60 challenges to complete
You need to be a master of the original or it will take you a while
Anannya Sens Review
Someone take this game away from me so I can get on with the rest of my life.
Freestyle Moto-X II is the sequel to the smash hit Nate Adams Freestyle Moto X. While Nate doesn't seem to have lent his name to the sequel this is still a pretty outstanding game. We were big fans of the original and you can check out our review of FMX I.
This game is just bigger and better in almost all departments. The best thing about the original was the physics engine which allows the player to perform stunts and flips by shifting their weight on the bike. This is done by pressing left and right and will make the rider lean forwards or backwards causing the bike to flip one way or another. You can perform nose flips, back flips, wheelies and stoppies. You can also press a certain key (1,3,7,9, * and #) to perform stunts while on the air or grounded. It's never wise to mess with a good thing so the physics engine is pretty much the same as the original. I have no complaints here as the original was damn near perfect.
There are several improvements in the sequel which I will go through. The control system is basically the same but with more stunts to pull off both in the air and on the ground as well. The graphics are highly improved and now are some decent 2D sprites with a fair amount of detail on them and the backgrounds. The backgrounds vary depending on the stage you're on and while the graphics aren't as good as plenty of other games out there they are definitely a step up from the original. The backgrounds are definitely much more detailed and you can play as either a man or a woman. The graphics are a little reminiscent of the old system graphics (SNES / Atari) but I think taking up a lot of memory with extremely slick graphics would have made the gameplay suffer and we can't have that.
Sound is greatly improved with a 'jukebox' feature. This allows you to control the volume and track played with a choice of up to 3 different sountracks. It would have been really cool if you could download a song to use as the music and therefore have any song you want as background. There is vibration as well for when you crash or land so not much to complain about here.
The other options allow you to turn your ghost on / off when racing which is great and the new panel at the bottom shows you the length of the course, your time, your ghost (best time) position and number of nitros. The left shoulder key brings up the options and the right shoulder key brings up the requirements of the challenge.
What's been hugely improved in the sequel are the number and type of challenges and the ability to tune your bike. Be warned as the game does not start off easy. In fact I would say if you haven't mastered the original it will take you a fair while to master this as it starts off at a fairly high pace and standard. This is the one drawback of the game but seeing as I was a complete master of the original (see how modest I am) I got stuck in right away.
There are 60 courses / challenges to complete. Get that? 60. That's a LOT. And considering that it can take you many many many goes (sorry, just watched Police Academy the other day) to complete one course this is some serious playing time. And that's not taking into account the time required to get used to the game if you're a beginner. So FMX II pulls no punches. The courses vary in terms of requirements and time needed to complete them. Some are time attacks where you have to ride a set bike, some you can tune your bike, some you have to perform specific tricks and the really tough ones are ones where you have to race an opponent (these are not impossible, play them enough times and the opponent will make mistakes and crash). The times for the courses range from 10 seconds to about a minute. This doesn't sound long but seeing as the challenges are pretty tough, replaying a 10 second course over and over again to get that gold trophy can mean half an hour will pass without you realising it.
The ability to tune your bike is great as in some courses you will have the chance to win bike parts. The upgrades take the form of the suspension and tyres you can use (which makes a HUGE difference depending on the type of track), the engine size, number of nitros and the colour. On some courses you have to use a stock bike but on others you can use a tuned bike and this means that if you unlock a bigger engine in one race you can go back and get gold in all those races you struggled on before.
There are different types of terrain as well which is a big step up from the original. You get four cities to play with 15 challenges in each city. The different cities have different terrain types from concrete in NY, muddy in Seattle and icy in Denver. When you complete a challenge you unlock more challenges. If you get an amateur rating (bronze) then you unlock one more challenge and if you get a pro or top dog rating (silver / gold) then you unlock 2 challenges. This way if you get gold on all the initial missions in new york you'll have a lot of the next two cities unlocked.
Aside from the very steep learning curve (sometimes when playing it's even more fun to watch your player crash in a large heap!) this is incredibly addictive. The ability to win bike parts makes it even more addictive than the original. I didn't think this was possible but the courses can be very short and you might miss the time limit by 4/100's of a second. That can be very frustrating and meant that I spent most of an entire weekend playing this game. The tricks you do are great fun as well and if you're getting stuck on a particular course then some of them have a demo feature which shows how to get the gold. Don't expect this to be easy though as you watch the demo and initially think, there's no way in hell I'll be able to pull that off. It's too complicated. Then you give it a go, and get nowhere near. Another go and you get a bit better, maybe being able to pull off the easy bit. Another go and you get the front flip down and then another go and you get silver. 8 goes after this you manage to pull off that perfect run that may not look exactly like the demo but is close enough, and you got gold so who cares. This feeling makes the last 45 minutes worthwhile and is the reason the game is so brilliant.
Usual saving of progress, suspending and resuming etc etc.
The game is huge. The playability is amazing. If you haven't played the original then perserverance is the name of the game. Get comfortable with controlling the rider to shift your weight, especially in the air. Then get scared as you see what the demo shows you a gold will take. But keep having a go and it will eventually pay off.
I didn't think that games could get any more addictive than FMXI but FMXII has me contemplating finding a nice cave in the mountains and spending a couple of months playing and completing everything in this game.
Stunning sequel, bigger and better in every way. Better graphics and sound, more courses, greater difficulty (right from the word go) and you can tune your bike.
I defy you to find a more addictive game.