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Platform

Dreamcast

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Runecraft

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2001

 

 

- Nice visuals overall

- Solid control

- Setup for allowing trick chains

- Just plain fun

 

 

- Hit and miss soundtrack

- Doesn't stand out much from the competition

 

 

Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X (XBox) 

Review: Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX (GameBoy Advance)

Review: Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder (Playstation 2)

 

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Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 

Score: 8/10


For the longest time it has been board-oriented sports that have dominated the extreme sports games coming to the consoles, with snowboarding and skateboarding cluttering up the shelves in stores everywhere, and often the bargain bins shortly after that. In recent years we've finally begun to see the BMX scene really start to step up and make an appearance in the video game world. At long last these titans of testicular fortitude, in the most literal sense of the words, are starting to get their sport into the console gaming world. One of the latest entries is the Dreamcast port of Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, a surprisingly fun title indeed. Solid control, intuitive moves, very nice arenas, and impressive graphics help to make this title a very entertaining experience. 

 

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX Review          Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX Review

 

The gameplay is by far the most important part of the game, it's good to see that it is really tight here. Controls are rock solid, and the means by which to pull off the moves is very intuitive. When doing a trick it's more of a question of how greedy you feel like getting, than it is a question of hoping to hit the buttons just right. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater really set the standard for this, and Hoffman runs with it. Physics are quite good too and it feels like you're on a bike because everything is a bit slower, what with the athlete using a heavier, larger object like a bike instead of a skateboard. The design of the tracks/arenas is very good. A lot of the obstacles and whatnot are setup in a manner which really lend themselves to stringing together exceptionally large chains of tricks, at the same time leaving the door open to bail out if things look iffy half way. This just helps to amplify the whole mentality of doing incredible moves without getting too greedy. Based on gameplay alone Hoffman is just plain fun.

 

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On the looking and listening side of things, Hoffman is quite respectable on the Dreamcast. The graphics are sharp on the bikers and much of the obstacles, however the more run of the mill things like the ground in the distance, sky, and some of the other not so pronounced areas can be blotchy. Another nice visual touch is the real-time shadows off of the bikers. It's spiffy and a half, really. On top of this is the smooth frame rate, with nary a note of 

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choppiness or slowdown. On the aural side the sound effects get the job done, with believable clicky, thumpy, ouchy noises when appropriate. The soundtrack, however, is hit and miss, unless you like both hip hop and punk. There are a number of artists from both genres of music so if you like both, kudos, but they can be quite the about face in genres so some may not warm up to this.

 

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX Review          Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX Review

 

On top of this there is your usual mix of goals which must be achieved in order to gain the points to open up future levels. They start off easy enough, but once you get a ways it can be surprisingly challenging what is required in order to get the points needed to open the next track. It's not hard in a throw your controller at the wall sort of way mind you, thankfully it's difficulty is actually a refreshing change to all of these games that are a breeze to get through that we've seen so much of lately. If you don't feel like working on opening new tracks there is plenty of other things to do to keep you occupied too. There is free play, multi player, and a park editor which are all fun, but still feel more like filler in the end.

The one thing that really hurts Hoffman though is having to compete against Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Yeah, it's not the same sport, but if you only like getting one sports title that can be considered extreme then chances are you'll get THPS. Hoffman is good, but it's not THPS good. But if you're looking for something a little different to augment the THPS in your games library, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX is one to seriously consider.

Reviewed by Mr. Nash

 

(October 18, 2001)

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