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Publisher: AKA Acclaim
Developer: Z-Axis, Ltd.
Mature players take their BMX gaming to new highs and new lows in this release from AKA Acclaim. Choose a character or use the Create-A-Rider feature to design your own, then hop, spin, and grind down the street to ribald calls of encouragement from local hoodlums and passers-by. Pull off a couple of your best tricks to impress that lady on the corner (you know, the one who's wearing her underwear on the outside of her clothes). Don't worry too much about what that homeless guy just called you -- but don't let your momma hear you talk like that. Hey! Did that gal just ride by <I>topless</i>?
The orphaned love child of Acclaim's Aggressive Inline and Dave Mirra BMX games, this exaggerated extreme sports title dropped its affiliation with Mirra and other pro riders in the middle of its development. Instead, the BMX XXX game world and its resident characters are presented as pure fantasy -- the kind of fantasy not always appropriate in polite company.
In terms of gameplay, BMX XXX is similar to other extreme sports games from Acclaim and developer Z-AXIS, with trick-based scoring, big combo opportunities, and in-level objectives. Yet in BMX XXX, cut-scenes are more likely to reward gamers with video of professional strippers than of real-life tricks and bails. Some may find a straightforward sports game with a few titillating extras, while others may be so offended by the presentation that they never even get to the gameplay. However you take it though, BMX XXX represents a noteworthy attempt to bring a new, "adult" attitude to mainstream console gaming. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Registration Card
The manual does a solid job in explaining the various types of tricks that can be performed. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The graphics are clean, the animation smooth, and the characters are attractive. There is some noticeable pop-up in the distance, however, and the Rider Editor feature is not as extensive as it could have been. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Perhaps the most controversial console game of 2002, with all apologies to second runners-up Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, BMX XXX began on a straight and narrow path as a sequel to the Dave Mirra series of extreme sports titles. Somehow, some way, it ended up taking a detour through the gutter. Not only would the game feature topless female riders, giving new meaning to the phrase "check out those polygons," but also video clips of real-life strippers from New York City's famous Scores Club. Add in suggestive dialogue from homeless people, hookers, and pimps, a liberal use of profanity, as well as an explicit soundtrack, and you have something Dave Mirra was not exactly enthused about putting his name to. Regardless of how players feel about Mirra as an athlete, they should be convinced of one thing: Dave Mirra is a smart man.
Though trying to pass itself off as adult entertainment, BMX XXX is a bit of a misnomer. There are no explicit sexual acts depicted during the game, and the stripping sequences would barely be considered R-rated material. BMX XXX instead consists of feeble attempt after feeble attempt at being "cutting edge" by featuring characters, language, and situations designed for the sole purpose of getting an M-rating. A "Mature"-rated sports title? It doesn't make sense, and this lack of direction is apparent the moment you take this disc for a spin. Each of the game's six locales is filled with such annoying characters and inane tasks to complete that it's hard to keep playing. While there's nothing wrong with adding seedy elements to make cities seem realistic (especially Las Vegas and New York City), being bombarded with obnoxious vendors and annoying pedestrians everywhere you turn should be considered a form of mental anguish.
Yet even if players can get past the loathsome content, they will not so easily overcome the inconsistent controls. On one hand, tricks and aerial stunts are a snap to perform with an extremely intuitive combo system that makes use of analog control and a button press or two. Since tricks rely more on timing than having to remember a million combinations, players need only to worry about making sure their bike lands in a straight line when coming out of a stunt to avoid wiping out. Animation during the stunts is first rate, which is no surprise given Acclaim's extensive background in the field of motion-capture animation. The biggest complaint during tricks is the camera's tendency to twitch near walls or barriers, quickly switching the perspective so players are looking down at the bike instead of remaining fixed behind the character. It can be disorienting and can easily cause a wipeout.
On the other hand, the control scheme falters in the routine movement across the environments. The bike doesn't have any sense of weight, so pedaling forward is an immediate burst of speed, which has to be consistently countered by slamming on the brakes (or pulling back on the left thumbstick). Traffic is also an issue, since it can easily send your character flying even if he or she merely glances off the side. Since players routinely need to cross the busy streets and then slam on the brakes to "talk" to characters, who will trigger one of 20 objectives needed to complete the game, BMX XXX becomes an exercise in patience. While this system works in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Grand Theft Auto III, it doesn't feel as natural on a bike as it does on foot, in a car, or on a skateboard because of the touchy stop-and-go mechanics needed to simply reach the character, much less complete the objective. It is not uncommon to ride around in circles trying desperately to touch an item or move near a character.
Those who are lucky enough to stop near a pedestrian can press the Y button to trigger a profanity-laced or sexually suggestive diatribe from one of the city's residents. Whether it's a pimp wearing clothes even Huggy Bear would be ashamed of, or a homeless person speaking in unintelligible mutterings as the translation appears on the screen, the conversations are painfully unfunny, a problem exacerbated by grating voice-overs that may have been done by members of the development team instead of professional actors. The objectives are standard for the genre, but with a "humorous" spin, such as collecting cans for a homeless person, retrieving a female poodle to a pimp, or dropping off a certain number of prostitutes to the nearby hotel. Nearly every objective is timed, and there is no map or directional indicator to help players navigate their surroundings. Making matters worse is the process of returning to the objective each time it is failed instead of automatically restarting it with a press of the button. With the controls as difficult as they are in getting from point A to point B, this becomes yet another annoyance of epic proportions.
BMX XXX is an unpleasant game to sit through even despite the clean graphics (although some pop-up is evident in the backgrounds), a diverse selection of six cities, and easy-to-perform tricks. The humor is forced and makes the antics found in shows like MTV's Jackass seem like Masterpiece Theater in comparison. The biggest issues players will likely have are the annoying time-based objectives, sloppy control in pedaling from one spot to the next, and confusing environments desperately needing some sort of onscreen map or compass. BMX XXX was supposed to distinguish itself from the rest of the extreme sports titles out on the market, and it does so admirably. Instead of putting the "sex in XXXtreme action" as the manual proudly boasts, the game puts the lame in Acclaim. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Three multiplayer contests (including a strip challenge) and over 100 objectives to complete in the Hardcore Tour will keep players busy if they learn to tame the controls. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
A great licensed soundtrack is available to listen to, or players can create their own custom play list from the Xbox hard drive. The voice-overs are beyond annoying with obnoxious and repetitive phrases that are devoid of humor. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
BMX XXX is filled with problems in the gameplay department. The controls, objectives, and confusing layout need to be addressed if this game becomes part of a series. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.