Review by lukecharman

"Gimmicks… Yes. Good… Yes."

I was a big fan of Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 on my Xbox. It’s a superb BMX game, with plenty to do, and it looks the part too. When I first heard that Dave Mirra had detached himself from BMX XXX, I was slightly disappointed, as I thought that without Miracle Boy that Z-Axis might decide to scrap the project. Thankfully, they didn’t, and BMX XXX was the outcome of their work.

Graphics – 7
BMX XXX looks, in a word, average. Whilst it isn’t graphically spectacular, it looks solid, and runs fluidly, without any slowdown at all, that I noticed. After taking the real BMX riders out of the game and replacing them with fictitious characters, Z-Axis did not have to worry too much about the realism of the characters, and the slightly bizarre group of characters range from the gothic Hellkitty to the trademark hidden character Amish Boy, who seems to make his way into all of these BMX games somehow. The levels look nice enough, and although some of them are a little bland, they are designed well. They don’t take as much from the Xbox that they could, but to be honest, which games do?

Sound – 7
Extreme sports games and their soundtracks have a history, of sorts. Everything from rockers AC/DC and Motorhead to rap stars Xzibit have featured in these games, and BMX XXX has a combination of rock and hip-hop music. Personally, I am a fan of rock, and not a fan of rap and hip-hop, so my personal favourite tracks from the game are those by Green Day, New Found Glory, and Saliva. The game features twenty tracks in total, and of course the chance to add your own from your own CD collection. The effects in the game sound mediocre to be honest, the grinding of rails, and the characters’ bailing sound okay at best. Where the sound of this game really shines is in the hilarious voice-overs given by NPCs giving you the goals. One of my personal favourites was the pyromaniac in The Dam, asking you to collect his sticks of dynamite.

Gameplay – 8
As I said at the beginning of this review, I was a big fan of the gameplay of Dave Mirra 2. BMX XXX is not a lot different from it’s predecessor, which some people will see as a positive thing, and others won’t. It all boils down to whether you have liked previous Mirra titles. The controls are standard for extreme sports games now, with the A button being used for bunnyhopping, the Y button for grinding and stalling, and the X and B buttons for tricks and modifiers, which leads me nicely on to the modifiers themselves, which add a great deal of depth to the trick system. Not only are you able to pull a trick with any direction (pressed once, or twice, for two different tricks) on your directional pad, but you can also press any OTHER direction and the B button to ‘modify’ the trick, for example pulling Down + X will do a backflip, but pulling Down + X, then Left + B will do a one-footed backflip. The trick system is wonderful, and if you can use it well, you will be able to pull off some nice-looking combos and manoeuvres.

Lifespan – 8
There is a lot to do in BMX XXX. Each of the six levels has twenty challenges to complete, as well as the two extra competition levels. If you want to unlock the topless riders, which I’m sure a lot of you do, then gaining the gold medal in each of these two competitions will take you a LONG time, as it is very difficult to pull off. The multiplayer modes too are good, although there aren’t quite as many options as in Mirra 2. You can also attempt to break your own records in scores over a two-minute run, or in areas such as the longest manual, longest grind, longest skid, and biggest air.

Rent Or Buy?
If you liked Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, I suggest you buy this game, as it feels very similar. If you didn’t, you’re most likely not going to like this either, however it is a nice enough game to warrant a purchase if you’re a fan of extreme sports games.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/01/03, Updated 01/01/03


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