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That is the popularity of Nintendo Switch as a platform, which we will not be less than two years after the launch three crosscross and supercross-related games. For such a niche corner of the racing simulation gap, the world of two-wheeled mud panning games has already scored in holeshots and stage finishes on handhelds for quite some time. However, the last outing – Monster Energy Supercross – The official video game – blocked directly from the gate with some missing modes and a noticeable visual downgrade.

Long-time developer Milestone has clearly taken this feedback on board Monster Energy Supercross – The official video game 2 and tried to provide a switch port that provides more parity with those versions released on other consoles. This time you will get access to the Track Editor mode that was truncated from the previous episode in the series, along with the full support for online multiplayer and the addition of the new & # 39; Compound & # 39; sandbox mode. So if you are a supercross fan with a love for Switch, you can be confident that you are one far more complete package this time (including, not surprisingly, a few concessions too).

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The above mentioned composition is one of the best new features of Supercross 2, even if it is one that is not whole fully realized. This sandbox area offers a place to practice the finer points of the mechanics of the game. Although the appearance may be a bit rough at the edges, its physics is just as good as ever. If you want to know how to hold the rhythm necessary for hunting well, how best to lean into a bend without turning off your rider and the cleanest way to land after a long jump, then this is the place to do it. You can unlock more of these areas – and items to customize them – by completing challenges in Career mode and time trials, giving you plenty of reason to try out other modes.

It is a pity that this could not be used as a kind of social space, where players could meet and practice tricks and take part in ad-hoc races. There is so much potential here, and although the Compound is not quite the finished article yet, hopefully Milestone will repeat it correctly in future MXGP / Supercross titles. Yet this robust Track Editor is built-in this time – which allows you to build your own circuits from scratch and upload them online so that others can play them – there's a lot to keep you busy.

Career mode is back, this time with more than 80 official riders from all Supercross divisions – as well as the ability to create your own with a limited creation suite. In an attempt to pursue the much larger career modes drive crazy and the NBA 2K series, you have a weekly agenda that goes far beyond the racing day. You will hit the Compound to train certain skills (such as making a jump or making the perfect turn) and a level the better you perform, you race against an AI-controlled rival in Challenges and take on promotional tasks (with the latter nothing more than a brief look at your driver leaning on his back and a nice reward for your problems),

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The overall presentation is also much stronger this time, with an extra effort to recreate the energy drink-driven machismo-theater of a really supercross event. The fact that commentators Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig are on board, adds to the authenticity (even if the delivery is a bit stiff and only limited to cut scenes before and after the race) and with many real-life courses from the current pro-circuit, fervent fans will grin with joy. Of course, it is not a touch F1 2019 or other big-budget racers when it comes to presentation, but if you've played the series before, you know it's a small step in the right direction.

When switching, the performance is mixed between the linked and the handheld mode. The image speed for both is around the 30 fps mark (with the latter occasionally plunging into the high 20s) with only occasional chug when you play along the way. Graphical images are surprisingly good at playing in the linked mode – the lighting model is more dynamic and texture details (like the shine and smoothness of mud) really stand out. Some of these details are still present in the hand, but with a noticeable dip in graphical fidelity.

For all of its improvements when it comes to feature parity, Supercross 2 retains some technical and mechanical problems that Milestone should have tackled. The charging times are still painfully long, and minutes pass by as you glance at a green charging bar that fills so slowly that you think the game will completely torment you. Not only is this a Switch issue – longer load times have also hampered the other console versions, so you'll need to learn how to kill time no matter where you want to play. Strangely enough, the track editor of all modes is by far the fastest for loading times.

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There is also too much gravel in unlocking cosmetic items for your rider. Although you have found a steady pace in distributing in-game credits in the MXGP series (see MXGP 3 at Switch for an example of this), the Italian studio has taken the bizarre decision to denounce even the smallest items behind serious prices. There are no microtransactions here, so you'll have to squeeze through several careers to earn enough to get the good stuff. It's something that Milestone might patch in a future update, but it's still a strange choice to record.

Conclusion

Monster Energy Supercross – The official video game 2 is a huge improvement in many ways after the first game. The recording of a track editor, the restoration of the online multiplayer and the enormous amount of authenticity that is offered, will impress both old supercross fans and casuals that want to spray mud on two wheels. From a visual point of view it is a noticeable step upwards and while it is occasionally a little too busy, the frame rate remains fast most of the time. It's just a shame that those monstrously long loading times and an unnecessarily grindy unlocking system take away part of its shine.