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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
3DO Company, The
3DO Company, The
GENRE: Sports
December 27, 2001
Joint Task Force

 Written by Matt Swider  on April 30, 2002

Full Review: You get a plate full of Bad Trix with a dinner roll on the side.

Jonny Moseley couldn't be hotter. In addition to winning a gold medal four years ago in the Nagano Winter Olympics, placing fourth this year in Salt Lake, unveiling his brand new ?dinner roll? move, and hosting Saturday Night Live, Moseley has been featuring in 3DO's Mad Trix titles on PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance. With all his success and the fact that the game sounds incredibly interesting and original, you'd expect it to be one of the greatest hits for PlayStation 2. However you can't help but feel that the only extreme found in the game is being extremely disappointing with Mad Trix.

The opening movie features Jonny Moseley chilling at a party with a bunch of friends, flashing short segments of his tricks every couple of seconds. During this time, he proposed the idea of it snowing in San Francisco. From these, we get the basis of the game. Players will be able to Ski throughout the various like California, Vegas, Rome, and so on. However, though the idea seems like fun at first, after a couple minutes play, the title starts to lack any interest.

Visually, Moseley misses the gold. In somewhat of a coincidence, if it would have been four years prior, the graphics would have been exceptional and in line for first place. But, this isn't Nagano, and first generation graphics are cutting it in 2002 on the slopes. Mad Trix closely resembles a second-class version of the SSX engine, with just fair quality in its design. Despite the fact that the game offers familiar environments, the one key location within each level can't become the game's saving grace. It's evident that the animation is sloppy with incorrect movements at points on the slopes and tricks that are too similar for players to distinguish between.

On the bright side, Mad Trix is rather bright and colorful. The level design is creative on occasion, however repeats itself in small ways all too much and suffers from a lack of obstacles to keeps gamers enthralled. Collision detection and slowdown fall under the cons category, however a good pro is that you'll be able to see your ski trails in the snow. But, then again, this quickly becomes a con itself, as you'll see them in much more than that. Trails will not stop but is, but continue on surfaces like metal, rocks, and so on.

Going along with his ?ultra cool dudez attitude,' Jonny Moseley packs a bunch of licensed bands on the soundtrack from punk and rap to rock and alternative. The music is actually suitable for the game, though you might not be a fan off all the songs played throughout the game, and there's no way of skipping to the next track. Those who aren't huge on rap might go as far as disliking the game due to the tunes, however other will more likely get a kick out of the whole thing or just play along.

The tracks found on Trix includes the following: Tribe by The Mad Capsule Markets; Click Click Boom by Saliva; Out With the Old by Alley Life Featuring Black Planet; Chemical by No One; Helium by Seven Channels; Ride by Lyrical Desperados; Inside by Sw1tched; Boomshakalaka by Logan 7; Blinded by Super Human Strength; Contagious by Mission; Midi Surf by The Mad Capsule Markets; and Get Ghetto by Industry Standard. The complete soundtrack is also available separately for those anxious music lovers. If you really like the list of songs, you're in for a treat, just be warned if you don't. You'll know the second you pick the game up.

Besides the music, the rest of the audio department, like sound effects remains uninspiring. There are few samples contained on the entire game, precisely two. You're either skiing any given surface (ranging from snow, stone, metal, etc, it's all the same) or grinding (anything like rails, trees, stone). The announcer's comes up with a bunch of witty comments at times, however by the nights end, you'll hear them too many times over to find the humorous. In whole, if you don't like the music, it more or less seems like the sound bytes here.

Players can chose a number of professional skiers, and not just our Gaming Target's medal winner for the lamest catchphrases. Tanner Hall, Evan Raps, Vincent Dorion, A.T. Barron, Miki Iijima, Phat Earl Grogan, Beth "Wild Child" Clark, and "Skier X" are among the available characters. However, taking any one of these ?dudez' out for a trial will result in the same basic flaws from the game's mechanics.

The key to the game is to pull of the most tricks to earn the highest score. The problem with that is Mad Trix is that players will continually pull off a number of the same moves due to the lack of available moves. Like Tony Hawk, players can grind the rails, yet here, it seems like the rails somehow magnetize the metal within the skies. During insane instances, even jumping even a somewhat of a distance or relatively awkward angle, players will miraculously land on top and start riding the rail. It just goes to prove the physics of this game are plagued with problems throughout like the visuals and sound effects. Looks like the judges are going to take off for that too Moseley.

Bottom Line
Just as the track goes, Mad Trix follows suit by going downhill. While 3DO set out to make a unique game, the excitement that has powered extreme sports series through the last couple of years is missing. It's for only the dire skier out there, and even those fans might find the game disappointing. I would call it almost as fun as watching curling, but then again, the fact that you must suffer through the Moseley and his posse: the dudez of plenti.

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