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I have found myself buying a lot of the games in the MX vs ATV series over the years, not that I am a huge fan of racing games but just generally I tend to enjoy the mayhem inherent in these titles as well as the diversity. This latest title in the series MX vs ATV: Alive seemed to kind of slip out unnoticed and even though I follow the latest releases it was a few weeks before I realised this was out and I ended up paying just £17.99 for the Playstation 3 version in around August last year. I have recently been playing the game again.
However, when I bought the gamer I soon realised there may have been a reason for that price. Not that there is anything wrong with the actual gameplay or the game mechanics, in fact the opposite would be true as this is a fun game to play, but this is a massively stripped down version compared to previous titles in the series and nothing on the box makes it clear that MX vs ATV: Alive is more of a step backwards in terms of content. Lots of vehicles and modes from the last game are indeed missing giving you very limited scope. Why is this the case? I am yet to hear a reasonable answer but for fans of the series its very disappointing and anyone buying into the series for the first time deserves more. I struggled to believe it when turning the game on that so much had been taken away and stripped back and assumed you would unlock it but no such luck.
Aside from that first impressions are good, in the time taken to develop the game a lot of effort has been made in bringing the graphics up to scratch. The last few entries in the series may have looked a bit shoddy with immense slowdown and varying degrees of pop up but MX vs ATV: Alive bucks the trend and delivers HD gaming beauty as you would expect. Everything from the colours to the vehicles and dirt spraying up looks vivid.
And indeed the physics and controls engine to the game is as a good as ever. Everything feels tight, responsive and accurate and this is a massive improvement on the last game. Considering the last game in the series was rather great in this area then you must get a sense of how good MX vs ATV: Alive feels to play and how much fun is in the gameplay. The varied vehicles controls well and its enjoyable with solid gameplay. Easy to pick up and play but MX vs ATV: Alive takes time to master but the game is fun in this area so it will not be a chore coming back to it time and time again.
The downside is with only 3 main modes and 18 tricks once you do master MX vs ATV: Alive there is little left to see. We are used to hundreds of vehicles and tracks in games these days so this number is quite pitiful especially as the game before MX vs ATV: Alive had so many! The single player mode, well the main mode, lasts around 50-60 races but once you get good you will breeze them.
Online multiplayer on MX vs ATV: Alive is quite fun...in fact I have played much more online than offline. You can race with a very acceptable 12 players and everything so far has ran smoothly. The races have been fun, there has been little lag or slowdown and the MX vs ATV: Alive servers have stayed steady.
In all I guess the first thing that hits me as a fan of this series about MX vs ATV: Alive is that there is so much been cut back it is disappointing. However, the gameplay is still there and this is one of the best motorcross racers ever released in terms of gameplay. MX vs ATV: Alive is definitely worth your time though!
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