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Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3

Review By:  Andrew Joy

Developer:  Full Fat
Publisher:  Acclaim
# of Players:  1-2
Genre:  Alternative Sports
ESRB:  Everyone
Accessories:  GBA Link Cable
Date Posted:  4-8-03

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3 is a game that is for only two kinds of people, really: hardcore BMX-enthusiasts or people in desperate need of a portable BMX challenge.  If you do not fall in either one of those categories, than start looking for a better game, and there are plenty out there.  Of the whole host of BMX titles emerging, there are bound to be plenty that can
please you more than this 16-bit game.  However, if you do consider yourself in one, if not both, of the aforementioned groups, than there are a few things you should know.


First off, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3 (BMX 3 from here on out) is not a title that anyone can just simply pick-up and master, rather, it is quite
the opposite.  BMX 3 is a game that takes a lot of adjustment in order to start mastering it.  In order to use or perform just about anything in the game, you must first get used to it.  The controls and game mechanics are probably by far the most bizarre obstacles in the game when you first encounter them.  On the other hand though, once you do figure them out, they will feel more natural and fluid than anything before and, at times, it seems almost hard to go back.  As equally difficult as the steering the first time out, the trick system of BMX 3 is another part of the game that takes some time to even begin mastering.  Though it will hardly be easy to remember, what tricks you do commit to memory will come easily to you.  In unison, both the controls and trick system manage to open BMX 3 up to a wide range of players.

As far as the graphics of BMX 3 go, the game has at least everything you have come to expect from a Game Boy Advance title; you can make your own assumptions from there.  The graphics of the riders and bikes of BMX 3 are
not anything to make praise about, if not to say they are pitiful, and they do a lot to contrast the rest of the games graphics.
  The other aspects of BMX 3 are much more pleasing and more than make up for the rider and bike graphics.  Take the backgrounds for instance, BMX 3's backgrounds are colorful, detailed, and all-around pleasing to look at.  The interaction between your rider and the rest of the environments is also a note-worthy point.  The stunts you perform blend perfectly with the various environments, such as railings.  Also, when your chosen rider moves behind an obstacle, the obstacle becomes translucent, helping you clearly control your character and follow through with a stunt.

Highs:

  • A numerous selection of riders and locations.
  • Lush and eye-pleasing backgrounds.
  • Wonderful player-environment interaction.
  • If mastered, the controls and trick system feel almost natural.
  • The different stages ( Freeride and Session) offer some nice
    practice before you try the proquests.

Lows:

  • Never has a game been so dependent on its instruction manual.
  • Most everything in the game has to be unlocked, offering to little to the beginner.

Final Verdict:

A fine title for the portable BMX game player, it unfortunately leaves little desire to play it further.  With a somewhat confusing control scheme and trick system when you first start, first time players may not see this game through to the end.  Also, BMX 3 has tons for you to unlock, and in my opinion it even has too much.  The graphics are acceptable for a GBA title,
though some aspects leave something to be desired.  And, overall, the game seems way to dependent on its instruction manual, so if you get this game, don't loose that booklet.

Between the tough controls, mechanics, and the large chunk left to be unlocked, BMX 3 seems more like work than an actual game.  In retrospect, I stand by my comment in this review's beginning, this game is for two kinds
of people ("BMX-enthusiasts and people in desperate need of a portable BMX challenge"), the rest of us can find much better games to fill our time with while emptying our wallets.  And there is not much else to say than that, now, on to the score.

Overall Score: 5.5

Additional Media:

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