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Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX

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

Graphics & Sound:

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX offers multiple levels of game resolutions for you to choose from. At the highest, you will be in for a treat with lush textures and full 3D worlds. At the lowest you will gain a faster riding experience on slower machines. As with it's Pro Skater cousin, Pro BMX has tons of heart-pounding music playing in the background to get you excited about biking. Artists range from Pennywise & Agent Orange to Outkast, Paris, and, yes, The B-52s (and many more)! Sound fx are decent, but nothing outstanding. Your now standard grunts, grinds, and bails are probably taken straight from Tony Hawk.


Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX is quite frankly a killer game! Yepper, some people may criticize the fact that it uses the same engine as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but I won't. Never get off a winning horse, right! The gameplay is almost exactly like that of its cousin, but this time on bicycles. In fact, both games also have the same features.

There are basically three modes of play. First is the Free Ride, where you can take on any course that you have already unlocked and try to find it's secrets, or just figure out where you can get outrageous scores. The second is the Single Session. Just like in a career, you are given two minutes to do what you can. If you're looking to set some high scores, this is where you do it.

The third mode is the Career Mode. It is here where you unlock new levels for use in the other modes (including multi-player modes). It's also where boys become men. The basic premise is that you need to collect magazine covers to unlock new levels. To do so, each level contains five mags, and although you don't necessarily have to get them all, you will need to collect a certain number to open up the next area, an even higher number for the next, and so on. Basically, two of the five covers per level are obtained by scoring points, one by collecting the letter that spell out T-R-I-C-K, and another by busting objects. The final magazine cover is sometimes pretty tough to find, as it is the Secret Cover that can take a lot of practice and a lot of skillz to get... maybe even some luck! There are also two competitions for you to take on other riders in a quest for the gold.

Finally, there is also a Multi-player mode with three games to challenge your buddy with. Unfortunately, only one of the games is available for playing on one computer (no split-screen), and that is the Horse Game. In Horse, you play just like on the basketball court. The first person does a trick, and the second has to beat it. Play continues until someone bails or doesn't score higher than the previous score. The other two games are only available over a LAN (Local Area Network) connection (you lucky people in dorm rooms!). One game is Trick Attack, which is a timed event where you try to score the most points. Graffiti is the other. Here you have to perform tricks on each area of the course, and then your color is displayed on the ramp, jump, etc. Your opponent can 'steal' if he/she does a better trick on the same spot. The person with the most 'tagged' areas wins.

For those of you who love to build and design things, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX also includes a fairly decent Park Editor (which is basically the TH2 editor). There are tons of different pieces available for you to use in your course, and you also have the option to create special gap scores. The best part is that you can use your parks to play Horse (or other multi-player games if you both have the file on your computer, I am assuming... I don't have access). So, grab one of your eight pro BMXers, then choose from eight courses, and see if you can become a world champion.


As complicated as the controls are, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX really isn't all that difficult to control with a gamepad. Of course, even if you can use the keyboard, I would highly recommend using a gamepad with eight buttons on it. (The game allows you to program them.)

The boards themselves in the game look great and play great. If you are struggling with any one area, take your time, do a Free Ride and look for the best areas to rack up points. You could even search for difficult areas to get at, as the Secret Cover may end up being there in Career Mode. Practice makes perfect, but in Pro BMX, practice is at least fun.

Game Mechanics:

If you try to tackle the keyboard... Good Luck! There are way too many controlling options to be able to smoothly maneuver your rider with the keyboard. Do yourself a favor and pick up a good (not cheap!) gamepad. You'll thank me. Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX is an awesome game and anyone that loved Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (...and, who didn't?) should pick this one up right away. There are so many trick combinations possible that you'll have loads of fun whether alone or with a friend. Depending on your skill level, the game can be pretty short (for seasoned veterans). However, with the inclusion of the park editor and multi-player modes, the replay value does increase. You can also go back and play again as each of the pro riders to truly 'beat' the game.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium II 266MHz or Athlon processor; Windows 95/98/ME/2000; DirectX 8.0a (included); 64MB RAM; 550MB uncompressed hard disk space plus addition 100MB swap file; DirectX 8.0a compatible 8MB 3D accelerated video card; DirectX 8.0a compatible 16-bit sound card; 4x CD-ROM; keyboard/mouse; gamepad optional (6 or more buttons recommended)

Test System:

Pentium II 400MHz CPU; Windows 98 SE; 256MB 100MHz SDRAM; Creative's 3D Blaster Annihilator 2 32MB 3D-Accellerator AGP Video Card (nVIDIA geForce 2 chipset); Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card; DirectX 8.0a; using Hewlett Packard CD-Writer Plus 9100 (reads 32x, writes 8x, rewrites 4x) as main CD-ROM; 1 gameport; 2 USB ports; ThrustMaster FireStorm Dual Power Gamepad (USB connection); 56k modem

Windows Planet of the Apes Sony PlayStation 2 4x4 Evo

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated