What do you get when you mix BMX, a console, and
a reviewer? Not much unless you are playing a BMX videogame.
The extreme sports genre has exploded since the arrival
of the first Tony Hawk game and now almost every publisher is trying
to cash in on the experience. Although all of the games haven't done
so well, some have almost reached the status of the Tony Hawk franchise.
Accliam now delivers Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, the sequel to the game
that showed that "extreme sports" is more than just skateboarding.
The visuals in this game are absolutely great. All of the
levels have great high-resolution textures and the levels are simply
massive. One of the perks for picking up the Xbox version was the high-resolution
and a few added levels, and this game greatly benefited from the upgrade.
Each of the levels features something happening at the same time that
you are there. In the first level there are numerous bikers doing tricks
and you can even talk to some of them. In the Subway level there is a
working train moving along the grind-able tracks. These things help the
game feel more like a living breathing world.
While the environments look great, the game takes a hit
visually with its character models. All of the people look like they
are 2D cut outs and have no emotion to them at all. The bikes on the
other hand look as real as they could get in a videogame and don't look
right when the bikers are on them.
The draw distance in the game is very good considering how
enormous the levels really are. You can see everything in the level as
you are riding it, except for the other bikers. Sometimes you may find
them coming out of nowhere (kind of like in real life) which is a bit
scary considering that you are riding, minding your own business and
all of a sudden you are hit by another bike.
The control in this game is a mixed bag of good and bad.
When you first plug in the game you will be thrown off by the game's
approach with the controls, especially if you are used to playing Tony
Hawk games. Although the trick system is very good, all you have to do
is push a button and a direction on the left analog stick and you are
off. This limits the amount of tricks you can do though. You have about
8 or 9 different tricks and grinds that are really hard to do because
of the imprecise D-Pad. So more often then not, you will be stuck doing
the same trick about ten times in a row. In a nutshell, the control system
is both limited and easy to use.
Moving you character is pretty clumsy and imprecise. When
you are trying to get started, sometimes you will find yourself bumping
into many walls and getting knocked off your bike. This is very annoying
and you can end up not fulfilling one of the many objectives because
of this. Also when you are riding it is ether all or nothing, there is
no in between. This can also become annoying when you are trying to get
something that is hard to reach. If the control was fixed then the game
would be a much more pleasant experience.
The many objectives you have to do in each level range from
really easy to really hard. After a while the hard ones are way too hard
to do and get really repetitive. After the fifth level you may find yourself
get bored with the game and quit.
What will keep you coming back though is the park editor.
One word: massive. One more: huge. This is easily one of the best features
of the game. A lot of attention to detail was spent here.
The multiplayer function is far too expansive for its own
good. There are over 10 different things that you can do, and half of
them aren't even important or fun. Some of the better ones are Best Of
Five, Best Trick and B-M-X (kind of like HORSE). The multiplayer modes
only feature one run at a time, so you can't both compete at the same
time. That's right, no split screen. It gets pretty boring watching the
other person play for three minutes. The multiplayer option seems as
if it is only there to be there, without a lot of care put into it.
Some of the lesser multiplayer options include Best Fall
and Longest Grind. Who wants to watch somebody get a long grind over
The sound track for the game is really good featuring tracks
from such bands as Fenix TX and Sum 41, and the fact that these tracks
are actually good is absolutly shocking. Most games, including Tony Hawk
have only used second-rate tracks but Dave Mirra uses the hits, a refreshingly
good change of pace. You can even use your own tracks, which isn't really
necessary because the tracks on the game are good enough already.
The sound effects are typical bike noises and grunts of
pain when your biker falls on his face (or other body parts). All in
all the sound effects are what you would come to expect from a game like
Ran into one too many poles in the construction site.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2: The Scores
I have found that this game is very good but a few small
changes could have been added to make the game more exciting.
The graphics are good but if the characters were too
flat, a mixed bag for sure. The trick system is easy
but limited, a flaw that should not have happened. All
in all this game is a good buy and I suggest picking
it up. If you have already played Tony Hawk to death,
then you will love this game. It is worth a pick up.