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1995-2000
GamesFirst! Magazine

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by THQ

PureRideGBC_S01-01.jpg (4621 bytes)Sometimes I feel like I just expect too much from my little handheld buddy. In the case of Pure Ride from MTV Sports I expected slopes. These hills have all the steepness of the tracks from Pole Posistion. The half pipe is so underwhelming it feels more like riding down a road with a slightly depressed center than the trick haven that it should be. I should have been alerted to the fact that something was wrong when I noticed that there were no screenshots of the half-pipe on the box. Even the publishers were embarrassed by the shallowness of its concavity. The tricks aren’t too hard to pull off when you actually get some air. I got pretty frustrated at trying to time my jumps just right so that I could catch the necessary air for point winning tricks.

PureRideGBC_S08-01.jpg (4645 bytes)The graphics for this game are ok. All of the tracks look the same (slalom flag, tree, ramp, slalom, tree, tree, ramp) and there’s no real eye candy to speak of. Even though I knew psychologically that I was racing down different tracks, my gut told me that they were all the same. I really would have liked a little more variety (how about a rock every now and again?). The half pipe is even more monotonous.

PureRideGBC_S03-01.jpg (4444 bytes)There are a total of 12 tricks to perform. The tricks themselves are fairly well animated, but there are so few that they get old pretty quickly. As I mentioned, I had a hard time with the jumps—timing is everything. When I finally was able to execute the necessary tricks I found that the experience got repetitive pretty quickly.

I didn’t notice much difference between the snowboarders in the ways that they handled and the cosmetic differences were so basic that there really wasn’t any incentive for preferring one racer over the other.

PureRideGBC_S04-01.jpg (4824 bytes)The password save on a game like this was incredibly frustrating. A battery backup would have made a big difference. There were times when I would have played the game if I knew that I didn’t have to fish out that scrap of paper with the password jotted on it so I could enter it in.

PureRideGBC_S05-01.jpg (4543 bytes)It’s pretty easy to advance through the game if you pick one trick and keep doing it over and over again. There really isn’t a lot of incentive for trying out some of the harder moves. The controls are satisfactory. You shouldn’t have too much difficulty pulling off a lot of the stunts. If anything, it can almost be too easy. Games like this just don’t transfer that well to a two button system. You really need to be able to pull an almost limitless number of tricks to be able to get any real satisfaction out of a game like this. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater raised the bar so high on games like this that there just doesn’t seem like much point in even trying to translate these kinds of games to the Game Boy Color.

PureRideGBC_S02-01.jpg (5099 bytes)For most of the game I felt like I was snowboarding on the Great Plains. There is absolutely no sense of depth with this game whatsoever. Without the steep slopes, the extremeness of this particular extreme sport is lacking. There is absolutely no sense of peril, and really how much fun can you have playing a game that doesn’t risk anything less than everything? If you’re laid up with a broken leg and can’t make it to the slopes, Pure Ride on the GBC is going to be a pretty lame substitute. It’s not that it’s a particularly bad game, but rather there really isn’t one particular thing about the game that is interesting or inventive. Alas, when all of Pure Ride’s mediocre parts are added up, the total is mediocrity.

Jason Frank

Snapshot

Ups: Good trick anims; easy controls.

Downs: Tricky jumps; no sense of downhill slope; boring scenery.

System Reqs:
Game Boy Color

 

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