Dave Mirra freestyle BMX 2
In recent times extreme sports titles have become very popular. Of course when a genre becomes popular you have the good titles and the not so good titles. One of the more successful titles in the genre is the Dave Mirra series. Ready for the UK launch of the GameCube, Acclaim brings us Dave Mirra freestyle BMX 2. The game has already appeared on the PS2 but this new GameCube version has been enhanced.
Dave Mirra 2 (as we'll call it from now on) gives you the chance to take control of 14 of the top pros. As well as the man himself you can also play as Joey Garcia, Troy McMurray and Tim Mirra. You can ride on 8 huge courses and two of these, Venice and Greenville, are exclusive to this GameCube version.
Dave Mirra 2 differs from titles such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (THPS) because of it's S.I.K Trick System. This system allows you to modify the tricks on offer by pressing the trick modifier button immediately after a trick has been performed as well as moving the analogue stick in one of the available directions. This system can be used on any type of trick such as grinds or wallrides. This customisation allow upto a possible 1,500 tricks to be performed.
The heart of the game is the Proquest mode. This mode is made up of challenges and competitions. To unlock other courses and bikes etc. you will need to progress through the Proquest mode. The points that you earn for performing tricks in Dave Mirra 2 are known as respect points. After reaching a certain number of respect points you will be invited to compete in the Acclaim Games in which you get two runs to outclass the competition. Each of the levels will require you to perform a certain number of challenges. These challenges vary greatly and become more demanding as you progress through the game.
In addition to the Proquest modes there are also Session, Free Ride and Multiplayer modes. In Session you can compete in competitions if you wish but you won't get any rewards like you would in Proquest mode. Free Ride is there for you to explore the unlocked levels and get accustomed to them in your own time. There are 13 multiplayer competitions for you to go head-to-head with a friend. These contests are turn-based and you get 30 seconds each to show your stuff. Finally there is a Park editor which enables you to create your own custom levels. This editor does take some time to learn but is fully functional and offers you limitless replay value should you spend the time to learn the editor and take advantage of all the themes it has to offer. To save your work in the editor you are going to need an additional 13 blocks on your memory card.
Graphically the GameCube version has been improved upon from the PS2 version. The levels are massive, far bigger than in THPS 3, and the frame rate remains silky smooth. The locations, particularly the two additional ones for the GameCube, Venice and Greenville, have been wonderfully created and are highly detailed.
All the information in the game is text based and as a result is perfect for deaf gamers. The text always remains clear and legible inspite of being in a slightly wacky font. The manual is useful and gives a short but effective introduction to the Park editor.
If anything could be said against Dave Mirra 2 it's just that as a game it lacks that indefinable quality that makes a good game great. Maybe it's because it doesn't attempt to add flair to it's solid formula. In my opinion it's better than Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX in that it handles better and the tricks don't seem so over the top. If extreme titles are your thing, you'll be be happy with this title. It doesn't go out of it's way to appeal like some other titles in the genre but it doesn't really need to. Dave Mirra freestyle BMX 2 is a worthy addition to the genre.
Overall Game Rating: 7.8/10 Dave Mirra freestyle BMX 2 is a title that will satisfy fans of the extreme sport genre. The addition of 2 extra levels and improved graphics make this the version to own if you have a GameCube.
Deaf Gamers comment: Dave Mirra freestyle BMX 2 is perfect for deaf gamers. The game relies solely on text to relay information to the gamer.