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BMX XXX (GameCube) artwork

BMX XXX (GameCube) review


"There is some nudity (even if it's bad) and some humor (even though it gets old fast) and there's enough stuff to do that you'll be busy for a while (even though you won't be having much fun). If that sounds about like an experience you want, pick up the game."



Some demented fellow in marketing managed to find a mind control machine while browsing an antiques shop. He took the machine to work and attended a board meeting. There, every unsuspecting member was put under the machine's evil control. The man then took the opportunity to force everyone else to agree to a game concept he'd been dreaming about since every girl dumped him in high school: topless girls riding BMX bikes.

So it was that BMX XXX came into existence. Or at least, that's my theory. Now, you're probably saying it doesn't really sound like all that bad an idea. Lewd humor, BMX bikes, topless girls and strippers...nothing wrong with that, is there? And contrary to what most gamers seem to be saying, I'd say you have a point. There's really nothing all that wrong with that. Topless girls have a certain appeal. So do strippers, arguably. And lewd humor is something most of us enjoy, even if we won't admit it. No, the real problem with BMX XXX isn't the concept. The real problem is that the developers and publisher relied on the concept to make the game a worthwhile product. And unfortunately, no concept, however good it may be, can save a game with pedigree like that from mediocrity.

Maybe we should go over the whole point of the game one more time, just so you're clear on a few points. BMX XXX is just one more extreme sports title. Instead of winning the grand competition, though, your goal is to gain points and coins so you can get into the Scores strip clubs. At this point, you get to watch professional strippers almost get naked. Besides that...well...there is no 'besides that.' I've just outlined the main framework of the game.

It's a simple premise, and it's worked before (well, except the part about the strippers, which is new). It worked in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, for example, and in the numerous sequels since then. The extreme sports genre is one I happen to like. It might not be perfectly polished, but the games can be fun. And the developer of BMX XXX has worked on other projects in the genre, most noteably the excellent Aggressive Inline. So I'm not sure what went wrong, but BMX XXX is broken on the most fundamental of levels.

The problems begin immediately. You sit through a longer-than-normal load screen, then the typical video of professionals in the sport plays. Other than the load time, nothing's bad yet. And hey, you get to see a hot girl in a wet t-shirt. Not bad! Then you get to choose your biker. There are several pre-configured ones. None of them are topless. So off you go, to make a biker of your own. The process is quite painless. You pick a face, a hairstyle, skin tone, jewelry, tattoo style and placement, pants, shorts, or skirt, and shirt (or lack thereof). The last part has some additional options if you happen to be creating a female rider. You get to modify boob size and the amount of protection said breasts have from prying eyes.

When your biker is ready, it's off to the game. When I first played, I was anticipating a good time. And at first, nothing seemed all that wrong. A long list of objectives was available--mostly not yet revealed, though I wasn't bothered. I'd now waited through two fairly long load screens, but no big deal. I was finally playing! Then things began to really fall apart. See, objectives are a pain in the butt. The kind that makes you think you won't sit again for a week. One might involve breaking all the peanut stands. Or getting the female dog (notice I refrained from being clever and using a certain other term) to the male one so he'll forget about pooping on the grass for a moment.

The objectives really are amusing, in a juvenile sort of way. And the whole time, onlookers will be shouting things like 'try my salty balls' and what have you. However, this is only amusing for so long. Then you realize you're wandering about the level, hearing a bunch of inane comments, and you really have no idea where you're supposed to go next. Since most of the objectives are timed, you end up running out of time. Repeatedly. What shouldn't be all that challenging soon becomes agonizingly difficult just because all the buildings in this part of the slums look pretty much the same. At this point, every little sound can be annoying, whether it's the pimp telling the whores to get back with his money, the peanut vendor, or the drunk bum. Or any other number of things. The lack of distinctive landmarks really hurts the gameplay.

Another problem is that most of the objectives really aren't that much fun. They're sort of like getting socks under the Christmas tree instead of that video game you wanted. The wrapping is nice, but the package underneath sucks. Though Z-Axis did a nice job of setting up humorous distractions, nothing can hide the fact that this whole process quickly becomes very, very tedious. Other than the initial humor of the situation, what's the difference between gathering up four hookers to take to the pimp and gathering up several other items to return to the bum? The answer is 'none.' And those examples were both from the very first stage.

Not only do none of the surrounding areas look much different from each other, but there's also the fact that none of them look particularly good. Everything seems slightly blurred. The textures look like they were ripped from a first-generation Playstation game. A bad one. I'm not sure if there's an excuse for this. With Aggressive Inline, the developers proved they're capable of some serious eye candy. But here, it seems like the real eye candy is all of the video sort. It's like the developers got together and said, ''Well, we show video of real strippers. Who needs good graphics when there's that to look at?''

Of course, the simple fact is that for most of the game, you won't be looking at that video of the strippers. You'll be looking at the bland setting, and at your rider. If it's a custom rider, you might also be getting periodic peeks at some cleavage. Not a constant supply, just the occasional glimpse as she wipes out on some stupid obstruction and gets back up from the ground. And let me be honest with you for a second: her boobs look little more like real boobs than Mario looks like a plumber in Super Mario Bros. This makes you wonder why they even bothered including the option in the game.

But then you remember the obvious: this is all a marketing ploy. Despite the fact that a few signs indicated it could have been a good title, BMX XXX is no more than Acclaim's latest attempt to make some money off the teenage male. The result is that if you aren't allowed to look at porn but you somehow talk your mom into buying this for you and turning her back and closing her ears while you play, BMX XXX is going to be right up your alley. There is some nudity (even if it's bad) and some humor (even though it gets old fast) and there's enough stuff to do that you'll be busy for a while (even though you won't be having much fun). If that sounds about like an experience you want, pick up the game. BMX XXX. Coming soon to a bargain bin near you.

Rating: 4/10

honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (January 03, 2003)

Jason Venter founded HonestGamers in 1998, and since then has written hundreds of reviews as the site's editor-in-chief. He also is a prolific freelancer with game reviews, articles and fiction available around the Internet.

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