Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2
|a game by||Activision, and HotGen Studios|
|Platforms:||GameCube, Playstation 2, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||7.7/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.6/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Cycling Games, BMX Games|
You'd think a game that plays kinda like Tony Hawk 3 and is coming out well after it would at least play and look better, but Mat Hoffman 2 just doesn't bring much new to a genre that's getting stale. You're forced to achieve too many similar objectives-- same-ol' stuff like collecting crap, performing certain tricks, bashing obstacles--over and over throughout the eight environments. And some objectives aren't very clear (have fun trying to Smith Grind a two-story rail in L.A. and figuring out what to do to the parking meters in Chicago). Adding to the ho-humness, your biker's stats don't ramp up (although you can find nimbler bikes) so you never get much sense of accomplishment aside from unlocking new stages. Level design, on the other hand, is great, with lots of lines and new areas that open. But the best thing here is the quick-to-pick-up gameplay. Mat Hoffman 2 is an easier game to get into than Tony Hawk; you don't need to fiddle with extra tricks like reverts to keep combos going, and flatland stunts are especially fun and simple. This sequel borrows from Dave Mirra's game and adds a trick modifier, for players who want to get fancier. You'll find the usual assortment of multiplayer modes, plus a couple of new and nifty mini-games (my favorite: Halfpipe Hell, which dumps in platform gameplay). The entire package is fun, sure. It just puts you through too may of the same old motions.
It's like deja vu all over again. There's no denying that Mat 2 feels a whole lot like Tony Hawk 3, but is that such a bad thing? BMX 2 features some really cool levels, a neat "road trip" setup and a great flatland-trick system that's better than Tony 3's setup--you don't need to build up your special meter in Mat to see the fancy stuff. But like I said, when you get into the game you're gonna experience a major case of "been there, done that" if you're an experienced Tony Hawk player. You might also get annoyed at how the game forces you to complete specific goals before you can unlock new levels (I know I did). Other than that, Mat 2 is a killer game.
Standards in the action-sports genre have ollied to new heights after Aggressive Inline. Now Mat Hoffman 2's stale two-minute-deadline gameplay no longer cuts it--what used to provide an adrenaline rush now simply annoys and infuriates. Why am I hurrying around trying to fit in a few objectives under a too-short time limit? Bah. Despite this, the game still delivers. Mat Hoffman 2 is designed to please combo-happy players: easy-to-perform wall rides and wall push-offs help keep your trick strings going, and the ommission of an extra "revert"-type button press (like in Tony Hawk 3) lets you link moves with the utmost of ease.
Download Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2
Air time, air time and more air time. If a BMX game ain’t got that, it ain’t got crap. Lucky for Mat Hoffman (and all of us), Activision signed up Rainbow Studios to develop this game. Their previous titles-ATV Offroad Fury and Splashdown-are a testament to their successful vehicles-plus-jumps-equal-giant-air-time formula. As you can see by the pictures, they didn’t hold back for MHPB2.
But tasty air is just one piece of the pie; a few other things pop out, too. The first is the way you progress through the game. As Mat, or one of the other 10 riders, you tour from city to city performing for the locals. Each course has a set of objectives to meet, including snatching cans of gas for the tour bus, building a picture scrapbook of your flashiest moves, and of course, achieving the highest score. In addition, as you close down levels, you’re treated to real-life footage of Mat’s ESPN tour from last summer.
Flatland tricking is the second standout feature. Thanks to them, players can perform circus-like maneuvers without ever leaving the ground. Basically, you scale your rolling bike like a squirrel scampering up a big oak-it’s a sight to see. It’s also key for trick-linking and big scoring. Judging by the size of its levels, the competent physics and the new flatland tricks, it’ll take a supreme act of stupidity to screw up this game before its August release.
After the less than spectacular original release of Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, a number of noticeable improvements have been made with a more complete game this time around. Although there are some issues, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 brings an improved control system among other things that puts it in competition with titles like Dave Mirra's Freestyle BMX 2.
Owners of the original Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX may have concerns about this latest release but there is good news. The major problems such as trick execution and poor physics modeling have been largely resolved as the improved system works as well as anything on the market. The tricks are smooth and executable and when combined with large, well-designed levels, those who like to ride around pulling off trick combos will have a field day. In addition, the graphics and audio, although not exceptional, perform adequately with well-detailed environments and standard sound tracks expected from this genre.
The problems that you will run into focus around issues that are common in this type of game. For instance, when playing the single player mode, only one new level is opened at a time. This doesn't seem like a major problem but when combined with the fairly common 'almost impossible objective,? the game can become tedious and frustrating.
Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 offers significant and much needed changes over the original release. With an improved control system and large levels, those who enjoy riding around attempting trick combos will have few complaints. Although it can become frustrating at times and offers little that's innovative, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 will meet most expectations and fans of the genre will want to give it a try.