Review: MX vs ATV Alive
GADG takes a peek on THQ's fifth motocross racing game: MX vs ATV Alive.
Developer: THQ Digital Studio Phoenix
MX vs ATV Alive is THQ’s fifth motocross racing franchise game. Moreover, it is also the first THQ game launched with a new hybrid pricing model, where you can buy the initial game for a cheap price and then download your desired additional content.
Before a race, you can choose whether you’ll go for a MX bike or All-Terrain Vehicles and customize it. MX vs ATV Alive features more than 50 licensed professional riders, including two-time AMA Supercross Champion, James Stewart. When you’re done personalizing your rider and vehicle, you can now select either the single player or multi-player mode. MX vs ATV Alive allows two players for local game and 12 gamers for online. For the single player mode, there are three categories to choose from: Nationals, Short Track and Free Ride. Furthermore, each category has two races.
Due to the new pricing strategy, the MX vs ATV Alive features the MotoClub Depot. Players who will buy the game acquires a code to unlock this feature, and add new gears and the James Stewart Compound with two Nationals and a Free Ride track. Staring at level 1, your performance in the race is translated into experience points. The more experience points you accumulate, additional races open up at level 10 and 25. In addition to this, you can equip your rider with two skills whenever you level up.
For those who haven’t played motocross, the MX vs ATV Alive can be a difficult game for you. This game has a lot of bumps and jumps that requires constant playing with your throttle and clutch. Hitting a jump at a wrong speed can be disastrous, that’s why its is important that you land well and maintain speed. Ideally, it is best to land on a downward gradient. While worrying about what the bike is doing, you also need to be aware of your rider’s position. Shift the rider’s weight using the right stick to get around the corners, and pre-load to get the right amount of air from jumps. You can execute tricks during air time with a few taps on the right stick. Each lap and race will be slightly different than the last, as the track deforms as you race.
By default, MX vs ATV Alive has racing aids to help you with jumping and cornering, but you can turn this feature off once you are comfortable with the controls. MX vs ATV Alive also features a new bar banging system that allows you to jostle your position without getting knocked off from your vehicle. There is also a neat wreck-avoidance feature that tells you to hit the right stick before you crash. Ultimately, a single mistake can mean the end of a race.
The complexity of the controls can be very difficult for a gamer to master. But once you got it, racing becomes rewarding. In relation to this, the Free Ride mode provides some open areas to just ride around and get used with your vehicle. There are also various challenges like knowing how far you can jump or how long you can get in the air. As for the graphics, the vehicles and the riders are much detailed, and the environment makes the game look fantastic. The sounds from the vehicle are well done too.
Overall, the MX vs ATV Alive – despite its complex controls – is a racing game that all motocross fans will enjoy. The hybrid pricing strategy is also a nice idea, and it’ll be interesting to see how gamers will receive it. However, GADG believes that the game will do well with better tutorials, proper career modes and additional contents.
Go get your own copy of THQ’s MX vs ATV Alive now, and start racing with your buddies!