A non-Activision extreme game, and it isn’t terrible? It’s a Mirra-cle!
For those of you who haven’t grown tired of all the extreme games out on the market, this may hold you till THPS3. Hell, it may even last you way beyond Tony Hawk. Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 beats the hell out of any other extreme game currently available on PS2. From the insanely large levels to the tons of tricks to the killer soundtrack, Dave Mirra is a contender to dethrone the THPS series as the number one extreme game.
Dave Mirra turns you into one of many pro BMX bikers in the game. You can be Dave Mirra, his bro Tim Mirra, Ryan Nyquist or even the Slim Jim Guy. The beefy part of the game is the career mode, which sets your biker out to try and earn the respect of other fellow bikers. To accomplish this, first you have to score a set amount of points on a certain course. From the enormous Woodward Camp, to the Airport, to the Swamps, Dave Mirra packs some of the largest levels in any extreme game ever created. Each level has its own style. Woodward Camp is very organized and set-up like a real skate park with quarter pipes and rails everywhere. The Swamp on the other hand, is mostly hills where you can pull of insane tricks due to the immense number of tricks in the game.
The trick system in the game is fantastic. There are grabs, grinds, and modifiers added to the actual tricks. In total, there are more than 1500 different combinations of tricks, not including the each rider’s signature moves. Imagine pulling off a 720 flair to one handed superman. Bet you can’t do that in real life. After pulling off a wild trick, you can land in a manual or a nose wheelie to build up your points, since a manual counts as a trick and adds to your combo count.
One of the few minor problems with Dave Mirra is when you come too close to a building and falling off of your bike. You sometimes end up inside the building, or in some blue place with no way out. Eventually, after about 3-4 seconds, you’ll be taken back to the actual course. To make the best of this, you can pull a triple back flip or any other signature move. Another problem that has plagued the first game too, is the apparent magnetic rails that seem to attract your bike from up to 2-5 feet away.
When playing with a friend, you have many different options in the types of games. There’s a “horse” type game named “B-M-X”, a largest trick game, largest combo, and highest score, not to mention about 8 other games. While you can’t earn any respect points while tearing your friends to shreds, you can have bragging rights by adding your name to the records list, which will be there until someone breaks your record or till your friend becomes a sore loser. Just make sure to get a copy of his memory card file before you leave, just in case.
The graphics in Dave Mirra are great and they really show off what the PS2 can do in terms of level size and good visuals. Dave Mirra closely resembles his human counterpart and so do the other bikers. Even the Slim Jim Guy looks like the dude from the commercial. Along with the good visuals, the levels are huge. If you have ever played Dave Mirra on PSone, you’ll notice that the levels are 4 times larger that they were on Dave Mirra and Dave Mirra Remix. As large as the levels are, they are still very detailed and varied. The hills at Woodward Camp are examples of this because neither of the 4 large hills are exactly alike. Some are a bit taller and some longer across. The bails in Dave Mirra 2 are also great and very detailed, even though some look extremely painful, such as running head on into an 18 wheeler. This calls for the bail game in the 2 player mode, which shows off all the bails and scores you points for doing so.
The sound in the game is awesome, and the soundtrack kicks some major ass. Joining the cast is Sum 41, Godsmack, Fenix TX, and many other well-known artists. The music is like any other extreme game, with a mix of rock, alternative, and some rap or hip hop. As for the sound effects, they are what you would expect from an extreme game. You hear the grunts of a biker when he bails, you’ll hear the vehicles zooming past you in the HWY 47 Clover, and you’ll hear the glass shattering as you slam into a window. The sound could be better, but it is acceptable.
Dave Mirra 2 keeps gamers interested because of the large magnitude of levels and challenges. Each level has about 16 different challenges, and one insane challenge that takes a good deal of time to master. After that, there is also a competition mode, in which you compete against other bikers to get the gold. This is very difficult because your competition usually ends up with 95.0 or above. While it is possible, it is very timeconsuming. The 2 player and free run also adds to the replay value, as does the new costumes and the video gallery. You can see every bikers video when you unlock it and you can change costumes right before your biker goes out to pull off a run.
Dave Mirra 2, while it may be the best at the moment, it still has Tony Hawk to compete against in late October. The game has what it takes, but with its few minor flaws, it might just fall short of the title of the extreme game king.