A real disappointment, with controls that make gaming impossible rather than fun.

User Rating: 7 | Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 PS2
Dave Mirra's gaming life started quick. His gaming likeness has been used 3 times, in 3 different titles already - and this is his first appearance on the Playstation 2 console. Reappearing previously on the original Playstation - gamers were hoping to find the BMX eqivalent of the excellent Tony Hawk's Skateboarding games. Unfortunately, gamers came away disappointed - with many glaring issues that developer Z-Axis (who would go on to make the controversial BMX XXX) didn't take the time to iron out. A maximum remix came out 8 months after the original, and as per the title, remixed a few goals from the original levels and added some new ones. The game was laughably bad in it's physics department - allowing you to easily land tricks that would usually send people to hospital. The levels were bland and boring, and although there was a nice trick system - the controls to do such maneuveurs was so bad that many people were completely turned off. Imitation may be the sicerest form of flattery - and it is easy to see that Z-Axis were trying to immitate Neversoft's success, but came up empy handed. So it is here where the company could redeem itself with the franchise. And it almost does this - as this is easily the best game in the series. However, the physics have again let the game down, as does controls and graphics. Applying the same Career mode that most games in the genre employ, this is where you will spend the bulk of your game. Choosing from David Mirra or a host of other BMX riders, you are then tasked to shred your way through a number of absolutely huge levels. Levels like Woodward Camp for instance will leave you gaping - the size is massive, and it has been laid out in typical BMX fashion. Little to no pop up shows, however draw distance isn't very big - with fog taking up some places. Detail is for the most part good - especially the riders who look better and animate well. You can tell the difference between tricks now, and a new system has been put in place to award you points for the better you land tricks. Sound is also mostly good - with contributions from music acts such as Sum 41 and Rage Against the Machine. However while the backing music may be good, effects are minimal and are not entirely convincing. While the graphics and sound are mostly good - the game is let down most by the thing that really counts - the gameplay. The same problems that were found in previous Dave Mirra's such as control and pacing are ever more present here, and gamers looking for Z-Axis's redemption for the previous games will be upset to find everything is much the same. Physics are laughably bad, and with a trick modifier adding in some variety - as well as some incredible looking (but physically impossible) tricks, the games realistic approach is thrown out the window. Other small problems like grinding and camera issues are niggling - and while they aren't major problems of themselves, put into focus with the other glaring issues makes them appear much worse than they are. Poor colission detection and environmental warping only further cement the game's mediocrity. While the inclusion of a park editor only further cement the game stealing ideas that were done better by it's opposition. There is no problem with this mode in the game, but it's "been there, done that" feel is strong to say the least. There is no specific thing that makes this game bad. Rather, it's just not very good - especially when faced by such stiff competition. There are a number of problems that should have been ironed out before the game was released and the fact that the same problems existed before are only going to further alienate fans. With the games criticism being levelled at the very glaring faults that marred previous iterations of the Dave Mirra games, its sad to see that they appear again. While the game isn't unplayable - and you will certainly have fun with it, the game fails to appeal when other options are plentiful and better.

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