Even the world’s most insanely wealthy multi-gabillionaire businesspeople – from Richard Branson to, erm, Dragon’s Den – will cast trifling things like sense and experience to the wind for a good cut-price deal.
And that’s how MX Vs ATV aims to sucker you in.
On sale and on the shelf for a surprisingly thrifty £29.99 (most new games have a RRP of £49.99), it certainly tempts the wallet even if you’ve had no real affinity with the franchise or genre in the past.
Of course, nothing comes for free (or cheap), with the deal being that the disc in the box contains a fraction of the longevity available in most games, and that if you like what you see you can download extra bits, bobs and modes in pocket change paid-for downloads.
For those non-dirtbikeaholics amongst you, MX Vs ATV underwent a bit of a franchise revamp last year with ‘Reflex’, although all it successfully brought to the table was a dual stick control system that allowed you to position your rider using the right stick and the vehicle itself with the left.
It was a significant addition to the control system that’s been carried over to Alive, and for the most part it works well, producing a more finessed control method than the majority of its peers, while retaining its arcade style, adrenalised sprint races.
There’s a healthy selection of race tracks on offer (all colourful if not exactly bedazzling), and a couple of ‘Free Rides’ which allow you to chug along massive maps to pick up medals in exchange for freestyling tricks and combos.
Notably, there’s no real career mode which greatly reduces the game’s longevity and stunts your character growth – extra post single race-XP or not, it’s particularly soulless to put in the hard work without seeing any real progressive development.
On the plus side, both the off and online multiplayer is an unabashed hoot and for throwaway arcadey joy, you can’t beat a 12 player online Road Rage-ish dirtbike sprint.
Of course, by paying the extra you can download all manner of extra modes, maps, vehicles and the like by buying into the whole package. It’s a tricky one – for fans of the franchise, they’ll likely end up spending even more adding bits on as and when they appear, while for newbies there’s simply not enough quantity or quality to entice you to part with what amounts to a traditionally priced RRP after you’ve downloaded everything anyway.
THQ should be commended for trying something new – it’s just a shame that with so many cut-price dodgy spare parts floating around, it’s no surprise that the end result breaks down before it even really gets the chance to get going.
MX Vs ATV is on General Release now, and available on Xbox 360 and PS3.