Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Acclaim
Developer
Z-Axis, Ltd.
Genre
Extreme Sports
ESRB Rating
Violence, Mild Lyrics
Grade
The Good

• Large environments
• Fairly easy trick system
• Good soundtrack

The Bad

• The camera
• Control is suspect
• Some objectives are hard to understand for those not versed in BMX jargon

 
Grade
C+

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 follows a string of games that try to take the sucessful formula of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series and apply it to other famous extreme sports stars. In this version of the formula, you can select one of a number of famous BMX bikers (Dave Mirra, Mike Laird, Ryan Nyquist and of course the Slim Jim man) and ride around in pretty large areas in one of three modes: Proquest (timed event which unlock new parks), Session (where you can pull off tricks for points) and Freestyle (practice mode). Also available is a Park Designer, where you can put together your own places to pull tricks.

Gameplay:
The basis of DMFB2 is well-done. Each stage is huge, allowing the gamer to move around from one park to another, depending on the type of tricks they want to pull. Also, the tricks are fairly easy to pick up, most of which are done by using the Circle button and simple button combos with the digital pad. In the Proquest, you can unlock new trick request to earn new levels or gain Respect Points, which go towards getting new and better bikes.

Graphics:
This is a mixed bag. For the most part, the environments are well done. The player's faces are mapped fairl convincingly, even if the rest of their bodies seem drab and without detail. Where the game falters, though is in series issues of the solidity of some objects. There are times where a player can ride right through a slide or some other decoration. There are other times where you'll just seem to bounce off of something you didn't realize you were too close to.

Sound:
Most of the music for this album is familiar (Sublime, Rage Against the Machine, Godsmack, etc.) and does provide a fairly excellent soundtrack. Let's be honest, if you've seen the X-Games events on TV, you know what kind of music to expect. Even if you don't like certain tracks, the soundtrack on a whole is pretty good.

Control:
I have to groan at the thought of the controls in this game. While the tricks are easy to get, I would have to say that the basic controls are weak. You'll have to do a number of odd things to get what you want out of this game. For the most part, you go forward, but there are odd times, where the rider seems to be going backwards and you are unable to anything except hold down the d-pad to stop him. Also, turning a tight corner to get up a pathway for a big jump is just not going to happen. Don't waste the time with it.

The Bad:
While I can appreciate the large environments, I have to say that they may be too large. When you only have three minutes to do anything, time wasted on riding up to another park in a portion of the level just makes getting some of the objectives done in time impossible. And, speaking of the objectives, some of the things you have to do aren't explained all that well. If you aren't versed in BMX jargon, you may never know what exactly is required of you. The biggest crutch of the game is the camera. There are times when the camera will actually get stuck behind things while you race off, making it impossible to see what you're doing.

DMFB2 has got a solid gaming engine, but is plagued with a series of problems that should be addressed by the next version. If you don't care for BMX, this won't really appeal to you. Those who do enjoy Freestyle BMX will be able to work through the issues and enjoy this.

- - Vane

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