All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2

Score: 95%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: HotGen Studios
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:

If you grabbed a copy of the first game, I don't have to tell you how awesome it was, and if you haven't had the experience of jamming out on Mat Hoffman before for Game Boy, I envy you your first experience. Everything I loved about the first game is here in the sequel, set in bigger and badder levels with more features, characters, name it. Visually, the only gripe I have is that with more detail allowed for by the capability of GBA, HotGen seems to have tried to pack more stuff in each level, making things look a bit cluttered at times. The pure, clean look of the first game is not always achieved, but purists will appreciate that with more detail and more junk on screen comes more stuff to grind on. I wish there were a little more breathing room, but it's a small gripe. The music has definitely not suffered in the translation, with more tunes and a better sounding total package.

Although graphics for the rider may seem more cluttered, the overall interface has improved. At the very least, if you're a little turned off by some levels, we should all be able to agree that tracking tricks and combos is easier on the screen. The basic information you need while riding has been compressed to make room for more riding action, so even if there is a ton of stuff moving by on screen, you only have to go back to the GBC version to understand how much more you're able to see at any one time. It's like a resolution thing, man! You dial your monitor up to 1024x768 and you have more real estate than when you were running in 800x600 mode. But, everything is a little bit smaller and harder to read. So, a trade off that probably will be seen as a net gain by most fans.


Pro BMX 2 is great about keeping things simple. You buy this game to ride and do tricks, so we don't try to clutter things up with a bunch of frilly crap you won't care about anyway. We do make sure you get a little training on the basic controls, and that you learn how to pull some of the cooler tricks in the game. Once you've gone through a Tutorial, you can ride in the first level, the beginning of a Road Trip that will take you through 8 different areas on your way to claiming victory over all mankind in the dark arts of the BMX. The Tutorial is worth special mention, because it rocks. You get a quick description of the mechanics for performing a trick, and then you're turned loose in a small practice level to take your best shot. Once you cross that trick off the list, it's on to the next. Road Trip is much like this, except that when you complete a series of objectives you'll unlock a new level! Each objective is creative and makes the most of your (hopefully) well-learned trick skills. After you have unlocked levels in Road Trip, they are available to you for play in Single Session or Free Ride Mode, the difference being whether the clock is running. And, in answer to my fervent prayers, Pro BMX 2 now includes a Multi-Player Mode! That's right! With a single GBA, you'll be able to compete in Hotseat mode, playing for position in sequence. Or, get the Game Link cable and 2 Game Boys out for a head-to-head that makes the admission price of this game totally worthwhile for gamers who might have found the Single Player action of the first game a bit limiting. In Link Mode, you'll be able to play several variations of 'Catch the Flag' and finally pick an 'anything goes' mode to see who has the best handle on his bike. Competing well in Road Trip will pump up your stats for Multi Player, so there's even a connection between how well you perform on your own and how you'll fare against the competition. The addition of these Multi-Player modes really stand as the greatest single improvement from the first game, and make this the eXtreme Sports game to beat for GBA.

Rider choice is, as before, excellent. All the circuit pros are here, each with unique skills and stats so you can choose your favorite to play. Plus, the challenge of taking each pro through a Road Trip should keep you busy for a long time, adjusting riding style to compensate for better stats in Air, Speed, Stability and trick skills. Subtle changes in clothing and bike color are things you won't see reflected too dramatically during the game, but these little design touches just let you know Activision loves you.


Being able to understand how each trick is pulled off sometimes may be hard for anyone brand-new to the game. Considering how many tricks are available and how many combinations can be made on the ground and in the air, gamers walking in with the expectation they'll pick this up and master it quickly will be sorely disappointed. After taking each rider's abilities into consideration and adjusting for the learning curve, most every gamer should be pulling phat tricks eventually.

Game Mechanics:

The thick game manual should tip you off to the fact that there are many more combos and moves to learn here than before. Still, the intuitive control scheme keeps Pro BMX 2 from being impossible or frustrating to learn. The tutorial really brings everything together and lets you practice moves as many times as needed. Those requiring diagonal action on the D-Pad are difficult to master, and Specials that require at least 3 actions to complete are also slippery. But, like any good game that doesn't give everything away in the first 5 minutes, Pro BMX 2 proves the wait is usually worth it by rewarding diligent riders with big trick points and bonuses. In fact, the key to performing Specials is filling up a bonus meter, by not bailing on tricks and performing multiple tricks in sequence. Once this 'Special Meter' is full, you'll be able to nail those huge tricks and ensure your progress in the game or at least the scorn of your gaming comrade.

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 is every bit the great game its predecessor was. Those who enjoyed the last version will definitely want to upgrade, and we're just happy to see a sequel really DO an upgrade. Too often, one finds a rehashing of the good things and a repeat performance of the problems in sequels with very little new stuff. Lucky for all the fans, Activision made sure no bad stuff crept forward and that the imaginary wish list I had (Multi-Player, mostly) after playing the original Mat Hoffman on GBA was fulfilled. This is a seriously worthy follow-up to a great game, and it deserves to be stuck in the pocket of every serious eXtreme Sports game fan out there.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

Nintendo GameBoy Advance Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Nintendo GameBoy Advance Rampage Puzzle Attack

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated