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MX VS ATV: Alive Review

MX VS ATV: Alive is the latest installment in THQ's MX VS ATV series and hopes to improve from its predecessor MX VS ATV: Reflex. So does MX VS ATV: Alive deliver and place first? Or does it crash and come dead last?

There is a bit of a learning curve with Alive and its 'Rider Reflex' system where you have to shift the riders' body for various things such as: tighter turns, jump and landing positions, rebalancing and tricks. Learning how to perform these correctly is crucial in order for you to claim first place in races.
Shifting your body weight makes all the difference.
Although the 'Rider Reflex' system is a great addition, there are some negative sides in game; for one when you accidentally go off track there will be a sign saying that you are and if you stay off for more than 2 seconds you get reset back onto the track. They also put a manual reset button if you want to reset it yourself. The problem here is that when I know I’m already off track and I can't manually reset myself, I have to watch myself go off and wait until the reset automatically kicks in, therefore losing my position so that doesn't help at all. Also if I fall from my MX or ATV I have to watch the animation of me falling to the ground, which in turn makes me wait to get reset and lose my position. Also because of the 'Rider Reflex' system, the player has no use for braking whatsoever; you can easily win a race without the use of the brakes or clutch, which made it a bit too simple in my mind.

Alive has a different format to try and keep the players coming back; they have an RPG style levelling system so when you complete races it gives you experience points for levelling up and as you level up, more things are unlocked such as new maps. At level ten and twenty five respectively, you unlock more tracks for you to race on against friends or the CPU. The levelling system carries on when you go online as well so you don't need to play alone in order to unlock these races. Moreover they also have a separate levelling system for your rider and your vehicles so you can unlock different things for each of them which is a nice touch. The content they have for the game is continually coming in the MotoClub Depot for the vehicles, your rider and tracks.

However this levelling system can only go so far; without an actual story mode to play through, newcomers to the game will get bored easily. Also in order to get to level ten to unlock new tracks, players must play the same four tracks (excluding free ride) over and over again which made it utterly repetitive. Alive feels as if they skipped a part of the game and made a lazy replacement in its stead with the levelling system. It feels rushed and it pays the price in this department.
Osenki Park - One of the four levels you have to complete multiple times in order to unlock more tracks.
The tracks themselves vary from national tracks, short tracks and free ride maps. Furthermore the weather
conditions change accordingly on each track; one will be on a sunny day whilst another track will be snow filled. In my opinion, the free ride maps are the best part of the game; you can just go exploring in the terrain and jump of ridges and have fun, but there are only two maps for free ride which is a bit disappointing.

The graphics for the game barely hit the standard of what we expect from next gen consoles, but that’s about it. It's nothing spectacular because it’s pretty much been seen before. Yes we have crowds...some of the time and we have different weather terrain to name a few but is that it? If it is then there is a lot to be desired.

Did somone say 'More dirt'?
Final Verdict

MX VS ATV: Alive is game suited to the hardcore fans that keep this series alive, newcomers may feel bored without any sense of advancing through the game other than its levelling system. Also with the repetitive level grinding with just four tracks at the start in order to unlock the rest of the tracks (and its level cap at 50) I feel that Alive does a poor job for itself. MX VS ATV series have to add something in order for people to come back for more, but for now it falls short of the fan’s expectations.

Gameplay = 6.5/10

Design = 5/10

Graphics = 6/10

Final We Know Gamers score = 6/10

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