Developer: Deibus Studios
Release Date: June 24, 2003
If you have ever watched the X-Games, chances are that you know how the bikers perform crazy moves, trying their hardest to defy physics. Freestyle Metal X manages to capture the essence of the X-Games, starting off the game with videos of professionals busting out their crazy moves backed up with great music.
The gameplay is what you would expect from this type of game, with an added twist: there is blood. However, considering that the game is published by Midway (the people who brought us the Mortal Kombat franchise), you shouldn’t be too surprised. There are a total of four modes of available play: quick play, career, party mode, and level editor. The heart of the game exists within career mode, where you run through each world unlocking characters bikes, videos, and many more.
Within career mode, you get to choose one of the 16 available bikers to test your moves, as well as 16 different bikes. You will be required to pass each level’s challenges, as well as defeat the level leader. In each of the worlds, there are four different modes of play: challenges, big air, freestyle, and race. In challenge mode, you are required to do several difficult maneuvers, ranging from jumping across buildings and catching items to straight-out tricks. For completing these challenges, you will eventually unlock items such as new bikes or bikers. Within the level, there are also items you can pick up to play, such as tickets to play in the Daredevil arena. Before that, you must finish your challenges in order to unlock the other worlds and modes of play. Once the challenges of the world are completed, you can then move onto big air. Big air is a competition between you and three other opponents to see who can get the best score on a single run. You get three runs to try and achieve the highest score, mixing together as many tricks as possible to show that you are more skilled and insane. Getting first place will then allow you to advance onto the race, which is where you compete one-on-one versus the arena champ. The race is a combination of two items: getting to the check point fastest as well as getting the most trick points. If you have one but not the other, you can lose to the opponent even though you reached the end first. With a good mixture of speed and style, you’re almost certain to win. Once you’ve completed these four modes, you can then hop to free run, where you have no rules or limits and you can have fun and enjoy yourself. After running through these modes in this arena, you can then move on to the other worlds.
There are a total of nine worlds: Rodeo Rise, Villa Brava, Seaside Smash, Snow Stormer, Downtown Destruction, Skull Valley, Slot City, Heavy Metal, and Cross Country. There are also three other worlds that don’t have the previously-mentioned game modes: Dare Devil, Level Editor, and Human Darts (only available in quick play). Each level has its own layout, ranging from dirt courses to an urban environment. Since the levels are insanely large, the toughest task for me was to find the locations of the challenges in the first place. Within each world, there are also side items such as vehicles, animals, or people, depending on the environment. For example, in Rodeo Rise you will have animals all over the place, and the arena will also have farm equipment, while in Villa Brava, you have no animals but people and vehicles, giving you the urban feel.
When you’re through with the worlds, you can jump into a side quests, like the Human Darts or Dare Devil levels. For Human Darts, the main point is to have your character jump to the center and get the most points. It’s just mindless fun. For Dare Devil, there are five different levels available for play: Bus Jumping, Car Jumping, Loop the Loop, Tunnel of Fire, and Wall of Death. This is where you try certain daredevil tricks, gaining money if you manage to complete the trick. Once you’ve completed it, you will have the ability to go double or nothing, thereby making the tricks harder then before. In order to actually play these levels, you must have Dare Devil tickets, which can only be found in the world stages.
In these modes, you can bust out some of the craziest tricks available, and they look pretty impressive. The game has one of the easiest control systems to learn: X for speed, square for braking, L1 for jumping, O for tricks, and triangle for the modifier, which changes original tricks into something new, and R1 for speed bursting. You can also do burnouts and doughnuts, which are great features in this type of game. As they say in the tutorial, these tricks are definitely something sweet to show off to your friends.
After playing single player mode, you can always hop over to party mode, where you can compete with up to nine of your friends to see who is better. The available challenges are Big Air, Freestyle, and Hill Climb. Big Air has already been discussed, and Freestyle is where you use the arena to your advantage, trying to score as many points within the given amount of time. Rather then having a split screen to showcase all of the players racing at once, each player takes a turn so there is no simultaneous racing, which would have been a very nice feature.
The most impressive mode of all is probably creating your own arena and dictating the arena layout, with elements such as big objects, dirt jumps, ramps, and many more. Once you have chosen the object that you wish to incorporate into the arena, you can then rotate it if necessary and place it in any strategic type manner you see fit. While it doesn’t have the big city landscapes, it should be sufficient to keep you occupied for a bit. Use the objects wisely, placing them for the big jumps or a jumping showcase. It’s all up to you.
The game’s graphics are simple and sufficient, more reminiscent of GTA Vice City than MotoGP 2. You really don’t need much more than that from this type of game. All you see is your character doing the insane bike tricks that totally defy the laws of gravity, or your character bailing, resulting in a nice little bloody scene of the failed attempt.
The sound in the game is also great and truly enjoyable to listen to while playing. The sound in the game consists of alternative rock tracks which match this type of event perfectly. If you’ve ever seen the X-Games, you will understand this matches how hardcore the competitors are. With hardcore competition, you must have hardcore music and this type of music fits it best.
With blood and easy gameplay, what more can you ask for? Freestyle MetalX is great fun, and the controls are easy to pick up. It is also incredibly entertaining to see your player bail out. For you Tony Hawk players out there, this game might be a bit too easy, but you may still enjoy it.
Score : 8.2/10