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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
4.9
Visuals
4.0
Audio
5.5
Gameplay
5.0
Features
4.5
Replay
4.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Activision
DEVELOPER:
Creat Studios
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
December 03, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Teen
 Written by Ryan Genno  on February 23, 2005

Review: I wonder how many people got yelled at trying to make this game?!


It had to happen sooner or later, but here is another game based on a TV show (didn't I do this last week?). If you don't know the show; American Chopper on the Discovery Channel follows the lives of Paul Teutel Senior and Paul junior as they often fight and argue about making some of coolest looking motor bikes in the world. It may work for a reality TV show, but does it work as a game you ask? American Chopper - the game - lets you race across a virtual 3D city with several vintage and custom made motorbikes, and all for the low price of 19.99 US. Let's see if Activision can pull this one off.

AC automatically gets off to a bad start. Instead of controlling the decisions of Paul Sr. or Jr. while they make special custom made Choppers for big time celebrities in a strict stress inducing time limit like the show does, this game forces you to play as a generic ?New Guy? who just got hired at American Chopper.

You control this new guy in the Career mode, doing mundane race challenges and your typical point A to point B missions you've played a million times before in other games. You do these little fetch quest missions to help you unlock more bikes that look slightly different then the last bike. Gee, what fun (note the sarcasm).

Just like in the popular 3D Grand Theft Auto games you can freely drive around a big city in search of friends and clients, while being careful of the local drivers and the cops. If you are going to steal a great idea that is definitely the one game to rip off for sure. Unfortunately, unlike a game like GTA San Andreas, the controls are horrible and it is way too easy to score a bunch of annoying penalties when you hit something by mistake.

AC is a budget title and man, does it show. The characters here have blocky joints and fingers, making them look like puppets. As well, I constantly see objects in the background suddenly appear out of nowhere. If that wasn't bad enough, you can also magically drive through certain obstacles like bushes and street poles as if they were not even there! Overall, this looks too much like a poor man's Playstation2 title and not something you would expect from the Xbox.

The game does offer some decent background rock music from artists like Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Saliva - if you like that stuff. The music sure helped me to forget about the lousy acting in the many dull cut-scenes here.

Bottom Line
For all of AC's problems, the game still does a few things right. One smart idea Activision/Creat Studios did was making this game simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, even if the controls don't handle too well at times. Another thing that stands out here is that if you are to copy any game out there at least it was Grand Theft Auto minus all the car jacking, freedom, and fun. Unfortunately even at its discounted price, American Chopper just doesn't do the hit TV show justice with its generic graphics and basic races. Although it has a few good points about it, the game ultimately fails to be even above average.


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