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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Extreme Sports

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Incoginc

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q3 2003  

 

 

- Excellent level design

- Excellent amount of game modes

- Tons of tracks

- Weapon Systems

- AI plays fair  

 

 

- Horrible audio

- No online play

- Some noticeable frame rate slowdown

 

 

N/A

 

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Downhill Domination

Score: 8.6 / 10

 

Over the last few years low profile sports such as roller skating, wakeboarding, and surfing have found their way to the video game world in record numbers and have (generally) been well received. Mountain biking is finally added to the roster of extreme sports games. Like most extreme sports titles, Downhill Domination (DD) focuses less on realism and more on arcade-style antics. DD can be described as Road Rash on Mountain Bikes. Sound interesting? It gets better!

 

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DD brings numerous amounts of game modes to the table. You can compete in single events, career mode, arcade mode, training courses, moshbowls and so on. If that isnt enough, you can play with up to four players split screen as well.

 

DD isnt your typical racing game – there are weapons, pick-ups and some really crazy obstacles. The addition of weapons, such as homing bottles and sticks, fits in surprisingly well. During each race youll have opportunities to pick up weapons or upgrade your combat choices by either getting a yellow pick-up or performing exceptionally well during the race. Each course has various hazards, like animals, people and vehicles, to add more challenge – most are strategically placed to encourage headaches. The pick ups include turbo, energy, quick mounts, etc.

 

One of the best things about DD is the depth and fun of the career mode. You get everything from bike upgrades to sponsorships from different companies. There are real sponsors, real bike companies and real mountain bikers as well – everything from ebay to GT is included.  The only drawback with the professional riders is that they must be earned through the career mode.

 

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Moshbowl is another great mode. The main objective in Moshbowl is to defeat your opponent by using combat tactics and weapons – kind of a two-wheeled deathmatch. The Moshbowl is great when played with three friends, but at times the action can be so fast you won’t know what’s going on.

 

The AI is no pushover but plays fair for the most part. One of the best things about DD is the level design. There are more than twenty-four 

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tracks in the game, with each track being unique in its own way. There are multiple shortcuts throughout each race and the environments are massive. If that isn’t enough to wet your whistle, there is even a map editor.

 

The graphics are certainly not jaw dropping, but the frame rate is solid throughout; however, you may end up running into trouble if you’re playing with more than two players. It doesn’t ruin the game, but the slowdown is noticeable. The animations are superb and the background textures and objects look fairly good.

 

DD’s biggest failing is the audio. There are four different types of musical sets you can listen to while racing. They’re all lame and performed by bands that are not known very well. Each character also has their share of taunts, but the taunts get repetitive quickly and become annoying.

 

DD does have few noticeable problems, but it’s definitely a sleeper hit that should be checked out. Even though there is no online play DD is a game you’ll be playing for a while -- worthy of purchase if you love extreme sports games or just love playing against your friends.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(August 28, 2003)

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