|System: X360, PS3, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tantalus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 1, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Pressing down on the D-pad before a jump allows you to load it. This will give your launch more power, allowing you catch more air, preferably to perform some involved tricks and stunts. Using the Y button in conjunction with the D-pad, a series of tricks can be accessed. There are some 30 different tricks but you're going to wind up using about five of them on a consistent basis. Some of the tricks don't start immediately, and if you don't have enough airtime, you're going to crash. A crash avoidance feature is implemented where you press the D-pad in the direction of where you want to go in hopes of staying upright. It will only save you if you're at that pivotal moment where things could go either way. At any other time, it has as much influence on your vehicle as twisting your body does to an already-rolling bowling ball.
Bumping into other vehicles will only slow you down, and even when they bump into you, it will still slow you down while not always slowing the aggressor. You have to really aim for a wall to make any waves, at which time you are just respawned on the track none the worse for ware. Overall, the game is unbalanced in the A.I. department. There are no subtleties with the opponents. They are either full-tilt aggressive or passively indifferent. Things balance out better in the four-player mode, but the controls are still an issue. Up to four players can race in the local ad-hoc multiplayer mode, but only one copy of the game is required. I imagine the developers realized that it would be difficult for players to find others that had wasted their money on this game.
Musically, the game sounds like it was scored for a watch or a ring tone. The tunes try really hard to rock, but they just sound wimpy and contrived. The sounds of the vehicles are decent and give the game some sonic credibility. Voiceovers and sound effects are basically nonexistent. My favorite sound in this game is the sound it makes when I turn it off. If you read this review before Christmas or your birthday, do yourself a favor and ask for another gift. You shouldn't expect to get this game unless you've been naughty or someone doesn't like you.
CCC Senior Writer