Game Review

Mania Grade: C

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  • Platform: PlayStation 2
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Extreme Sports
  • Players: 1-2
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Deibus Studios
  • Publisher: Midway
  • Suggested Retail: $39.99
  • Graphics: D-
  • Sound: B
  • Gameplay: C
  • Replay: B
  • Fun Factor: C
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: C


A bit uninspired

By James Stevenson     July 10, 2003

© 2003 Midway

I'm really sick of TONY HAWK imitations. I'm sick of open ended levels where I have to perform a bunch of different goals or tricks, all in order to get new tricks, riders, bikes, and levels. I'm sick of earning points to improve my rider. The formula has been overused, and Midway has used this formula without improving on it much in FREESTYLE METAL X.

The game is much like many of the others you'll play in the "extreme sports" genre. You'll have to go perform certain tricks, jump gaps, race the clock, and generally do the stuff that is the typical gameplay. All the goals have dollar amounts that you earn, and you can use money to open levels, buy bikes, etc. This is all very cookie cutter and vanilla.

The biggest difference between this and the other extreme sports games that you'll play is that the tricks system is quite a bit different. TONY HAWK is fairly easy to pick up and get into, and FREESTYLE METAL X is a lot more complicated and difficult. The moves and modifers require a lot more memorization and button tapping. It's frustrating and there is quite the learning curve on the controls, so you can't just jump in. That's the biggest problem I faced, the controls never seem natural.

It just makes it hard to get into the game. I wanted to throw the controller down and move onto the next game in my stack of titles for review. As I got more into it, the game got better, but it just still never really grabbed me and pulled me into it. I think my favorite part was a multiplayer game where you play a game of human darts while avoiding aerial bombs. Very cool. The other multiplayer modes and level editor help extend the life of the title, but when you already are somewhat sick of playing it, that doesn't help much.

That's not to say it's a bad game. It's got everything you need in an extreme sports title. It's just got nothing extra, and got nothing that seems really inspired.

The graphics are pretty awful. The textures are the worst offenders and don't look like they belong with the current games being released. There is some pop-up and slowdown as well. If there is one aspect that isn't awful, it's the animation, but even that isn't the best I've ever seen.

From the sound standpoint, we have some very cookie-cutter sound effects that don't really add to the game, along with a decent soundtrack of rock music. The soundtrack fits in ok, and keeps the feel of the game. And Kickstart My Heart is still a great song.

FREESTYLE METAL X is a decent extreme sports game that has a difficult control scheme. If you can get over that fact, you'll probably have a good time with the game. Otherwise it might be wise to rent this title first.


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