most li­censed games, MXGP in­cludes all the lat­est of­fi­cial rules, teams of rid­ers and their bikes, and of course their commercial spon­sors.

Fans of the sport will ap­pre­ci­ate rid­ing against more than 60 pro­fes­sional rid­ers and their bikes on more than a dozen tracks from the world cham­pi­onship cir­cuit.

It’s ad­vis­able to kick things off with tu­to­ri­als de­signed to get you ac­cus­tomed to han­dling the bike, both on the ground and in the air.

Key to con­trol is not only the po­si­tion of the bike, but also the weight and bal­ance of the rider. Cou­ple this with in­de­pen­dent front and rear brakes and you have un­matched con­trol over your rider’s ac­tions. Mas­ter­ing these con­trols re­ally comes into play on the con­stantly chang­ing dirt tracks as they trans­form through­out a race.

The meat of the game, the ca­reer mode, is all about cus­tomis­ing a rider, choos­ing a man­ager, then pro­gres­sively mov­ing up the lad­der by win­ning races.

The bet­ter you be­come, the more of­fers you re­ceive from other teams and the more other rid­ers will talk about you on the game’s vir­tual so­cial hub.

In ad­di­tion to quick- fix races and time at­tack modes, you can em­bark on the lengthy of­fi­cial Grand Prix cal­en­dar, or a tai­lored ver­sion in the Cham­pi­onship mode.

Play­ers can also take their rider on­line to com­pete against other rid­ers, in sin­gle races or sea­sons, which I found much more en­joy­able than the com­puter- con­trolled field of chal­lengers.

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