Creativity, like anything, is in the eye of the beholder. What is true for one person could be false for another. Motorbike is one of those few times when there is no eye, just a universal acceptance there is something wrong and that creativity was taken too far with little substance to hold it together.
Motorbike is a bare bones clone of Urban Trials Freestyle. I call it bare bones because the entire game is a do-it-yourself project. The company made their own tracks to start a player off but the only selling point to the game is the ability to play tracks made from people online. However, with that said, some of the tracks available have no rhyme or reason to their creation. On the surface they look well done, but when they are actually raced on major flaws spring up.
Just like Urban Trials Freestyle each race takes place on a straight line track. All the player has to do is hit the gas and go straight. No steering required. The difficulty comes from balancing your bike so it won’t tip over from landings or going over obstacles, and also any thing that touches the biker will knock him out and force a restart. It is a game for the perfectionist in each of us. Having reviewed Urban Trials Freestyle and given it a good score, the one-hit knockouts were not a bother. It made things difficult but reasonable. In Motorbike there are too many other problems that this just compounds.
Firstly, with the knockouts themselves there is a long respawn time. I timed it at six seconds. Granted, this isn’t exactly a long time, but just imagine getting knocked off the bike constantly on a difficult stage — it soon adds up. You can speed it up by pressing select but it doesn’t speed up the screen panning from crash point to the starting line. Keep wiping out at the end of a stage and then it is a long wait to restart.
Secondly is the stages themselves. Due to the cumbersome bike physics and the one-hit KO, a lot of the race tracks are just impossible to finish, or indeed even remotely fun to play. Even if you were invincible with Burnout Paradise physics there is no rhyme or reason to some of the course designs built into the game or from the online server.
Lastly, and most importantly, there is no reason to play the game. There literally is no carrot at the end of a stick to grind away at the game. No story, no points, no stars to unlock stuff, just a time trial record that is not worth the time invested in trying to get a good time. I’m a Trophy whore, and 99 per cent of the time even if I hate a game at least the Trophies give me a reason to bear through the pain. However, the Trophy list for this game is not worth the time, as getting through one race is painful let alone 100 of them.
For what comes off as a budget game the graphics are good, which is a pleasant surprise. Are they top tier? No, but at least they don’t look reminiscent of the PSone days. The backgrounds are also nice but sadly with all your concentration being spent on not getting KO’ed the only time available to look at them is when your limp, dead body is teleported through the air from a mine. Yes, that is right, to add to the one-hit frustration you also have to worry about land minds. The player also gets to choose from four different character models that are at least aesthetically pleasing. Two are male and two are female, with one each being dressed in casual and professional motocross attire. No stats accompany each character though.
Overall this is simply a build-your-own-linear-race-track game with no extras, no incentives, nothing but a dev kit. I hope that the creator learns from this and tries to make a better sequel, if there ever is one. Urban Trials Freestyle proved a game like this can work, but Motorbike simply feels like an alpha build dressed in a finished product’s clothing.