Mad Riders Review (Xbox Live Arcade)

Posted by Jim Cook, May 29, 2012 22:39

Digital distribution has made it a lot easier to release games from genres that aren’t quite as popular as they used to be. The arcade-style racer, as embodied by the Cruis’n series, Outrun, and so on, is one of the more noteworthy examples. Mad Riders has a lot in common with those games despite its ATV theme and use of rank-based unlockables that are awarded as you play, and is enjoyable if you’re willing to put up with some infrequent problems.Mad Riders graphic

Played as either a single-player game or multiplayer via Xbox Live (or system link), Mad Riders has you hurry to the finish line with very fast and loose physics that keep things wild. It doesn’t have much use for realism, and will simply deposit you back on the track a few seconds after even the most insane crashes. You’re encouraged to not only learn the track’s layout, but find spots that are good for stunts. Successful stunts, such as double backflips, award boost meter that you can spend to go even faster for a short time.

Each race is pretty short, taking only a few minutes apiece. True to its sub-genre, you will making near-constant turns and jumps broken up by occasional straight areas to make better use of boost. This might make for a pretty simple game on its own, though a series of rank-based unlocks (similar to what you find in some first person shooters) could help hold your interest. You not only gain cosmetic things such as new riders, but whole new bikes as well. The first several unlocks come quickly, though the pace does understandably slow down after a while.

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Our Rating for Mad Riders Review (Xbox Live Arcade)
7.0 Replay
As is typical for most racing games, the replay value in Mad Riders is mostly tied to how interested you are in mastering each track. The ability to unlock new cosmetic options and ATVs is a nice addition however.
7.0 Graphics
While by no means extraordinary, the visuals do their job of conveying a wild off-road racing theme. The only real problem, an infrequent one, is that a few tracks have the camera set in such a way that it’s hard to tell where you’re going until you bumble off-course a couple times.
6.5 Sound
Passable music and sound effects set the mood for a race. You’re not going to be deeply impressed by any of it, but you won’t be annoyed either.
7.5 Gameplay
Excellent controls and an emphasis on quick thrills keeps things moving smoothly. There’s no need to worry about tuning your ride to the finest detail, it’s fine to just pick the one you like and then go race. With an emphasis on stunts and forgiving crashes with a quick respawn, this isn’t realistic but it is fun.
7.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Very basic, but the online functionality does what it needs to. It plays reasonably smoothly and even lets those racing in single-player mode unobtrusively know when there is an open session to join if they wish.
7.0 Overall
An enjoyable arcade-style racer at a fair price, Mad Riders easily holds its own against similar competitors in the XBLA library.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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