THQ brings us another extreme sport
in pocket form, and does pretty well this time. TJ Lavins Ultimate BMX is a decent
freestyle BMX game. While it wont convert the masses, fans of the sport will
probably especially dig it. Lots of levels, pro riders, and a whole ton of tricks combine
to make the one of the best GBC games Ive played in awhile.
Ultimate BMX follows
pretty much the same pattern were used to in the latest crop of extreme sports
games. You can play in two different modes. In Practice mode you can either roll around a
freestyle street course or attack a great big halfpipe. Its pretty fun, and serves
the purpose, but as with many practice modes, this one gets old quick. The real fun is in
the Competition mode, where you ride a series of parks and jumps courses in a variety of
locales, chasing fame and glory, and buying new equipment in the process.
of competition challenges you with a point total. In addition, some of the courses are
finite, so youll have to make each jump count. For the most part, the levels are
surprisingly roomy, and there is a good variety of terrain. The graphics are decent, but
nothing to write home about. Conspicuous corporate logos add to the contest vibe of the
game, but for the most part the levels are clean and simple. With so many obstacles and
ramps, thats probably good. It could be a nightmare to navigate jumbled levels.
There are quite a few tricks you can perform in Ultimate BMX, too. The list is as
follows: Tail Whip, Can Can, No Footed Can Can, No Hander, Front Flip, Back Flip, 360-900,
Superman, and Superman Seat Grab. Of course, you can spin the hell out of these tricks,
and grind, too. While by no means a complete trick roster, the fact that tricks can be
strung together and held for different amounts of time means you can put together some
cool combos. And the tricks are noticeably different-looking in the game, although they
wont have you admiring the beauty of humanity in motion like the real thing.
enhance the realistic aspects of the game, Ultimate BMX features six pros. You can play as
TJ Lavin, Fuzzy hall, Colin Winkelmann, Mike Ardelean, Jamie Bestwick, Chris Duncan. If
you dont know at least a few of these names, you havent been watching ESPN2
lately. Its an impressive roster, and adds a lot of enjoyment, especially for fans
of the sport.
Unfortunately, Ultimate BMX is mainly for fans of the sport. If you can get into
pulling off trick combos and gearing up the pros, then Ultimate BMX will probably keep you
busy for quite awhile. Youd still probably be bothered by the sometimes sketchy
controls and the lack of any real sense of speed. However, what to do with a bike moving
backwards seems to be a problem hounding BMX titles this fall. And how much can you
generate a sense of speed on the GBC?
prevents non-fans from enjoying Ultimate BMX fully is the fact that the game rewards
taking the easy way out. You can approach each level in a wide variety of ways, but the
way that pays off is to find a half-pipe and hammer an individual trick as many times as
possible. That way you earn a lot of money for your trick bonus, and you actually score
enough points to clear the harder levels. In order to win the later levels (and there are
a lot of them), I found myself reduced to repeatedly tail-whipping off the top of the
biggest pipe I could find. This aspect, combined with the fact that executing tricks
isnt quite as satisfying when the graphics arent really nice, might put a
damper on Ultimat BMX for some gamers.
Overall, TJ Lavins Ultimate BMX is a damn impressive GBC title. It offers lots of
variety and replayability, especially for BMX and extreme sports fans. The trick system is
inuitive and effective, and being able to create combos is a huge benefit to the game.
When work, school, and snow get in the way, TJ Lavins Ultimate BMX is a great