MX vs. ATV Alive Review


My experience with motocross and off-road games begins and ends with Excitebike, but being the wide-eyed gamer I still am, I’m always looking to expand my gaming horizons. So I played MX vs. ATV Alive anticipating a new experience, but mainly because I really like Freekstyle.

MX vs. ATV Alive is a budget racing title that doesn’t deal with the intense rivalry between The House of MX and The House of ATV, instead having your customized racer taking either a MX bike or ATV out onto the dirt track to get down and dirty, hopefully finishing in first place in some races. The mechanics here are incredibly solid, with the game supporting control schemes for motocross devotees and arcade racers like myself. You can turn off jump assist, turn assist, and a whole bunch of other assists, giving you full command over your bike and turning the game into a real racing simulation if you choose. Your racer is also under your complete control, using the right stick to shift your character’s weight to take turns tighter, fly off jumps higher and avoid bailouts. It’s a satisfying system that should be commended for trying to erase the line between just holding the triggers and watching things go super fast and making you feel involved in a racing game.

Dirty racing

Little else about the game holds up as well, though. The progression system at play here is non-existent and the game is downright boring. In order to unlock more tracks, you have to raise your racer level, which is done by winning races. The problem is that the unlocks are staggered between your 10th level and your 25th level. Everything. So upon booting this game up, you’ll be racing the same four tracks — two regular and two short — in order to increase your level to 10. Once you grab the next six tracks, you’ll have to race on them until you level to 25. Making matters worse, the tracks are uninteresting and a bore to look at, taking place in generic videogame environments and featuring uninspired track layout. It’s like driving in a circle until you are a master of that circle, then being promoted to a bigger circle.

There are some great Free Ride tracks n which you can drive around and discover landmarks throughout large environments while doing tricks and making large jumps. These areas display the pretty competent graphics at work in MX vs. ATV Alive. With only two areas, though, you’ll quickly grow tired after you discover the landmarks (which are really just small pockets with names like The Dunes) and jump off your 70th hill, frequently wondering if this is the game the developers actually wanted to make.

You can unlock tons of customization options for your vehicles and dress your racer up to your heart’s content, but even that is too little, to late, after this game’s damage is done. I’d like to say that MX vs. ATV Alive is a game for motocross purists, but I feel even that is a stretch. It’s just not a very good game, even at the budget price.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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