|System: Wii, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crave Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Left Field Productions||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 2, 2007||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|
The key to keeping up with opponents lies in the game's wholly unoriginal speed burst system. Your adrenaline meter - which just so happens to be the corporate product logo for Monster Energy brand drinks - fills up as you successfully land tricks, allowing you to engage much-needed bursts of speed. Once you turn the boost on, the game's visuals get incredibly blurry as you fly by, or often into, opponents and obstacles alike. It's an interesting effect, but it makes it virtually impossible to discern the difference between a rapidly approaching rock wall and a jump ramp. Aside from speed boosts, certain special moves can only be triggered when you adrenaline meter is full.
Unfortunately, unlike the majority of other similar extreme sports titles out there, BMX Challenge doesn't feature any licensed tunes from interesting bands. Instead, we get some pretty standard and repetitive instrumental punk rock, emo, and hard rock audio tracks. Also, the visuals aren't horrible, but they're more on par with a Game Cube release rather than the Wii's capabilities - however meager in comparison to its current generation competitors. The production in-general could have been kicked up a notch.
As a racing title, BMX Challenge isn't all bad. The problem is Dave Mirra fans are more likely to be drawn to a game with their hero's name on the cover because they crave some mad BMX trick action, not a mediocre racing experience. The trick component seems tacked-on as a gimmick for the speed boost in races, and there's little need for it elsewhere aside from getting the minimum number of stars required to unlock the next stage. Even with speed boosts there's no real incentive to pull off major tricks, since it's possible to fill your adrenaline meter just as quickly with a few simple grind combos as it is with fancier fare.
Sure, BMX Challenge delivers a dose of what it promises, but it's challenging in all the wrong ways. Players have seen some good games in the Dave Mirra series. It's just too bad this is not one of them. Sometimes aping the competition is not a great idea, especially if you don't manage to bring anything new to the table in the process.
CCC Freelance Writer