All my life I have played nearly all popular motocross games that have been released. From as early as Excitebike (NES and the later N64 version) to EA Sports Supercross 2000 to the combination of Rainbow Studios and THQ‘s racing franchises to create the MX vs. ATV franchise.
In late 2009, THQ change the playing field for motocross games. Instead of using one joystick to control your bike, why not both joysticks? Giving you full control of your bike in MX vs. ATV Reflex. The left stick was controlling the handlebars while the right was controlling the rider’s body. Though it was hard to get used to, once mastered, you can make your bike your bitch whipping it wherever you may wish to show off to the ladies (Though I’m sure no ladies want a guy who plays a motocross game).
Through the evolution of motocross games, comes its latest and most evolved game yet, MX vs. ATV Alive. Alive is the first of its franchise to offer a load of downloadable content for a lower price for the game. You can purchase from many different gear sets, helmets, goggles, boots, butt patches, and tracks that are updated weekly.
Alive is a different take from the previous games. The main premise of this game is to level up. Keep racing until you reach checkpoints in which you unlock new tracks, gear, etc. It would be a cool if you didn’t start out with just two tracks that you have to play over and over again until level 15 where you get three more tracks! It is a little frustrating.
As far as graphics are, this game has outdone its’s predecessors. Alive takes the track deconstruction that they have been working into the game and kicks it up a notch. For as few tracks that they have, they work on the environment and the slow deconstruction as ruts form. It all looks very nice, it was always a hope of mine since earlier games to see the track get torn to shit. It adds to the realism. As far as the bikes are, they look very slick. They get dirtier as the race goes on and I cant find any flaws with the way they look.
The physics of the game is another step up. As I talked about earlier with the double joystick controls. They upped the realism in this one. As you progress and race more with one specific bike, you also gain vehicle XP. Vehicle XP pretty much unlocks new high performance through 3 stages. This goes along well with the physics once you get past stage 3 where you get a lighter chassis and are able to whip, scrub, and flip your bike like no other. I can tell they try and make the most realistic experience they can, and it pays off for any fan.
Another exciting add-on for this game is the bar to bar racing. In previous games, if you were to smack into another rider, it was almost inevitable that one of you were going to eat shit. They improved this. If you bump into another racer numerous times, whoever gets passed by the other loses balance of the bike and you have to quickly react and move the right stick in the direction it tells you on the screen to regain balance. It makes the racing more intense and instead of crashing, you have a chance to redeem yourself.
With most good stuff, there is usually bad, and this game is no exception. First thing I would like to complain about is the lack of modes in this game. Pretty much you just have single races. That is about it. Just as of a week ago, they added Supercross events to do. Other than that, you are stuck with Motocross, Short Track, and Free Ride. There is no Freestyle mode. There is no season mode. Just the fact that there is no season mode pisses me off. I like the fact of going event to event racing heats and main events to gain collective scores at the end of they day. It adds to the realism, but THQ decided to take that out for whatever reason. Other things I’d like to complain about is that you have to pay for and download REAL bikes from Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM, and Honda. A few games ago, they decided to ditch the real bikes and give you crappy knock offs.
Anyway, to sum this bulk up, this game is fantastic for the means of physics and environments. It is top notch for the stuff they can do. But the fact that there is no actual season mode to go with the realistic racing makes this game average. It definitely was an improvement from other games, but to improve, they decided to take out what made it really fun. This game is still fun, but nothing stands out to make you keep playing for more than one or two races once you have reached the highest level.
MX vs. ATV Alive- 7/10