MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore Game Poster Image
Mediocre racer has bad controls, visuals issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Family-friendly racing game, pure and simple. It's a virtual thrill to ride bikes at high speeds, perform tricks. Some might feel it's not positive, as it could encourage people to try stunts on a real bike.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't get to know any riders, so it's difficult to determine whether they're good role models. Perhaps if they're good in real life, they're perceived as positive role models in the game, but the opposite is true, too.

Ease of Play

Controls not very intuitive, responsive -- even when you get hang of it -- but you can spend time in Free Ride mode to tweak your skills.

Violence & Scariness

Major cringe-worthy wipeouts, crashes, but no one gets hurt.

Language
Consumerism

Some in-game branding -- such as billboards, signs, banners -- with brand-name companies. Gear, bikes also licensed; you can use them to customize your racer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore is a racing game that includes motocross bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in a number of indoor and outdoor events. Some of the crashes look deadly, but no one gets hurts. Parents should know the "card girls" who hold signs in some races are dressed provocatively. Much of the gear and bikes are licensed and branded, as are branded billboards, all of which can't be avoided. Players may be frustrated because the game is challenging, even if you've spent a lot of time trying to master the controls.

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What's it about?

MX VS. ATV SUPERCROSS ENCORE is a "remix" of 2014"s MX vs. ATV Supercross for PlayStation 3 but adds a number of new tracks, events, and racers for this version on PlayStation 4, Windows PCs, and "soon," they say, Xbox One. As you might expect, you get to race Supercross on motocross bikes or ATVs, in a number of indoor and outdoor races and on tracks. This remastered game features 17 Supercross tracks, a dozen Nationals tracks, four Waypoint races, two spacious open-world environments (to free-ride with friends), and, for the first time in the series, Rhythm Racing with five tracks. Online play supports up to 12 players and two players on the same TV (via split screen). You can also select to play as one of more than 60 professional riders or create your own with a large assortment of licensed gear.

Is it any good?

Unfortunately, this sixth game in the MX vs. ATV series seems to have lost its steam over time. First, the good news: MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore adds several game modes and tracks missing from its predecessor, which focused solely on racing on indoor stadiums. Now you can race outdoors in a number of modes, including all National races and one mode called Waypoint for driving from checkpoint to checkpoint in as short a time as possible. A Career mode lets you customizable a rider and his bike or ATV, while an online mode allows you to connect and play (with decent connection speeds). The arcade-like Rhythm Racing mode is similar to Nintendo's Excitebike but from a third-person perspective.

Problem is, the controls are sloppy. You might find yourself pulling a 180-degree spin during a turn because you were too tough on the analog sticks. And trying to pull off a good midair move can be taxing because of using the analog sticks to balance your rider. Even more disorienting is when you're supposed to pull off tricks during a race and must press a shoulder button and push the analog stick in a given direction at the same time. Tweaking the controls in the Settings helps a bit, but overall it mars the experience. Other issues include lots of slowing down when many riders are on the screen at the same time, as well as very outdated graphics. There's also awkwardly stiff animation and lots of environmental elements that suddenly pop into view as you ride. Despite the new content, this game isn't worth your time or money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games such as MX vs. ATV Supercross. Do you think games like these encourage players to attempt stunts in the game in real life, or do you think players understand that the crashes shown would clearly be dangerous to riders?

  • Discuss privacy and safety concerns. Should parents let their kids play this game online if they can chat with complete strangers over a headset microphone, or is that a harmless way to communicate? Should the game company or console maker put in some safeguards, such as a filter or moderator, or does that infringe on free speech?

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