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Game Profile
GENRE: Extreme Sports
PLAYERS:   1-2
November 21, 2000
Dave Mirra BMX Challenge

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3



More in this Series
 Written by Greg Wondra  on January 09, 2001

Review: Wow, I never knew Tony Hawk could ride bikes too

Put Tony Hawk on a squat little stunt bike and what do you get? Why Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX of course. It may be a tad premature to compare Dave Mirra's entry into the extreme sports genre on a level similar to Tony Hawk's, but the ideas here are all pretty much the same. In each, players are to perform outrageous stunts with their respective rides in an effort to score as many points as possible. Pay little attention to the severe damage that can be caused by falling off of three-story buildings, or biffing a backflip into a cement pool; this is a video game and realism is second only to great gameplay.

So does Mr. Mirra have the type of gameplay to keep you up past bedtime? It probably depends on your tastes more than anything. If you liked the Hawkman, I gander you'll find something to like here. Both Tony Hawk and Dave Mirra use similar controls when tricking off the various obstacles in their neighborhoods.

In total, over 80 individual tricks can be practiced and performed. Anything from handle bar spins, backflips, grinds, wheelies, and wall taps can be done with different control combinations. Numerous tricks can be linked together back to back to rack up huge scoring bonuses. Each of your highest trick scores and overall total course scores can be saved for later viewing. In addition, you'll also be able to record your records for your longest grind, biggest air (in height), and longest skid amongst other things. This adds immensely to the replay factor, as players will want to go back for more in an effort to beat their highest marks.

Expect to find the usual options and play modes when playing DMFBMX. Ten selectable BMX champions are available and each has varying degrees of skill in the categories of air, speed, spins, and balance. Ryan Nyquist, Joey Garcia, Troy McMurray, and Dave Mirra are here amongst others. There are four types of modes available with each offering the player something a bit different from the rest.

Two-Player give you the opportunity to out-trick a friend or foe in a horse style game called B-M-X. Free ride gives you the chance to pick out a course and practice your tricking abilities without the constraints of a time limit. Here, you can check out a list of each and every stunt and hone your skills until your heart's content. In the Session mode, you have a total of 2 minutes in which to pull off as many point-grabbing tricks as you can until the timer runs out.

Pro quest is where the meat of the game lies. In this mode, players are given a time limit in which to complete four specified challenges. Things such as scoring a certain amount of points, grinding certain ledges, and jumping to hidden locations are required to advance. Each of the 12 courses in the Pro quest mode has three different difficulty levels starting with amateur, and then working your way up to the pro and hardcore challenges. By completing these tasks in a timely matter, you'll be able to unlock new courses, new bikes, new outfits, and new sponsors.

No extreme game would be complete without a rockin' soundtrack to compliment it and DMFBMX is no exception. You'll find a selectable array of punk rock tunes to jam to as you play your way to the top. Groups like Sublime, Rancid, Deftones, and Cypress Hill all contribute to your audio needs. Options are available to turn down the tunes if you're not a fan.

Visually the game is a tad uninspired for a Dreamcast title although it's certainly not a detractor to the overall experience. It's definitely of much higher quality than the Playstation offering. The three camera options all seemed to be quite effective and usable as well. Camera problems never seemed to be a big issue. The one flaw that was discovered was a surprising amount of pop-up found on some of the larger courses. Again, it's not a big deal, but it could have added more polish.

I've heard many a reviewer gripe about the controls in DMFBMX but I didn't seem to have that much of a problem with them. Once in a while your bike would feel a little wonky riding over numerous bumps and hills at high speeds but on the whole I thought control issues were practically non-existent.

One of the nicest features I liked about DMFBMX was the way your trick commands were displayed for you in the upper left hand corner of the screen so that you could see exactly what commands were registered resulting in the corresponding trick. I'd like to see more games (especially fighting games) implement this feature. It allows you to see exactly what you did wrong (or right) when entering in the desired commands... For whatever reason, a lot of critics haven't spoken too highly of this title, and frankly, I'm a little puzzled why.

Sure, it might not control with laser precision like Hawk does, and it might have a lot of borrowed ideas, but on the whole I found the game to be highly enjoyable. While the Playstation version seems awful and ugly, the DC port is a worthy addition to just about any gamer's library. You'd be doing yourself a favor to at least give it a rental.

Bottom Line
A lot like Tony Hawk. Is that such a bad thing?

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