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Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Motorbike (PSN)

Trials HD meets a sandbox in a game that's seriously flawed.

I don't really want to beat up on developer baKno's Motorbike. Really, I don't, but there's just so much wrong with this game that I don't think I can come up with anything positive to say about it.

Motorbike basically has the goal of setting you to do some tricks and race along a 2D track filled with obstacles. It's a simple premise and games like the aforementioned Trials HD carried through the same design and implementation flawlessly and to no end of critical and fan acclaim.

Looks like fun, no?
The thing is, if you're going to do a game like this you have to have a quality physics engine. Motorbike, uh, doesn't... but that's not the only less than stellar part of this game because this bike feels like it needed a tin more time in the shop.

Motorbike offers over 75 tracks and a create-a-track level maker. Now, that sounds great doesn't it? Here's the issue- you won't play those 75+ levels. Just trust me on this one. The stages featured in Motorbike run the gamut from dull and lifeless to mind-numbingly difficult. And I don't mean difficult because they're challenging by the way. I mean it in the sense that the level design is quite frankly impossible to have any fun with.

After I bashed my sanity against the rocks that was Motorbike's career mode, I moved on to the game's level builder. I thought I could build a stage that was better and more fun to play with than any the designers apparently built while blindfolded. I was wrong.

Spider-Bike, Spider-Bike
Again though, this wasn't so much because of the fact that I'm no game designer, it was because the level designer in Motorbike is horribly unwieldily. It's actually so bad that I seriously think baKno may have just shipped the game without finishing the thing.

Placing obstacles resulted in nothing sometimes while success and then a test playthrough ended up with my rider and bike tumbling into the void of the inside of the backdrop. Yes, seriously. And this happened several times, so I know it wasn't just a freak occurrence.

Graphically, Motorbike is mostly passable. The levels themselves don't look so hot, but the rider and his bike as well as the obstacles all look pretty good. It's a strange dichotomy as there must have been a point where the developers were putting quite a bit of work into the looks of the game and then just kind of said 'okay, that's gonna be it then'. Weird.

Welcome to the most un-intuitive creation engine ever.
Then again maybe they just realised that looks are almost completely meaningless when you consider what's really wrong with this game.

Motorbike is nearly unplayable and what you do get out of it isn't really what I'd call 'fun'... more like work. The graphics are iffy, the sound design is nonexistent, the controls are terrible and the level maker is broken.

Unless baKno releases a patch for this Motorbike that fixes a lot (and that'd have to be one big patch), then this bike might best be left out behind the shed, rusting its way into oblivion.



- Jason M
News Editor

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Review: Motorbike (PSN)
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