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Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2

In Dave Mirra 2, you choose a BMX star from a group of 14 and lead them through levels in order to become one of the best BMX riders in history. Along the way, your earn respect points from other riders by completing objectives that you use to get better bikes. With the bikes, you can complete even more outrageous objectives, span huge gaps, do more complex tricks and unlock new areas. Repeat.

The trick system in Dave Mirra 2 is one of the best out there. It’s called the S.I.K trick system, and it allows for any standard trick to be manipulated easily to form massive combos. The tricks work well, but sometimes the game’s physics seem to vary sometimes, when you’ll jump really high off of a jump, then jump really low off the same jump, even when you did the exact same thing. Another problem I had with the trick system was grinding. It is very, very easy to stay balanced during a grind, but what would you expect with pegs? Anyhow the problem was that you seemed to have magnets on your bike that pulled you towards the rails because sometimes you could be a foot away from a rail in mid-air and you push the grind button and your sucked onto it. It is very strange.

The levels are extremely vast. I have never seen levels this big, which makes for more inventive objectives and larger trick areas. My favorite was the first level, Woodward, even after opening the others. There are 10 levels total, two of which were released for just the GCN (and I believe they are in the Xbox version too).The sheer size of the levels can be problematic though. I have a pretty good memory, so I was able to find my way around without too much trouble, but I can imagine that younger gamers may find it difficult to find objectives and people you need to talk to. Once you’ve played through some of the challenges though, it’s not too hard to get from here to there and back again. There are quite a few riders, but I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to create my own. It’s a minor complaint, and if I had to choose between creating a rider or the level editor, I would keep the editor. It’s one of the easiest editors I have ever used, but with it I have created some very complex levels.

The quality of the graphics is astounding. Dave Mirra 2 has some of the best graphics I have seen, and for a sports game to have this quality of graphics is saying something. The bikes and riders are very well detailed, with their faces visible as they ride. The levels, which are truly massive, are all well detailed and nothing is very hard to make out. The only problem I noticed is that the camera can be quite troublesome. It sometimes seems to zoom out the rider way too far, like it gets stuck on an invisible wall. Other times the camera can’t seem to angle itself properly in order to be able to see something you need to work for an objective to be completed.

The soundtrack for the game is very good, which includes Rage Against the Machine, Sum 41 and Sublime which are some of my favorite bands. The sound effects are a bit weak though. When you wipe out, even if you are on different surfaces, it sounds the same; which also plaques the grinds. It’s an interesting thing to say the least, but I can look past that because of the fine soundtrack.

With all the riders and a built in level editor, Dave Mirra 2 is a game that is sure to last you for a while. But even without that, the pre-made levels and all the objectives are enough to keep you busy for a long time. I can see myself playing this game for quite awhile before I will need a change of pace.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

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