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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

THQ Phoenix

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

May 10, 2011

 

 

- Excellent racing
- Solid track design
- Ridiculous amount of customization

 

 

- Ridiculous levelling up system almost ruins the entire experience
- Too few game modes
- Online play is hit or miss
- Terrible manual, no tutorials
- Controls can take some time to get used to

 

 

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MX vs. ATV Alive

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

mx vs atv alive          mx vs atv alive

 

Iíve always been a fan of off road racing titles back to the days of ATV Off Road Fury for the Playstation 2. Itís a shame Sony never revitalized that series with Rainbow Studios for the Playstation 3. However, THQ has given the off road racing fans some attention with the release of their second MX vs ATV title.

Like the title suggests, MX vs ATV Alive (Alive) sees you race on dirt tracks using either dirt bikes or quads. Alive plays out like a lot of other racing titles. You basically unlock new tracks, vehicles, vehicle parts and rider upgrades by winning

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races and earning XP. The amount of customization is staggering. Thereís so much variety when choosing parts to upgrade your vehicle with.

Alive differs from previous titles in the series in that full contact is now allowed. This selling point is a bit deceiving as I was expecting something along the lines of Road Rash. The physical

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contact doesnít play a huge role in the game and youíre usually more focused on racing then knocking out opponents.

The control scheme for MX vs ATV will take some time to get used to. Rather than using only the left analog stick to control your vehicle, you have to use both analog sticks to steer your vehicle. It feels awkward at first, but after an hour or so you do eventually get used to it. Collisions are handled rather interestingly as the game features something called ďReflex ModeĒ. When you are involved in contact with another rider an arrow appears on screen and you must use the right analog stick to steer your rider in the direction of the on-screen arrow to avoid falling off your vehicle.

There are a total of three types of races including national races (long races), short races and freestyle mode. The national races are by far the biggest attraction of the three modes. The short races can be completed over one or two minutes and the short only come in handy when you want to rank up quickly. Freestyle allows you to race around an open environment to complete stunts and earn XP points.

 

mx vs atv alive          mx vs atv alive

 

The online play offers the same game modes as the single player. Connecting online can sometimes be a long and painstaking process. I ran into occasional lag and long waiting times to join or start a game. Once you do find a game to play in, the game plays quite smoothly.

Evaluating Alive simply for its racing merits, scores the game a lot of points. The racing feels fun, fresh and frantic. The tracks are designed perfectly with loads of hills to maximize air and there are plenty of twists and turns. The attention to detail is also done very well as tracks will get torn up and dirt will fly around from having so many racers on the track. Unfortunately, itís what Alive does outside of the racing that makes this game mediocre. To start with, the instructions manual is terrible. Nowhere in the manual does it teach you how to properly do all the available tricks in the game. Instead your forced to go to the gameís website and read through the longer version of the instruction manual.

Alive also fails miserably when it comes to unlocking content. Ranking up takes such an incredibly painful amount of time that you literally have to play the same track/races time and time again just to reach the required XP level to unlock the rest of the tracks in the game. Had this issue been fixed, it would have made for a much better game.

Alive offers a great racing experience. Itís just a shame that everything outside of the actual racing is sub standard. The frustrating levelling up system almost ruined the entire experience for me and the lack of tutorials leaves a lot to be desired.

- Siddharth Masand
(July 12, 2011)

 

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