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How Far is too Far?

Acclaim pushes the limits with BMX XXX

By James Stevenson     June 09, 2002


DAVE MIRRA BMX XXX
© 2002 Acclaim

How far is too far in videogaming? At E3 last month, Acclaim showed off the newest game in the DAVE MIRRA series, but it wasn't BMX 3. Rather the game shown was DAVE MIRRA BMX XXX. An M-rated game for sure (and perhaps, just asking for the ESRB's first "AO" Adult Only classification), BMX XXX takes an extreme sports game and shoves in as much toilet humor, nudity and foul language as possible.


Why? I'm not sure if I totally understand why this radical change was made to the game. Perhaps Acclaim felt that its series just couldn't compete with Activision's MAT HOFFMAN'S PRO BMX. From what I saw, there isn't too much, if anything, in the game that is better that HOFFMAN's PRO BMX, so the idea must be let's sell the humor.


The demo we were shown featured a firefighter dick joke, cussing, a pimp, dogs procreating, dogs taking dumps everywhere, and a little kid named Timmy in his underwear and a football helmet peeing a pool. You can even collect coins to go to the famous strip club Scores and see actual video of strippers.


Now, all this is happening on the showfloor of E3 (you techinically have to be 18 to get in and there are a few exceptions) and the producer showing us this is demonstrating where all the foul language in the game came from: him. Meanwhile, I can't decide whether the PR woman walking us around is proud of the game, or really embarrassed by it. I'd lean towards the latter.

[IMG3R]

Gratuitous humor has been used in gaming before. CONKER'S BAD FUR DAY used it very effectively. To date, the game remains one of my favorite N64 titles. But while there was some toilet humor in the game, much more of it was smart, parody driven humor. In BMX XXX, it's just gross-out. The second reason that CONKER can get away with it is due to the fact that the gameplay in BAD FUR DAY was excellent. Finally a 3D platformer from Rare without all the collecting. BMX XXX showed no real revolutions that nobody else has utilized.


To put it simply, Acclaim is making no revolutions in gameplay with the game, but merely using gross-out humor to sell it. What's even more shocking is that the coverboy of the game, Dave Mirra, apparently had no knowledge of the change in substance. Frankly, there is no reason at this point to even consider playing DAVE MIRRA'S BMX XXX.


TIDBITS


An advertisement for Xbox in the UK was banned after numerous complaints; the ad showed a child quickly progressing through life and into death with the words "life is short, play more"... CNN has reported that AMERICA'S ARMY is costing the US Government $7 million to develop the game will be given away for free... An online version of the mech simulator STEEL BATALLION is in the works... CASTLEVANIA: HARMONY OF DISSONANCE has been delayed until September... Square has revealed that it will release two PlayStation 2 RPGs as well as an action game for the console, though meanwhile two games will head to the Game Boy Advance, including a handheld version of FINAL FANTASY TACTICS; all five games will be released over the next fiscal year... Nintendo's newly appointed president Satoru Iwata said that his company will focus on making better games, rather than producing more extremely powerful consoles.


ON SHELVES

DAVE MIRRA BMX XXX


Before E3, we previewed Midway's FIREBLADE. This action-packed helicopter shooter game is fairly reminiscent of DESERT STRIKE. I haven't put in a lot of time with the final copy but it's worth checking out. Look for our full review shortly after the game releases on Friday, June 14th.


Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Videogame column.

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