Review by Menji
"A different approach to the genre but it sets the bar!"
Finally there comes a biking game to replace that god-awful Mat Hoffman one. Thus the Dave Mirra series is established. They trashed the Tony Hawk control system that every company uses nowadays and created their own. It basically let you control when you want to pedal and switched the controls the around to make it much easier for you to understand. The levels are great, the music is great, and the game is great.
The game opens up with a video of some of the all-star bikers, you can do same things as in just about every other game from one-player, practice, career, freeride, two-player, but sadly; no create-a-park. They did manage to come up with a few new ideas in their two-player mode, one of my faves; wipeout more on that later. Most of the time you'll be doing the career mode with all the riders. You're given a few challenges to start out with and after you complete them, more levels are unlocked and a new set of challenges is unlocked for that level. Unlock the boring challenges you see in Tony Hawk in this age, you're seeing a sort of fun challenge. Something like, launch off the campers to grind the telephone wires for 300ft. Which brings me to another cool thing they do, they record all types of statistics; skid, air, grind, wheelie, stoppie, and distance. It makes doing things like that fun, and they stay with each level so you can try to improve every time you play. Now they still have some of the standard get this many points but they balance it out with making you manual for 200ft or make a skid mark of 30ft. These challenges are great and aren't incredibly easy but can be challenging at times.
After you complete a career, you can attempt it with all the other riders, which really just unlocks outfits and bikes for them as well as upgrading their stats. The challenges don't change but it's fun to try out other bikers with different skill levels and specials.
Besides the main career, two-player can also be very fun with another friend. There are around 20 different modes that you can test out; my favorite, mentioned earlier is wipeout mode where like it says you try to wipeout. That's right, you have to look around the level and see what gives you the biggest chance to crash. Find a house? Jump off it! See a train? Why don't you ride in front of it. It truly is a hilarious (and brutal) way to play but it's different and not too many other games have it. Other modes in two-player include; B-M-X, think HORSE in basketball but you do a trick that they have to copy, and then other contests to see who can get this biggest/highest air, manual, trick, or walltap. Other than those two things, you can check out all your high scores and watch some BMX movies anytime you want, typical for every game like this.
Now to get into the tricks, the button lay out of a game like Tony Hawk works, BUT only for a skateboarding game. It'll work terribly with a BMX game hence Mat Hoffman Pro BMX to be such a failure. So the creators were able to change it up and mix some buttons around like spinning and the ability to combine your tricks while making it easy to do a double flip or something by just pressing it twice. The end results? A darn good layout. Props to the creators.
And finally, the music in this game gets the same score as the graphics; above average. Some songs are great yet some are terrible. The graphics look nice at times but other times don't look to good. Especially whenever you bail and you don't know what has happened to you rider because they bend in very weird directions and go through solid objects quite a few times.
Well it's a good game, there is a sequel out but I prefer this to the sequel. It's the only BMXer out like it's kind and I definitely recommend this over the Mat Hoffman games. It shouldn't be that hard to find since it came out for the Playstation and made greatest hits, and it shouldn't be too expensive. Pick it up and you will have some solid fun.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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