Damn you, MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship. I want to like you a lot more than you'll ever let me. You're suffering from a case of confused identity, attempting to appeal to two distinct crowds of people and thereby jeopardising your adoption by either.
The issue above all others is that the game uncomfortably walks a line between simulation and arcade-friendly action, providing a bumpy ride for people seeking one or the other. As an amalgam of both it simply doesn't work.
After firing up the game you're presented with a bewildering number of menus and modes that all essentially boil down to either racing around dirt tracks, tricking around arenas, or a combination of both.
However, the main thrust is the RPG-esque MUD World Tour mode, in which you take one of four uninspired 'extreme dudes' through multiple races - upgrading their abilities and unlocking new courses with coins you gain from victories.
The presentation is rough, with a lot of low resolution textures, unnaturally angular surfaces, and a couple of dodgy animations. It's not the smoothest frame-rate you'll find, but it does the trick and conveys a decent sensation of speed when coupled with the undulating surface of dirt and mud.
Yet it's these undulating surfaces that highlight the title's issues. You really have to fight to stay in control of your bike when tearing up each track, the vehicle bouncing and skidding realistically as you swing around corners and ascend jumps.
But the priority of scrubbing within races for an extra speed boost, or using up an energy beverage for extra performance, flies in the face of this. You'll need to use them to keep up with your opponents, but doing renders your machine unstable, undermining their usefulness.
On your bike
Moving into trick showcases within arenas, again you see this uneasy balance between fun and simulation falter. Trick opportunities are just large ramps, and when you pull off a move by tapping a couple of face buttons the result is unspectacular.
On the opposite side of this, though, you'll need loads and loads of points to take home the glory, making for a showcase that any real-life rider would balk at for its extreme difficulty.
There are multiplayer options, of course, though you can't take your custom character into them, which seems a waste. Up to six can compete and the racing is smooth, with getting into games being a fast process. This element is perhaps the most impressive of MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship's offering.
If you're a really big fan of the motorsport represented then take a look at what Black Bean Games has to offer, as it's not often you get a motorbike racing title on any platform.
When it's trying to be nothing but sim, or pushing an all arcade experience your way, it succeeds in its approach, but it happens too rarely, making for a confusing racing game that doesn't quite know what it wants to be.