Review by Freiko

Reviewed: 08/28/02 | Updated: 08/28/02

A solid game, although a bit frustrating

First time I played this game was on a demo. I turned it on, and couldn't help but grin at the flaming start menu. It seemed like my kinda game. After all, I used to ride these bikes.

I choose my rider, (was a bit depressed I couldnt choose the ''flyn' hawaiian'') then start my race. First thing I did out of the gate was bail... and horribly at that. It reminded me alot of Smuggler's Run, and how people bounce around in that. Metz just flopped around, bouncing off of everything. That's right people, no violence here, aside from the various yells of ''I think I ruptured my spleen!'' and ''there's two of everything!''

The speed at which the demo is played doesn't give this game justice. Once I got my grubby little hands on the full game, I got a little better, raised my stats, and was ROCKETING all over the place. Flames trails and all.

However, that same speed that makes this game fun, is kind of a damper. I dont know how many times I've been going too fast to go into a turn, and suddenly WHAM! I was into the boards. (Doesn't help that I was too lazy to learn that there WAS a brake button.) But you're not always zooming all over the place. There's mud, and you be going about 20 mph when you hit that.

The tricks in this game are insane. If people could really bust things like this... the way these riders do, they wouldnt have any competition. The way the tricks work is that you have the four shoulder buttons, and each one of these does a trick. Press two buttons and you'll do a slightly harder trick. press three, you'll do a pretty wicked trick, and when you fill up your freek meter you can press all four and do a sick trick. Now, it doesn't stop there. You can also use the square button to tweak your tricks (and boy, does this game give a new meaning to the word ''tweak''. 'showstopper' to 'curtain call'?!? My god, I wish I could do that.)

There's a decent number of riders, but the thing about this is, rather than trying to try every character, you're probably going to end up seeing one person you like, and sticking with them, while putting down all the other riders. Rather than trying to beat the whole game and get everything for everyone, you're going to be so proud of how much work you put into that one rider, you're not going to want to work on anyone else. Actually, (lol) I worked on the other riders just so I could get their bikes and see their special tricks.

The Good:
The game is fast, fun, and and addicting. There's almost no extended learning time. You just have to pick up a controller, learn the timing of the tweaks and whips, and you're good to go.

The Bad:
The courses are cluttered!! The gnome sweet gnome level made me throw down my controller in frustration because I would hit a super jump,... and suddenly smack head first into a hoop of fire. I think that this game would be so much more.... game..-ish... f the hoops of fire didnt have the annoying habit of being RIGHT AT THE PEAK of a wicked jump. Don't get me wrong, they're great for combos and they add alot of skill, but its almost impossible to avoid smacking them, much less go THROUGH them. If you lean to far down, you'll hit the bottom, if you aren't aimed straight you'll hit the side, if you go too high, you'll hit the top, or the things holding it up... and if you try to dodge it, you had better be damned lucky cuz theres usually large bludgeoning objects all around it. There are some exceptions, of course. Some of them are right in the right place and they look sooooo cool when you smash through the glass in the middle.

Controls are a downfall, too. For me at least.... when I use the joystick I don't use the tip of my thumb, I use the middle joint. This makes hitting the L1 and L2 buttons rather difficult. I suppose this problem is more with me than it is with the game, but still... I'm compelled to put down everything I have found about the game, so there.

The Ugly:
The soundtrack. Considering that alot of the races make you have to keep restarting, the soundtrack gets old, very fast. Paticularly the one cool song they have on it. The technotypethingymabobbers they have on the normal races fits fairly well, and it doesnt get in your face, but that one song (forgot the name) ... over and over again... ugh.. Be prepared to make an ugly face everytime you hear that song. Oh what I would give to hear some sweet thrash metal on the soundtrack.

fun: 9
visual: 9
dynamics: 10
replay: 7
spec fx: 9
sound fx: 9
music: 7

In regard to ratings,... I know everyone gives games a fairly high rating, but this is one of the few games i will do this for. I'm really picky and right now, GTA3, THPS3, Freekstyle, and AC2 are the only games I really intend on keeping.

All in all, I like this game. It's fast, and It's addictive. It's insanely fun despite there being little problems I like to rant about. I think it's a game that should be added to peoples gaming libraries, its worth getting, youll want to play it again and again,... and again,... and again,...

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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