Amstrad Computer User

Moto Cross Simulator

Author: Adrian Pumphrey
Publisher: Codemasters
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #56

Your mind may be out of balance but your bike better not be.

Motorcross Simulator

Forget those hazy days of motorbike madness. Throw away the leather armour, forget the Saturday night terrorising of the local population and relax with the gentler sport of motorcross.

On second thoughts, don't. This is not for the faint-hearted. That fateful crash is just beyond the horizon as you leap across crevices, rush headlong down slopes and brave the debrisdotted landscape. Your only hope of survival is nerves of steel, perfect balance and a complete lack of common sense. This is a sport of madmen who pit their machines against the forces of nature and the twisted minds of the course designers.

So how is all this achieved on the Amstrad? The game is split into two main events. The first takes place in a window at the centre of the screen. it shows a side-on view of your man and bike as they hurtle along the landscape. The art to staying on your bike rests in your ability to balance on one wheel and time the jumps with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Moto Cross Simulator

When jumping over obstacles you must land on your back wheel. That is satisfactory when tackling obstacles on a flat surface but when you land on a slope after a jump the bike tends to the direction of its gradient. This means that you must apply an opposite force with your joystick or your biker will bite the dust. When you have mastered the obstacles you then have to deal with the missing or sunken sections of the track. You do so by leaping into space, trying to land on your back wheel as you bounce across the track.

Prepare for many a frustrating moment as those early forays into motorbike madness are sure to end in disaster. A chart is provided to help with the timing but the technique itself involves lifting the front wheel over the obstacles and pressing the jump button before the back wheel strike the obstacle and you hit the dirt. If, after many hours of practice, you survive your journey across the track vou move to the speed trials.

Unlike the track, this section of the game is viewed from above. By steering left and right you avoid the boulders but the jumps are another matter altogether.

To clear impassible sections of the course you must resort to air travel. When launching from a ramp an image of your biker is displayed in the corner of the screen to enable you to judge and control your landing angle.

After successful completion of this section it is back to the first section with a different track. Definitely a difficult game but one with which it is worth persevering. The graphics and sound effects are by no means stunning but the control of your biker is good, allowing this game to become a real test of your skill.

Adrian Pumphrey

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