BMX XXX is the latest extreme sports game to hit an already overcrowded market, so how will it hold place against the already established titles around?

A long long time ago (last summer) when I was sitting on the other side of this site reading the reviews rather than writing them, Jenksy started to tell me about a new exciting game for PS2 that was coming out, the original news and snippet's we caught on the internet suggested that Dave Mirra had been informed by his sponsors that the proposal for the newest Dave Mirra game was a little Blase therefore he pulled his name from the title and they began to develop the new Dave Mirra separately and BMX XXX was born, now the games main topics were aimed at a suitably mature audience, heavily involving, sex, nudity, drugs and rock and roll.

The multiplayer game included variations called "strip" where the bigger the tricks, the more clothing an opponent would lose, "sniper" where one player had to collect items while the other had a series of guns and had to gun the other down before they collected all the icons. and the standard score some points game.

Then there's the hardcore tour, very much in the style of tony hawks 4 and aggressive inline the levels are timeless and all the challenges are dotted around the levels.

So to begin properly, first of all before people start to moan and hurl abuse, yes I have a real girlfriend, yes i've seen lots of nudity before and yes I do get out a lot, and for other questions I answer, "Yes you can", "No you can't " and "if you don't stop you'll go blind". So here was a game style that I love, i'm a big fan of extreme sports games and something of a expert of them so it really had to live up to my high standards.

Unfortunately it didn't, this game has become a victim of its own hype, when so much expectation is placed upon its shoulders it would either be everything we hoped and more or die a death. But where did it go wrong, and surely it couldn't be all that bad? Well it isn't inherently bad, its just weak and average, not quite an extreme sports game and not quite porn, if there's been no hype or buildup and expectation I would have enjoyed it more, but there was so much hype and I really was looking forward to this game to see how akklaim were going to deliver their promise

"Yes, we've taken the game to all-new levels, but we've also built on the success of the Dave Mirra and Aggressive Inline engines and delivered a thoroughly playable and enjoyable BMX title that will appeal to both hardcore gamers and newcomers."

said Ned Browning, European Brand Manager.

Sorry Ned, you've made an OK game nothing too special, In acclaims praise I still hold Aggressive Inline in the highest regard as the best most enjoyable Extreme Sports game I have ever played, Even more enjoyable than Tony Hawks 3 in my opinion!

You see there's the benchmark, Inline came out with little hype, not a high level of expectancy and it was a phenomenal success, it contained HUGE levels, with a never ending timer, a method of control that was fluent and easy, and a phenomenal soundtrack, Inline gets about a 99% on my scale of things (perfection will never be reached) BMX XXX fares worse i'm afraid.

But onto the game itself, enough of my disappointments, lets look at the positive.

The game is an ok platform, the controls are very easy and quickly mastered, fairly standard configuration of key control and gameplay, the levels are not very big despite the claims to be huge, they're probably as big as some of the THPS3 levels, nowhere on the size of Inline, again there's no timer on the levels, just a health meter, the more damage you do the shorter your run, so the emphasis is to stay on your bike, not so easy when there are as many glitches as this game for pitching you off a bike, there seems to be no recognition of the ability to change levels on the ground, you need to drop the front wheel 6 inches lower than the back and off you fall.

The challenges are spread around in a style similar to Inline but 90% of them are timed, which can be incredibly frustrating, because you're not normally given enough room for error, cut a manouver short and you're screwed. The game makes itself difficult and frustrating very quickly, but as you develop and traverse the challenges you can earn yourself videos of strippers from the score club in New York, So that's gotta be worth it to some extent.

Not much else to say about single player mode, its a fairly standard, level level competition level level level competition style layout, standard. normal. average. dull.

The music started so well, something that has become associated with extreme sports games is a beast of a soundtrack and XXX started well with Greenday - Basketcase starting my game followed by a cleaned version of Rockstar by N.E.R.D. (big hero's of mine) then into the classic 3's the magic number by De La Soul, then motley crew, then it petered out into averageness, as if they'd spent their budget on the first four songs and needed to fill the rest with yet again average music.

I turned to the multiplayer modes hoping that somewhere would be something a little different to make this game worth it.

First up is the standard score big points to win (YAWN)

Second is the "Strip mode" Ooh saucy! the chance to strip off opponents clothing and after four or five points are scored your opponent will bike around naked.. (hehehehhe) but............ No they won't. Now I leave myself open to insults here but remember i'm playing a review copy and that may be different from the final shipped version but in my copy.....

No nudity, what a con! after all the gesturing about including the nudity after it was taken out of the American version,

Little fact for you the nudity was taken from the NTSC version because Walmart refused to stock it, Walmart has a high family image and will pull magazines, music, games from its shelves if it feels they don't fit the walmart image, fair play to them if that's their opinion, problem is in the US they control 55% of magazine retail, 25% of video sales (because they own blockbusters) and 10% of music sales now you begin to see why acclaim complied to walmart's demands. I would have done. One release isn't going to dent walmart's profits but not selling in their stores could cripple a games producer.

Anyway, strip therefore was a disappointment because there were no naked ladies, how upset was I! Not very but there we go. By this point Id really started to lose interest in the game I was full of regret and sorry for anyone who'd parted with 40 for this game, then I found its salvation, it makes a great drinks coaster....

ONLY JOKING!!! The third and final multiplayer game mode is the funniest and best multiplayer mode i've seen before, it made me crease and has kept many of us entertained for hours, "Paintball" the renamed Sniper mode contains a split screen mode where one biker rides around trying to collect a certain number of items while the other sits in a sniper's nest with a sniper rifle, a machine gun, shotgun, grenade launcher and bazooka trying to shoot his opponent three times before he can collect all the items. Its good, its a shame that the whole game didn't include this kind of enjoyment. It really cannot de described how much of a disappointment this game is. My advice is, buy Aggressive Inline - the best extreme sports game i have ever played, and also you're on the internet reading this review so go look at some real porn.