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reviews >> gamecube
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2

written by Shaun McCracken

Game Information
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Z-Axis
Year Released: 2001
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: Teen

Visuals 8
Runs at a better framerate from the other versions, but I don't think the textures are representative of what the Gamecube is capable of. Suffers from some camera and collision problems.
Audio 7.75
15 or so rock songs sound like enough, but they can become repetitive quickly. Average sound effects.
Gameplay 8
The game is suprisingly easy to play on the GC's controller, but the overall design doesn't have enough changes from the first installment.
Replay Value 8.25
There's quite a bit to do in the game, provided that you are actually capable of completing the task. A good number of unlockables.
Reviewer's Impression 8
I felt pretty much the same way about this game as I did with the first one. It's fun for awhile, then you get to those challenges where they seem damn near impossible to complete, then the fun is over. Plus now that you can pretty much abuse the manuals for high scores, there doesn't seem much reason to play this game any longer than you should.
Overall 8
Not the best extreme sports game on the market, but a fairly good attempt on the genre, and still remains one of the best BMX games out there. Some areas still need refinement, though.

The Gamecube recieved a pretty good variety of titles in it's first couple of months on the marked, including two extreme sports titles (three if you count SSX Tricky, but that game really can't compare to BMX 2). Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 was one of them. The follow-up to the suprisingly good game that appeared on the PS1 and Dreamcast, DMFBMX 2 offers more of the same things that made the original good, but also brings back some oth the things that weren't.

The biggest draw to DMFBMX 2 is the modifiable trick system that can lend itself to (from what I remember) 1000 trick combinations. That's a pretty big number, but I doubt that one person can discern one trick from the other. But other than that one element, the game itself really hasn't changed. You still have to complete challenges within three minutes (and that's not enough time), some of the challenges are still too difficult to complete, and there's not a whole lot of variety to them. Of course, we could say the same about Tony Hawk 3.

The difference between DMFBMX 2 and THPS 3, other than what you ride, is that THPS 3's engine feels tighter than BMX 2, and the camera doesn't have the same problems in THPS 3. But there's one thing about DMFBMX 2 that's maybe more flawed than THPS 3, depending on how you look at it. In BMX 2, you can score big by just doing manuals. It's an easier way of getting bigger combos and scores, but it really doesn't leave a whole lot of strategy on how you score. Basically, you pull a manual, jump and quickly do another manual. Do that about 9 times in a row, and you bank a lot of points. Easy way to complete some challenges, but it seems a bit cheap.

As far as this extreme sports title goes, it's not really bad. If you liked the first Mirra BMX game, you're pretty much going to like this. It's basically an extension of the first game with new stages, better graphics and an expanded trick system. But Z-Axis really needs to create extreme sports games with attainable goals. Some challenges in the game are almost impossible to fulfill, and it's made worse by the time limit.

As to which extreme sports game is better (BMX 2 or THPS 3), it may be more up to you. I think Mirra's got the better trick system, but Hawk has the better game engine. I could point towards more current offerings (since I've written this a little too late), such as Tony Hawk's Underground, but I feel it's better to compare this to something that was released around the same time. But compared to the disaterous BMX XXX (which was a future Z-Axis effort), this game comes out the clear winner.