The MX vs. ATV video-game franchise has come a long way, and with this incarnation—MX vs. ATV Alive—comes as realistic of a motocross experience as has ever been had from your couch. (Note: This test was done with an advanced copy beta version of the game.) The number-one improvement to the racing in the newest embodiment of the game is what game manufacturer THQ calls “Bar-to-Bar” racing. Just as it sounds, this feature is all about banging bars. In the last version, MX vs. ATV Reflex, if you hit someone, many times you would end up upside-down or even spun around on the track 180 degrees but still on the bike. But in Alive, it’s much more like real life; if you dive inside another racer in a turn and slam them, they will frequently get stood up in the turn, conceding the line to you. The flip side of that coin is that the same will happen if someone gets the inside line on you. So now the racing and the physics are both as realistic as can be achieved. But what about the technical side?We got to ride a 125cc two-stroke in the game, which is how everyone has to start out, and boy, oh boy, did you have to stay up in the revs to keep it going. You even have to feather the clutch and pick lines that allow you to carry speed so you can keep it on the pipe. It doesn’t take long before you can start getting upgrades for your bike, like a pipe and silencer, and this makes the 125 much easier to keep on the pipe and makes the racing a lot more satisfying instead of frustrating.
These sorts of upgrades are available throughout the game, and the game itself only costs $39.99—about $20 less than most Xbox 360 and PS3 games—because all of these upgrades will be available either through purchasing them online or through earning them in the game. So you can upgrade just a few bikes and have spent less than the price of a full version of the game, which would include a lot of stuff you’d never use, or you can go all-out and buy everything available. It’s up to you.-Steve CoxIf you’re a game geek and a motocrosser, this game is a must-purchase, even if just for the online gaming. Time to take out your buddies!
|Suitable for Children||10/10|
|Real Rider: Steve Cox|