Jonny Moseley Mad Trix
There have been plenty of extreme sports games ever since the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. BMX, Snowboard etc. have all been exploited in order to take the theme further. Jonny Moseley's Mad Trix attempts to bring freeskiing into this bracket. It isn't a blatant attempt to give the sport the Tony Hawk's experience exactly but there are some similarities.
The first thing you'll notice about Mad Trix is that it is actually more accessible to the casual gamer. Remember how many hours were needed to get comfortable with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater et al, quite a few. The tricks are a lot easier to pull off in Mad Trix. Some would say that they are too easy. One thing for sure is that they have made pulling a railslide, the sliding on a rail or log etc. with your skis, far too easy. In fact you can be fractionally off course to land on the rail and with the simple press of the triangle button you are manoeuvred onto the rail to complete the trick. This is a little silly and the other tricks are not so stupidly easy to pull off.
Another thing that will hit you is the lack of a multiplayer mode. Sure they were never anything special in the other titles in this genre but it would have been nice to have had a multiplayer mode as an option. The modes on offer are simply Freeride and Competition. Freeride is just that and is to be used as a practice mode. Competition mode places you into competitions, obviously, and you have to obtain a certain score in order to unlock further locations, outfits and equipment.
There are two types of freeskiing. There is Slopestyle and Big Mountain. Slopestyle uses manmade courses for you to trick-off. If you do really well on this side of the game then there is a possibility that you will be asked to take part in a movie as part of the Big Mountain mode. The courses on offer include, rather bizarrely, Rome, San Francisco, Machu Picchu, Las Vegas and Washington. Big Mountain sees you getting dropped off, by helicopter on top of a mountain. Here everything is natural terrain and you will need to be good to win at this side of the game. There are tournaments for both these two styles of freeskiing. The mountains on offer include Mt. Kilimanjaro and Nepal to name but two.
Originally you only have access to the training slope and one slope to have a competition on (look up). You also only have a choice of three freeskiers to begin with. These are Jonny Moseley, Miki Iijima and A.T.Barron. A further six freeskiers can be unlocked which includes three pros and three 'new' freeskiers. Each of these freeskiers have their own special moves and advantages although the number of these in significantly smaller than in other titles in this genre.
The key difference between games like the Tony Hawk's series and Mad Trix is that in Mad Trix you can't set up your own freeskier. You have to pick a character to play as instead of creating your own. As a result of this there are no attributes and characteristics to develop and as such the game loses one of the appealing elements of this genre. Another minus is that there is only a small amount of tricks when compared to similar titles and this means that there isn't a great deal to learn in the game.
Graphically the game is average. It is disappointing to see pop-up rear it's ugly head though. There are a few graphical errors that shouldn't have made it to the release version. The best example of this is when you pull a trick inside one of the concrete tubes on the training course. You actually see the skiers head pop up through the tube which looks rather comical. Despite the occasional glitch though the graphics are OK.
Text feedback is minimal but to be honest so is the verbal content within the game. As you pull tricks the name of the trick appears onscreen in text and verbally also. The commentator who announces the tricks that you perform occasionally makes other comments that are not subtitled such as praise for your trick or sarcasm for tricks that you have repeatedly pulled/failed.
As a whole the game looks, feels and plays OK but when placed against other titles in the genre it falls significantly short. Still if freeskiing is your thing it's the only option for you. Even after a small amount of play it is possible to pull off all of the tricks with ease. This may appeal to those who found Tony Hawk's too difficult but to the rest of us it means that there is little incentive for long term play except to unlock the courses.
Overall Game Rating: 5.8/10 Jonny Moseley Mad Trix is an OK game that takes a unique stance in the extreme sports genre. However the lack of features and depth make for a hollow experience when compared to other titles in the genre.
Deaf Gamers comment: No concerns at all. Minimal text feedback is required and it is provided.