Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Sometimes, there'll be something about a game that makes one want to love it. On paper, they'll look like a great idea and seem fun initially. Then something will come along that will damage that vision forever more. In the case of Mad Skills Motocross 2, it's the presence of rockets. Such things can all too quickly take a game from quite fun to rather frustrating, thanks to some balancing issues.
Backtracking a little, Mad Skills Motocross 2 does have promise on paper (or should that be screen?). The sequel to the rather fun earlier game of the same name, there's an easy reason to like what's here. With 3 years having passed the graphics for Mad Skills Motocross 2 have improved, although not quite as significantly as one would anticipate.
Controls are simple to learn once more; with virtual buttons on the left dictating acceleration or braking, while on the right are arrows affecting how the biker leans. It's the kind of system that takes seconds to learn but it'll take a while to actually master. Across numerous tracks, players must bounce along small and large hills, attempting to outrace the opponent next to them.
There's a career mode that is entertaining enough, but Mad Skills Motocross 2's strength comes from its multiplayer. Known as Jam, players can battle against other players from across the world on different tracks each week, aiming to get the fastest time. It's quite fun, if simple. It's a more pure experience too, given that success is dictated by one's skills and not the amount of rockets that are used, as is the case in the single player side of things.
Yup, those darn rockets. Players are given a free rocket each day and it's going to be used up fast. At times, it feels like certain parts of the tracks demand the use of a rocket to be able to propel up some hills. They're incredibly overpowered, while coincidentally requiring an in-app purchase to buy more. Other in-app purchases also exist; such as a premium mode for multiplayer, plus new bikes. It's possible to circumvent some of these and the game does a fine job of highlighting how one can unlock new bikes, but it still feels somewhat over the top.
Losing the purist magic of the original in Mad Skills Motocross 2 is a real shame. The Jam multiplayer mode is worth checking out but the career side of things can't help but leave a slightly bitter taste in one's mouth. Those darn rockets, indeed.