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Xbox BMX XXX Developer: Z-Axis | Publisher: Acclaim
Rating: C+MatureReno
Type: Sports Players: 1 - 2
Difficulty: Intermediate Released: 11-12-02

Whether it is sheer luck or a curse, it seems that almost no game that loads up on controversial material (extreme violence, language, sex) does all that well - either critically or in the stores. Games such as Time Killers and Night Trap are prime examples of that. So what caused Acclaim to take Dave Mirra, one of their best series and turn it into an excuse for fart jokes and bare breasts? Beats the heck out of me, but as a fan of the Dave Mirra BMX games, I found a huge disappointment.

Like many other games in the genre, XXXís main core consists of a single-player mode. Hardcore Tour asks you to complete certain objectives in a time limit in order to open up new levels and other goodies. Unlike other games, time isnít your only enemy in Hardcore Tour. There is also have an energy meter that is drained every time you wipe out, and can only be refilled by finishing your objectives.

However, comparing BMX XXX to other games of the genre reveals more similarities than differences. As in Tony Hawk 4 and Aggressive Inline, you are given objectives by talking to certain people in the level. These can range from your normal, everyday biker to the bum on the street that needs empty soda cans to buy food. Whatís annoying about this system is that if you happen to fail in your mission, you need to go back to the person who gave you the mission in order to restart it, which can be a pain in later levels that are much bigger than the early ones.

Another annoyance (which is also directed at other action-sports games) is that the missions themselves arenít creative at all. Collect ten soda cans, score 10,000 points in one run, and then collect fifteen more of this object. Itís gotten to the point where the whole genre is suffering because they canít get beyond this mindset, and BMX XXX does nothing to improve on it.

It gets even worse, as only three modes are available: the aforementioned Hardcore Tour, Create-a-Rider and Multiplayer. Thatís about it. No online mode, no tutorial mode, nothing. This game is as bare as some of the strippers and riders in the game. Speaking of strippers, they make an appearance in the form of short full motion videos that you can unlock by completing specific objectives in the level. Not that itíll excite anyone over the age of 15 though. Most of the stuff youíll see you could probably catch on any skin flick on Cinemax or any other late night movie. The rest of the "XXX" material is equally as tame, with hoes, pimps, childish swearing and fart jokes galore.

Sadly, thatís not even the weakest part of the deal, since the game definitely looks like it was made for all three consoles. There arenít a lot of positive things to say about the graphics, considering that the earlier BMX games that Acclaim had developed werenít mind boggling themselves. However, just like earlier BMX games the animation in this title is great. The fluidness of each move really makes up for the otherwise lackluster visuals.

But to give credit where itís due, the sound in BMX XXX is its strongest point, with quality voice acting (!) all around, featuring varying accents for all of your stereotypical characters in the game. The soundtrack is surprisingly not totally focused on the hard rock/punk scene, incorporating tunes from Motley CrŁe and De La Soul. Most important is the ability to make your own soundtrack in the game, much like in other Xbox games. For a person whoís not exactly into what most teenagers today enjoy (which is about 90% of what you hear on the radio today), itís a welcome addition, and hopefully more extreme sports games will take notice of this.

Ultimately, fans of the Dave Mirra BMX series will probably judge BMX XXX to be a very disappointing title that tried far too hard to gain hype and sales through controversial content rather focusing on the gameplay. While I donít doubt Acclaim will try for a sequel, hereís hoping that they cut back on the unnecessary (and often times annoying) content and create a good companion to Aggressive Inline.

· · · Reno







Rating: C+Reno
Graphics: 6 Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7 Replay: 6
© 2002 The Next Level †