Free ride is particularly fun to experiment with your motorbike. It’s a place to get accustomed to the controls, and to play around with tricks and/or chasing friends. They’ve implemented the same features of being able to partake in challenges, and locate hidden items. Fortunately, these challenges no longer need to be manually activated as in previous iterations. And, of course, your scores will be posted on online leaderboards. The challenges include highest hang time in your biggest, longest jumps, and free style jamming. You can also free ride James Stewart’s compound once you download it off the Motorclub. At the request of their fans, Rainbow Studios has also thrown in the option to hydroplane across ponds, so long as the water is not too deep, showing yet again their dedication to the fan base.
Where the game really shines is in the customizable options. You can purchase further upgrades to your rider or bike from available DLC, as well. These range from new outfits and paint jobs to the more hefty DLC of new tracks and races. The experience you want from MX vs ATV can be as limited or extensive as you pay it to be. Another particularly impressive feature is the changes in the tracks as riders rip through them. It creates deformations, making a new bump or ditch an unexpected addition on a new lap.
Being new to the series, my focus became more of how accessible Rainbow Studios has made the MX and ATV racing in Alive. Although standard driving is typically a matter of growing accustomed to each vehicle’s particular handling, Alive has the added feature of leaning your handlebars in a certain direction for further control. The response to these controls always felt a bit exaggerated. If I wanted to lean slightly towards a certain direction, I seemed destined to fall into it rather than use that slight movement for an advantage. Of course, as the Japanese proverb goes, although I fell seven times, I stood up eight. Fortunately for newcomers such as myself, not placing in first won’t be too detrimental to the experience. You can still gather points and unlock new treasures.
Alive can be very unforgiving. A slight mistake can throw your bike off course, and knock you down instantaneously a few ranks. Fortunately, however, the same ease in transition can be said for taking advantage of another player’s mistakes. You can use the extra time to gain the advantage to be able to have a fighting chance again.
Look out for MX vs ATV Alive when it releases on May 10th on the PS3 and 360. We'd like to thank THQ for providing airfare and a hotel room for the preview event.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
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