Racing games sure have come a long way. In the “olden” days, you might be able to find a simple dirt bike game that attempted to simulate the high energy experience of racing around a rough track. Today, there are a lot of choices in games, and they include far more the standard dirt bike to drive and crash up, too.
Here are the features of a couple of the highest rated games available today.
Pure (rating 4 out of 5)
Pure, by Disney, is predominately an ATV motocross game (PlayStation 3, Xbox, and PC). You are given a lot of flexibility in building your own custom vehicle from the ground up. And you can race across seven of the world’s most dramatic natural environments, modeled after the real places, including Wyoming, New Mexico, and Italy. In all, there are more than 30 tracks to try out.
Reviewers generally like the graphics of this game, and the customization of the vehicles. One negative statement that comes up is the lack of variation in the game play experience, and that it tended to become repetitive, but overall are good value.
MX vs ATV Reflex (rating 4 out of 5)
A slightly newer release than Pure, MX vs. ATV Reflex (PlayStation 3, Xbox, Nintendo DS, and Sony PSP) adds several different dimensions to the genre. First, there are a wider variety of vehicle classes you can pilot, including ATVs, buggies, motorcycles, and trucks. One of the coolest features I think is the real time terrain deformation, that is, as you and other drivers go around the track, furrows and damage done by the vehicles is preserved for the next lap, making each lap a new challenge as you adjust to changing conditions.
Also, as you make your way through the game you can encounter famous top riders in the sport, and you can test your skill against their digital personas. Another feature that the makers tout is the wreck avoidance system, giving rise to the “reflex” part of the title. As you attempt death-defying tricks, jumps, and feats, the game tells you if you are not pulling out of it in time to land safely. The wreck avoidance system gives you a chance, with quick reflexes, to save yourself at the last second—if you are fast enough.
Motorstorm Pacific Rift (rating 4.5 out of 5)
Motorstorm (PlayStation 3) takes this game style to a different level, claiming to be faster, and more brutal than the competition. The game features 8 different vehicle classes (bikes, ATV, buggies, rally cars, racing trucks, mud pluggers, monster trucks, and big rigs). Winning is not the only thing in this game, as you also score points for how you race, and how well you out compete and out crush your opponents.
Unlike the other games that seeks to simulate real-world places, this game’s action takes place on a single Pacific island set aside for the races. But the island is large enough to have four distinct zones, and therefore, four distinct types of racing: air, fire, water, and earth.
Unlike some games, it does feature a split screen view for multi-player action with friends, and it also boasts of real-time track deformation. Action is the name of this game, as it claims to be brutal, dangerous, relentless, and unpredictable. Reviewers rate the experience very highly. The limited platform availability is the only down side of this game, unless of course you have the PlayStation—in which case, you can gloat over your friends.
Fishing games—a sea of options