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MTV Sports: Pure Ride
Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:
Well, the first thing you expect from a game with MTV in the title is music. Of course, you're not let down by MTV Sports: Pure Ride. You get to grind the slopes and catch some air to such acts as American Hi-Fi, Bender, Chris Vrenna, Gravity Kills, Greyarea, Incubus (yeah, Incubus!), Project 86, Freestylers, El Pus, DJ Muggs (of Cypress Hill) and SX-10. There are also several videos on the disc which are unlocked as you progress. The graphics are pretty good, the character design is great (including some real professional riders and some interesting fictitious characters), and some of the slopes (tracks?) are pretty nicely detailed. Actually, some of them are just plain pretty. Of course, the PlayStation does have its limitations, but I would love to see this game remade for the PlayStation 2... some of the level design is quite excellent indeed.

There are several modes to choose from in MTV Sports: Pure Ride. There's 'Free Ride,' which is essentially a practice mode, 'Tour Challenge' (which is challenging, indeed), 'Specialist,' where you choose either Big Air, Slopestyle or Half Pipe and shred through 12 courses attempting to earn enough points to progress, 'Stunt Mode,' where you have to pull off specific tricks (some of these are a bit out there) in order to progress, and 'Head to Head', where you can challenge a friend to either be the fastest one to the bottom of a slope or to make the most points from tricks on the way down. In addition, MTV Sports: Pure Ride has a 'Build a Mountain' option that allows you to make your own course to run, by adding different types of obstacles and course sections via an overhead grid-like map view.

Quite possibly the best mode is simply the 'Express Pass' mode. This mode quickly chooses a game mode, rider, snowboard and slope for you and throws you into the action. If you like the mix that was selected and want to try to do it better, simply choose 'back to the top' at the end of your ride. Want to try something different? Choose another 'Express Pass.' The 'Express Pass' mode is the quickest way to experience your Pure Ride.

If you do almost nothing whatsoever, you're pretty sure to make it to the bottom of the slope. The question is how quickly you'll get there and how many points you'll rack up. Both of these take a little skill and a little practice. Once you've learned to do some tricks (and avoid obstacles), things will get easier, but as you progress, the points required will increase, so the difficulty level goes up a bit that way. If you want to simply enjoy the ride and not have such lofty goals to beat, you can stick to the 'Free Ride' and 'Express Pass' modes. There are different types of modes for different skill levels, but there's something here for everyone.

Game Mechanics:
MTV Sports: Pure Ride is nicely produced. The graphics are pretty good, the soundtrack is pumping, and there's a mode for pretty much any level of difficulty. If you like snowboarding (even just a little), then you can probably get into this game. The controls are relatively simple, and the gameplay is fun. All in all, MTV Sports: Pure Ride is an excellent (and addictive) snowboarding game.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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