Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
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A few months ago, Resolution Interactive released Aqua Moto Racing, one of the best freestyle racing games at that time. Now, for their followup, they have moved to land with Dirt Moto Racing, an even better freestyle ATV racer with well-implemented controls and a bevy of content including an extensive career mode.
Dirt Moto Racing, of course, is built around a traditional racing framework, but with the physics of ATV's and some freestyle twists. First, the all-important boost. Boost is perhaps your most potent weapon in the game and you'll have to use it strategically. You can also knock other riders off their ATV's (or be knocked off yourself). Unfortunately, the collision detection feels very off, so this can get frustrating. Then, off course, there are the stunts. Throughout the tracks there are jumps, and in order to pull off the more difficult stunts you'll have to get some serious air. In addition to looking awesome, stunts also give you more boost. The overall racing does feel smooth, and I only have one major complaint: whenever you veer even slightly off-track, the game automatically resets you, which is fine if you get majorly lost, but is very irritating when you are reset after cutting a corner slightly.
Dirt Moto has two main game modes: career and single event. Career mode is the best part of the game with eight tours of increasing difficulty with four events each. There are two main types of races in career mode: track racing and checkpoint racing. The track racing is more traditional, and is simply a race around a set track for three laps. The checkpoint racing is more open; there are a number of gates in a somewhat open field and you have to roll over them in order (an onscreen arrow guides you). By earning medals in career mode, you can receive tuning points, which you can distribute to various attributes such as lift, acceleration, and top speed. In single event, you can race on any track you've completed in career mode. There are three additional race modes for single event: freestyle, where score is purely based on stunts, time trial, a race against the clock, and ghost play, where you can download the ghosts of other players. However, Dirt Moto could really benefit from true online play. In both modes, there are three levels of difficulty, and you can customize the color of both your rider and ATV. In addition, there's an extensive achievement system with 21 achievements to unlock.
Dirt Moto Racing utilizes a combination of exceptionally-implemented touch and tilt controls. Steering is obviously handled via tilt mechanism, and the accelerometer is also used for in-air vertical position. You can also over-steer for drift. Tilt controls are fine, but a sensitivity option would be welcome. Boost is activated using a on-screen button. There are two options for acceleration, the primary one being touching the right side of the screen, or alternatively you can enable "cruise-control" which activates auto-acceleration. Braking is done by touching the left side of the screen. Doing stunts is exceptionally easy with a great touch control method. Depending on how many points you have racked up during the race you'll see up to three on-screen trick buttons of increasing degree-of-difficulty. You can combine touching these buttons with swiping the screen left, right, up, or down for a total of 12 regular tricks, and then simply swiping the screen in one of those directions activates a "mega-trick" (a 360 or a flip). These controls are perfectly done so that performing stunts is easy, but landing the more challenging ones takes some practice.
Graphics are relatively nice. There's not a huge level of detail, but everything is rendered pretty nicely. The "dirt" on the edges of the screen is a nice touch, and the in-game interface is nicely polished. There are four different environments to race in, and while these look nice, a lot of the tracks are very barren, and some more color or additional non-gameplay affecting graphical elements could help. Sound is pretty nice. The rock tracks are great, and the engine sound effects are decent as well.
Dirt Moto Racing manages to deliver a great freestyle racing game due to good controls. This, matched with a content-heavy career mode, make Dirt Moto a good buy at only $4.99.