WHAT IS IT? “MX vs. ATV Alive” is the newest (and worst ) game from THQ Digital Studios (formerly Rainbow Studios).
WHAT’S IT COST? $39.99.
CONTACT? Your local game store or www.thq.com
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with “MX vs. ATV Alive.”
(1) Physics engine. The latest version of “MX vs. ATV” is little more than a tweak of the “MX vs. ATV” engine. You still use the right thumb stick to control the rider and the left stick controls the bike. This means in flat sweepers you have to weight the outside of the bike. The preload works by leaning back with an optional boost by clicking the stick button. The terrain changes with every rider that rides over it, making the holeshot all the more important.
(2) Fixes. The most noticeable improvement is that the controls are much less sensitive. Every once in a while the bike will still kick in odd ways, but this is much less of an issue than in previous versions.
(3) AI. The new AI is a major improvement over the last few versions in this series. There are no more wild swerves for no apparent reason. It is also harder to get knocked down with THQs new bar-to-bar mechanic. This means you can actually race the computer instead of doing a demolition derby.
(4) Tracks. In previous versions, the tracks were scaled to about 400 percent above normal. “MX vs. ATV Alive” is scaled to about 150 percent. The tracks offer good variety, but what?s with all of the snow-covered tracks? There are two kinds of tracks: National-style tracks and short-course tracks. If you want to play Supercross (who doesn’t?), you have to download it via Xbox Live or the Sony PS3 network. This is a rip-off.
(5) Vehicle type. “MX vs. ATV Alive” has returned to its roots with just ATVs and motocross bikes. The catch is that it takes time to unlock new bikes (and quads). You start off on a 125. As you gain experience, you get to upgrade the looks and handling of that bike. When you unlock the next bike (a 250F), you start with a stock bike and then have to gain experience to upgrade that bike as well. The good thing about the upgrade is that you can really tell the difference between the stock and mod bikes. There is also a big difference between the bikes. The 125 has to be ridden like a 125, using a lot of clutch and keeping it moving.
(6) Game play. Gone is the carrier mode to unlock tracks and bikes. Experience points are given for holeshots, leading an entire race or wheelying a set distance. While MXA was not in love with the carrier mode, it was a much better way to unlock new content. When you start the game, there are only four playable tracks and two freeride areas. It takes a long time to unlock the next chunk of content a very long time.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? With no Supercross and the excessive time it takes to open up new tracks, the game loses its fun factor quickly. We play games to get away from work, and MX vs. ATV Alive is too much work to play.
This game is ruined by its poor upgrade system and making you buy the Supercross tracks separately. Plus, the video company plans on dropping the game in the future.