The riding and steering control in Mototrax has a loose feel to it that occasionally feels a little sloppy. Compressing your suspension is as easy as hitting a button, and you don't have to really time when you press the button so much as you have to time when you release it. Other games tend to give you a smaller window for preloading, so this feels almost too easy at times. You can also preload by leaning on the bike with the analog stick, but because the button is so much easier, there isn't any benefit to using the alternate method.
The trick system in MTX Mototrax is, on the whole, pretty good. You start the game with only a handful of basic tricks, but over the course of your career, you'll unlock plenty of new moves. There are more than 100 tricks to acquire in all. The moves are done by tapping a series of directions and buttons. Generally, the trick system works pretty well, though some moves aren't as clear as they could be. For example, tricks like the backflip must be started before you actually leave the ground. Otherwise you'll just do a heel-clicker. The game doesn't really dictate which tricks must be done this way in a clear manner, so you might have to experiment a little bit with tricks (as you unlock them) to figure out where and when they can be executed. Overall, the game plays pretty well. Control-wise, the two versions of the game have fairly different button configurations. While the PlayStation 2 uses the X button for gas, the Xbox version uses the right trigger. But while the game may put the gas on the analog trigger, your throttle isn't actually analog, so tapping the trigger is the same as pulling it all the way in. This can be a little troublesome at first, but you'll quickly get used to it. As a result, both games have equal levels of control.
Graphically, the game looks good on both the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. Of course, when the two go head-to-head, the Xbox version definitely presents the better-looking game. It sports cleaner textures and, generally speaking, a more detailed look. However, the PlayStation 2 version doesn't look bad when you compare it to other recent PlayStation 2 games. You will, though, notice some occasionally strange-looking rider animations. On top of this, the game has some clipping issues, so from time to time you'll see riders' body parts clipping through various items.
Mototrax is a good game, but motocross fans are better off with THQ's MX Unleashed.
The game's soundtrack is filled with songs from bands like Dope, AFI, Disturbed, Slipknot, Pennywise, Static X, and Thrice. In addition to having standard vocal tracks, the game also features instrumental versions of many of the songs, which allows you to choose one or the other. The rest of the game's sound consists of motorcycle engine noises that are pretty well done. The game also features speech from several pro riders, who actually give you some of your goals in the career mode. Most of this speech is pretty flat, so even though you'll hear a guy say that he's totally stoked after you complete a goal, he really doesn't sound very stoked at all. Instead he just sounds like he's reading a script.
All told, MTX Mototrax is a good game that should please fans of the motocross racing genre, but there are better choices on the market. MTX Mototrax may be the only game in town if you're dead-set on online play, but THQ's recent release, MX Unleashed, is still a better game across the board.