Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2
O2, activision’s extreme gaming department has been very active over the past two years with the Tony Hawk, Mat Hoffman and Kelly Slater titles for skate boarding, bmx and surfing.
This sequel, Mat Hoffman’s Pro Bmx 2 is about at the level of Tony Hawk 3 in level design, interactivity, graphics and sound. The only remaining question is if it will prove to be as playable.
Let’s start off with a bit on the game. There are 4 modes: Session (Ride a level with a time limit), Free ride (Ride a level without a time limit), Road trip (Sort of a career mode) and Multiplayer (Duh).
Session and Free ride don’t really need an explanation; it’s just good to get to know a level or to have some fun for a short while.
Road trip is actually nothing more then the career mode in the Tony Hawk games, level by level you have to complete a certain amount of goals. If you succeed in these goals you get points that unlock newer levels, the basic stuff. You get to choose from riders like Mat Hoffman or Kevin Robinson who, apparently, are worshipped by the fans. It must be said that each map has another setting and focuses on another part of the sport which gives a nice change in gameplay.
The last mode is multiplayer; there are a load of options there: Graffiti War, Trick Attack, Tag, Horse, Push, Free Ride, Treasure Hunt and Halfpipe Hell (I probably missed some). I’m not going to explain them all but Graffiti War and Halfpipe Hell are the most amusing if you ask me, excellent to play with some friends.
The graphics of the game are a bit unworthy of the Xbox, they are more at the ps2 level which is still nice but nowhere near the graphics of Tony Hawk 4. The good part is the motion capture of the players, it’s certainly top notch in the sports genre. Seeing the players perform their tricks is a lust for they eye. It’s fair to say that the graphics are on the right track and are an improvement compared to the first game.
Sound wise this game has nothing more to offer then standard sound fx and some nice track. Nothing fancy here, just enough to not make me want to turn it off.
Looking at the gameplay I especially see difficult controls to master, its’ not hard to score points and do nice tricks, but it’s hard to know exactly what you are doing. On the other hand, once you get to know the controls, there are some nice (new) tricks out there and it will take some time to do them all.
If this game was a singleplayer only game it would not pass the test and end up with a score around 65% because it has nothing new to offer that you can’t find in games like Tony Hawk and Dave Mirra Bmx Racing2. On top of that the controls aren’t as playable as those titles so I wouldn’t choose this one to start the genre with. Fortunately, there is a very nice multiplayer option that really makes Mat Hoffman a title every fan of the genre has to have in his collection and certainly when you have friends to share it with.