Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3 Review


Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3 is an extreme trick riding game, in this case on BMX bikes.  Although the game does not add anything new to the genre, what it does do it does well and provides some fun portable gaming.

Screenshots
Peg stand.

The game comes with five professional riders, or you can create your own custom rider.  Riders are rated in six categories - speed, spin, bunnyhop, air, hangtime, and balance - which have an effect on how easy it is to pull off various tricks.  As the game progresses, you'll have the opportunity to improve on these stats.

The game's main mode is the Proquest mode.  In this mode you are initially given access to two levels and a set of challenges for each.  Completing the challenges earns you cash which can be spent to buy new bikes and improve your stats.  Once you complete enough challenges in a level, a new level will be unlocked.  The challenges are pretty standard, pick up x number of this object, jump that gap etc., and each level features almost 20 of them to complete.

The levels are large and feature plenty of ramps, rails, and other features that can be used to catch air.  The levels are big enough to feature multiple stories and sub-areas such as mini skate parks.  There's a lot to explore, but unfortunately you are given only two minutes to do so.  This is a very short time limit for such large levels, and you'll be forced to play through several games pedaling around the level trying to locate all of the collectables and find the gaps before being ready to try and complete the challenges.  The game does feature a free ride mode without a clock, but you do not get credit for completing challenges in this mode.  In addition, you can only play the unlocked levels in the free ride mode and new levels can only be unlocked by playing Proquest mode.  If you want to ride all the parks, you're going to have to fight the clock.

Screenshots
Construction yard.

Control in the game is good for the most part.  You use A to hop, B to grind, and use these and the shoulder buttons with the pad to pull off the roughly 90 tricks in the game.  Some of these tricks are hard to pull off and stick, even when you're certain you've hit the right combo, but many of them are easy to hit and string together for score multipliers.  Stringing tricks together also fills a "Rush Meter" that when filled allows you to pull off signature tricks.  Each rider in the game comes with his own trick book of signature tricks.  By pulling these tricks off you can increase your skill in them - the more you do the better you become and the more points you score.

The game's graphics are good and the levels and their features are easy to see.  The game uses an isometric view which works well as it is easy to line yourself up to hit rails and other features.  There are a couple of issues which can be attributed to the Game Boy Advance's small screen.  The levels are so large and you can only see such a small part of them that it is easy to get lost or misdirected when looking for something.  Also, although there are a lot of tricks in the game you'll have a hard time telling some of them apart just by looking at their animations.

The music in the game deserves special mention.  The game features tracks by bands such as Green Day and Saliva, and although the songs are looped they are a welcome change from the usual mindless electronic tracks found on portable games.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 84%.  A good little portable trick riding game that really needs to lose its overly constraining clock.