When looking at games to buy, there are a few things that cross most gamers minds. Firstly, the genre is important. If you love FPS games then youíll be drooling with anticipation at the release of COD Black Ops 2, while racing fans will still probably be playing Trials HD. Once the genre has been looked at the price isnít too far behind. Gaming is an expensive hobby, so the 50 quid needed for a new release will have to be spent wisely. Finally the reviews are important. Has the game lived up the hype? Has a game come from nowhere to end up being an instant classic? Is the game worth a rent rather than a buy?
Wow, for a hobby that largely involves sitting around in your pants in front of the TV, things sure are complicated...
Which is why Mad Riders has ended up being an intriguing prospect. From developers Techland who have previously brought us the much hyped but ultimately flawed Dead Island and the rent but donít buy Call Of Juarez, this is their first venture into the downloadable game universe, following on from the MotorStorm clone Nailíd with their newest game Mad Riders. Available for the prize of a pizza (as the trailer so happily declares) Mad Riders is a fun, fast and thrilling game that may well be Techlandís best game to date.
Initially there may appear to be a lot of similarities between Mad Riders and the recent game of the year candidate Trails HD. Ignoring the shift of racing perspective, both allow you to customize your rider and your beast youíll be riding, and then set off onto a variety of increasingly hard courses. Mad Riders gives out a generous 45 courses to tear around, and tear around them you will, for Mad Riders does one thing very well. Itís fast - very fast.
Bombing around corners on your ATV, pulling off slides, tricks in the air and going through fuel icons all help to fill your boost meter, which when ignited, send the game to Sonic levels of speed. The graphics just about manage to keep up with the pace, with multiple short cuts available to the more seasoned explorer. Winning races and completing various challenges help add XP points which enable you to unlock new rides, courses to explore and game modes.
With a game that relies to heavily on speed, Mad Riders does occasionally fall foul to confined courses that require you to suddenly make 90 degree turns with little or no warning. Expect to crash - a lot, expect to swear - a lot. Along with this I found my AV bike frequently get caught on course scenery - if you decide to take part in the multiplayer mode, I suggest you choose the more open course, they are much more fun.
For a game that makes you crash a lot, perhaps the most unforgivable thing here is the lack of crashes with the player being given a respawn screen instead. Hitting a wall or any other rogue object sees you taken to a short screen before respawning at a new checkpoint. This becomes increasingly frustrating when you clip something mid-jump, there are no allowances for rebalancing the bike, instead itís straight to the respawning screen. Sadly for a game that is built on speed, events like this mean that Mad Riders never quite gets out of fourth gear. Verdict:
Ultimately Mad Riders feels like what it is, a budget downloadable title. Fun for a bit, but with some nagging issues, means that Mad Riders wonít be hogging up your playing time for too long. The question is though - do you want that pizza, or do you want Mad Riders?
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