gaming since 1997

MX vs. ATV Alive

Motorcross is one of those sports in our little country that doesn’t get much attention even thoguh we’ve got some famous top names in our ranks. The MX vs. ATV series has been trying for a while to give motocross a boost, but does Alive, the latest part, drive through the mud without issues?

Cross bikes and quads, that are the vehicles with which you can get going in MX vs. ATV Alive. At least, a limited selection of those. The game has a fairly low pricetag but the result is equal to the price. In the beginning you get a limited amount of tracks through which you need to go (and preferably win them) countless times to unlock new ones as the first unlock happen only when you reach level 10. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is. And as such you race through two National Tracks and two Short Tracks until you finally get to explore some new ones after a long time. The accompanying DLC code delivers two extra tracks from the start, but if you don’t have Xbox LIVE you can forget about that and will have to do with the limited basic package.

Without a career mode and only a few tracks at hand the game seems to have only a limited lifespan. However, this all fits in THQ’s big DLC plans. The publisher plans to release a massive amount of downloadable tracks that will have to compensate for the low basic pricetag of the game which we found to be still too high for what you get at the start. You can forget about a feeling of freedom in this Alive, you rather feel trapped and as if you’re only allowed to open the throttle half..

But not everything is bad. The few tracks you do get all look acceptable. Realistic surroundings, without really putting down a top achievement, and mud strokes that adapt themselves depending on how much they’ve been raced on: it are elements that give the game a necessary feeling of reality but unfortunately they fall short to be truly convincing. The bar-to-bar-racing (for the alcoholics amongst it; this stands for the bars of the vehicles, not pubs) delivers an occasional adrenaline rush when you try drive an opponent off the track.

The controls feel great. You turn your wheel through the left stick, and divide your weight through the right. Making a balance between steering and your weight is necessary and also when you plant your bike on the ground after a big jump this is something you’ll need to focus on. Only when your driver decides to get a close look at the mud you’ll get irritated about the time it takes to get going again but let’s classify this as “realism”.

Quite frustrating is the lack of clues on how the track goes. During the first few rounds you better follow another crosser to be able to assess the track and then make the difference in the final laps. That large parts of the circuit can’t be cut is normal, but sometimes you already get a reset because you drifted off a few centimeters already.

Conclusion: MX vs. ATV Alive is a nice offroad racer for gamers who love the world and don’t mind spending lots of time and money (seeing the DLC) in it. The controls are good, the graphics decent and the sound of the bikes is as if they’re gearing up next to your ear. Add some rock tracks to that and you end up with a game that all in all doesn’t score too bad. Saying that MX vs. ATV Alive is a top title would be exaggerating, but we’ll gladly classify it amongst the better half of average games.

Our Score:
related game: MX vs ATV Alive
posted in: Reviews, THQ, X360
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