Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
Just before the Xbox launched, I got sent a DVD showcasing some of the upcoming titles. Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 was one of the main titles - I was very impressed, the viewing distance looked amazing as did some of the stunts and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the title as soon as it launched. So how does the Xbox version compare to the Playstation 2 title? Read on...
Installation, Settings and Loading Speeds
Installation is yet again just a simple case of putting the Xbox DVD-Rom into the Xbox DVD drive, the game loads in just a few seconds and you are basically ready to go straight away with no fuss at all. If you do feel like fiddling about though, you can change the controller configuration, vibration modes, and the sound options.
Gameplay & Controls
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 inlcudes a whole bunch of different styles to play, these include the main one called ProQuest: In proquest you take on the main superstars of BMX meeting challenges, you do this by earning respect and by beating the stars in competions on a variety of surfaces and settings such as dirt, vert, street and park levels.
You start out as an unproven rider, riding the most basic or bikes, desperate to gain the respect of your fellow riders. This respect can be gained by taking on challenges, competitions or by shredding the level. By completing these "missions" you will be able to earn better attributes and better bikes.
Next up you have free ride games, this is exactly how it sounds, you can race around, explore, do tricks without having to worry about time running out or meeting challenges. Believe me, it is probably best that you start out with the Free Ride game first as it does help you gain some better control over the bike that going straight into ProQuest does. You can also load up any of the parks you have created in the editor from here if you feel like it.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 controls are quite easy to pick up, but mastering them will require a lot of time and dedication, the controls are pretty basic, such as A to Jump and X + a direction to perform a trick. The Y button is used to perform grinds. So the controls seem each enough? Well they are - but your rider seems to like to have a mind of their own as the don't tend to respond very well, especially if you want to try and do a tight turn.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 contains a new S.I.K Trick system which allows you to modify tricks, this supposedly allows around 1,500 different tricks that are not included with the riders, I've managed to do a few of these and it is one side of Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 that works quite well, but it does tend to let you create tricks that defy physics.
So what is the main problem in Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2? Well as I have mentioned in the graphics section of this review, it is collision detection, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 requires that you bump into certain objects such as ladders etc to complete a challenge, but how can you do that when a lot of the time you just go through them and nothing happens? It is very difficult to do tricks when sometimes you can assume you are going up a step for a little jump, yet you go through it. This does cause a big problem when trying to complete your challenges in ProQuest.
Next up we have the multiplayer side of Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2. The multiplayer game is turn based, so one person must play at a time before the other ones can have a go, There are 13 different multiplayer contests to take part in, in each of them, both riders get three turns of 30 seconds each to try and beat their best efforts.
Certainly the multiplayer games are one of the plus points in Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, it is a shame there is no split screen mode, but there isn't too much of a problem playing one after the other.
Graphics & Sound
Dave Mirra is way ahead of the other console versions graphically, no other version has this much detail and can allow you to see so far into the distance, this allows you to get a great feel for how big the biking parks are. But there is one major problem that plagues what could have been a really good title - collision detection, its something that shouldn't be showing up in games these days, yet Dave Mirra has it far too often and it can really ruin a good jump or trick.
The sound side of Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 is excellent, there is a great range of different music tracks to play in the background of the game while performing stunts, it holds up well enough against the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's, but hey, Amped still rocks for me. Sound effects are not so good though, with little variety on different surfaces when the bike is rode over them.
I can't say I haven't enjoyed playing Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, because I have, but there are some very niggling problems like the collision detection that could have ruined the game, thankfully it doesn't happen often enough to ruin it, but just often enough to spoil what could have been a very, very good title.