Hands-onDave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 GameCube

We try our hand at Acclaim's BMX GameCube title.

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Acclaim showed off the GameCube version of Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 at Nintendo's Gamer's Summit yesterday. The sequel to Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX for the PlayStation, Dave Mirra 2 refines and builds upon the original. Initially released for the PlayStation 2 earlier this year, Dave Mirra 2 is expected to be available at the GameCube launch. The game was developed during the same time frame as the PS2 version and an upcoming Xbox version, and it appeared to be coming along.

While Dave Mirra 2 on the GameCube contains two more levels to ride on than the PlayStation 2 version, it doesn't offer anything quite so dramatic in terms of its graphics. Instead, you'll find there are subtle improvements in the form of richer color and cleaner textures. However, the game's brighter color palette gives the game a cartoony, and slightly flat, look. The game's textures have been freshened but not redone. While this works throughout the game, for the most part, the rider's faces could have benefited from a more comprehensive makeover. Fortunately, the game's high frame rate has managed to come over fairly intact. While it still needed some finishing touches, the game moved smoothly in spite of the occasional frame rate hiccup.

The gameplay is true to that of the PS2 version, and the control scheme works well with the GC controller. Even if you've gotten used to using the PS2 Dual Shock 2, you'll find the GC controller up the task. Performing tricks and, more importantly, modifying your airs, grinds, stalls, manuals, and wall rides is fairly easy to do with a bit of practice. The reworked manual system, which allows you to link tricks together to increase your combo score, works equally well. The only rough spot in the game's handling, at the moment, is the floaty feel of your rider. Our rider seemed to lack a true sense of weight as we performed tricks and used rails to grind on. The floatiness was especially noticeable when we bailed or crashed.

So far, Dave Mirra 2 is shaping up to be a solid title for the GameCube. Hopefully Acclaim will be able to tighten things up before the game releases. Hopeful virtual freestylers can look for Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 this November.

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