Once again, the extreme sports genre has ridden the coattails of its true genre-busting original, Tony Hawk
. What this means is that you essentially get the same great gameplay, only instead of weaving around on a skateboard, you get to manhandle the courses with a dirt bike. Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2
offers eight Road Trip locations and just as many Multiplayer Modes.
In Road Trip Mode, you will hop on a bus and bust out as many killer tricks throughout the country as you can, along with any of the eleven pro riders in the game. In order to move on to the next city, you'll have to earn enough road trip points to get your bus moving and unlock each new area. Granted, there are extras in Pro BMX 2 like riding all of the gaps, but the game still revolves around the standard go-hit-five-locations-before-the-time-runs-out and score-a-set-number-of-points-in-one-session gameplay. Again, it's great to keep with a winning style of gameplay, but tweaking it or semi-altering it may help rejuvenate the genre.
This year's game does have its tweaks, but they are essentially the same that the Tony Hawk games have undergone. For example, the biggest, baddest, newest edition to Pro BMX 2 is the implementation of using manuals and flatland tricks. It seems that not only can you perform these types of tricks, this time around you will be required to perform them in order to clear the cities. So you best learn them soon, and learn them quickly, or face a load of frustration until you do (as was the case for me!).
It is exactly here where the underlying problem lies with Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2. The overuse of flatland tricks and manuals rules the entire game. If you want to score big, you'll have to chain together many, many combos while moving from ramp to ramp. This is especially the case in multiplayer modes that require you to score big and score often. Since these tricks aren't all that easy to perform, the skill levels of different players can vary drastically, making multiplayer very unfair in certain situations.