Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Hands-on: MX Vs ATV: Alive

1:00 PM on 04.30.2011 // Max Scoville

Last week, I attended a THQ event for some of their upcoming games. Initially, I thought I was going to be looking at a game about drawing pictures. I used to go to picture-drawing school, and because of this, people frequently make me do artsy-fartsy stuff. When I arrived at the event, plans miraculously changed and I got to write about dirt bikes instead.

Hamza asked me, “How do you feel about previewing MX Vs. ATV: Alive?” I said I didn’t know what that was, and he said “It’s about driving motorcycles in the mud,” To that, I said “Ooh! Lovely!" 

MX Vs ATV: Alive (Playstation 3, Xbox 360 [Previewed])
Developer: Rainbow Studios
Publisher: THQ
MSRP: $49.99
To Be Released: May 10, 2011

One nuance I’ve learned to appreciate over the last few years is the difference between a racing game and a driving simulation. Star Wars Super Bombad Racing is a racing game, and Gran Turismo is a driving simulation. Obviously, there’s plenty of overlapping grey area between these two classifications, but it’s safe to say there’s a difference in genres. 

I went at MX Vs ATV: Alive with the understanding that it was a realistic simulation of driving (or riding, whatever) motocross bikes and all-terrain vehicles. In doing so, I wasn’t expecting the game to be a mind-blowing thrill-ride that made me shout 1980’s slang like “Excellent!” and “Bodacious!” like I usually do when playing Motorstorm.

In real life, I’ve ridden a dirtbike once. I thought it was really fun, even though I wasn’t very good at it -- I guess that’s how I feel about most things in life, video games included -- but I got the hang of the basic physics. It’s sort of like riding a really heavy bicycle that doesn’t want you riding it. In most games I’ve played, riding dirtbikes has been treated like driving two-wheeled cars. In the case of MX Vs ATV: Alive, it’s not quite the same.

When on a bike, the left analog stick controls the handlebars. This is how a bike is steered when no one is riding it, but when there’s actually a human being on it, you have to factor in the rider’s weight. That’s what the right analog stick is for, shifting the rider’s weight.

Describing this control setup makes it sound awkward and complicated, but in practice, it’s quite intuitive. The best thing I can compare it to is playing a first person shooter, except with a dirt bike instead of a gun. Neal Pabon, one of THQ’s PR guys told me that this control setup had been present in the previous game, MX Vs ATV Unleashed, but that it was tweaked a bit for Alive.

I jumped into the multiplayer and got my ass thoroughly handed to me by everyone else playing, but I still had a great time. I know how dumb that sounds, but MX Vs ATV: Alive plays like a 3D version of the original Excitebike, or a less infuriating version of Trials HD. The way the game controls, it makes the simple act of riding a motorbike fun.

MX Vs ATV: Alive features three classes of motocross bikes, with two models in each class. I didn’t get a chance to look too closely at any of these, but since I’m a girlyheaded pantywaist who doesn’t know anything about engines or torque or what “CC” stands for, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you much, anyway. I’d probably just write something like “The green bike is faster.”

As the title suggest, MX Vs ATV also features ATVs, of which there are two classes with two ATVs each. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play with any of these. I’ve wanted to ride a quad since I was eight years old, and still haven’t, so I’m bummed.

The game’s graphics are up to par with the current generation. The bikes and tracks look cool. Trashy-looking girls in tank tops and daisy dukes wave flags to start the race, and that’s cool. Otherwise, the game looks pretty much how you’d expect a game about motocross and ATV racing to look.

Out of the box, the game has twelve national courses, four short tracks, and two free-ride. However, there’s a twist. MX vs ATV: Alive is one of THQ’s first forays into hybrid pricing. The game itself is forty bucks, which is pretty cheap, but it’s going to offer a whole bunch of downloadable content. Whether or not this is a smart or fair business model is up for discussion, but it allows you to buy a game for cheaper than usual, and if you like it, there’s more to download. 

I’m sure a lot of people will gripe about this pricing method, but I think it’s a cool idea. Let’s say you want a new game, but you can’t muster a full sixty bucks until payday. Drop forty on the disc, and then pick of the rest of the DLC when you can. I guess it’s a sign of the economic times if we’re buying video games in installments, but I’m not opposed to the idea.

All that being said, MX Vs ATV: Alive is the latest in an established series about racing motorbikes and ATVs around in the dirt. If you're into that kind of thing, take a look.

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Max Scoville, Video Warlock
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
I'm Max Scoville, and I'm in charge of making videos for Destructoid. Videos is when you have a camera, but instead of just doing one picture, it does a lot of them, and there's also noises. ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Went snowboarding for the first time in years. Crashed a lot, many times into trees. All that training in FF7 didnt do squat!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
If I were to get Age of Empires II HD to play with you all, do you all have the DLC?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I am relieved to know Creed is a Rocky spin-off and not a feature-length documentary about the band.
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
the worst thing about that jesssica jones program is i keep getting "basketball jones" stuck in my head
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -