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Nate Adams Freestyle Motocross

For: Mobile

Will this tough off-road bike sim get your moto running or just make you cross?

Product: Nate Adams Freestyle Motocross | Developer: Xendex Entertainment | Publisher: Iplay | Format: Mobile | Genre: Hardcore, Simulation, Sports | Players: 1 | File size: 64-148 Kb | Reviewed on: V800 other handsets
Nate Adams Freestyle Motocross Mobile, thumbnail 1
Playing Nate Adams Freestyle Motocross for the first time unavoidably brought to our minds the stars of children's BBC TV, the Chuckle Brothers. Should you have been unfortunate enough to have missed this comedy 'gem' then think Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin. The plot of each show would inevitably feature the two hapless characters as removal men negotiating stairs with a piano/ladder/china dinner service/large pane of glass (depending upon the episode), repeatedly saying 'to me', 'to you' as they attempted to carefully negotiate obstacles. Several near misses ensue before the predictable pay-off where the object falls, smashes or meets with some other hilarious consequence. Can you see it? Are you wincing at the near-misses, shielding your eyes from the smash but then enjoying a little schadenfraude? Good, then you're fully prepared for your first half hour of Freestyle Motocross action.

Unlike other vehicular sims which are happy to see you simply steer left and right and push a button to go faster, Nate Adams recreates the movement of your motorcycle and rider with rather more attention to physics, albeit in a 2 dimensional way (the game is viewed side on). Speed forward up an incline and the rider will be pushed back in the saddle raising the front wheel, plunge forward and he'll tend to pitch forward over the handlebars. Lean too far in either direction and your character will end up eating gravel or pinned beneath his trial bike, neither of which are desirable positions to be in, even in the sport of motocross.

The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by adjusting the position of Nate in his seat to try and keep the bike level using the left and right buttons. The even better news is that you can deliberately force the machine to become unbalanced in order to pull off a variety of wheelies, endos, flips and other special stunts triggered by a combination of button presses, which not only look damn impressive, they are rewarded by a smart onscreen flash and a top up of your nitro bar to provide a little extra speed boost.

Which, in a round-about way, brings us back to the Chuckle Brothers, as the actual gaming experience translates into a rather more action packed version of their 'to me, to you' sketch, frequently with equally calamitous (and not entirely unhumorous) results. The control system, whilst not impossible to master, is challenging and demands the use of both hands plus a good joypad. Even when you do get to grips with the controls you will, without a shadow of a doubt, repeatedly get it wrong, especially when attempting to the more exotic stunts like flips. And, if you're particularly malicious, you might even spend a little time getting it wrong on purpose in order to create the most violent crashes possible. Fortunately ol' Nate is made of sterner stuff and, regardless of how many ribs he's fractured in a previous fall, will simply dust himself oo and get back on his trial bike within a couple of seconds ready to crack on. Which is just as well, as each level challenges you with an increasingly tight time limit in which to perform an increasingly tough list of stunts. Although each level is short (most are under a minute) you can expect to attempt each level several times before you pass muster and are able to move on.

Once you do complete a track fresh challenges are unlocked and you get the opportunity to compete against your previous best performance in a 'ghost' mode, where your most successful attempt is recreated with a ghostly grey rider on screen with you. This undoubtedly adds considerable replay value to the game and with a total of 21 tracks on offer and 8 separate stunts that can be attempted in various combinations, those that can overcome the initial frustration with the controls will keep dropping in (with a no hander back flip) over a good few weeks. Less patient and dextrous players may well retire frustrated much sooner, but they're still guaranteed a chuckle.
Nate Adams Freestyle Motocross
Reviewer photo
Chris Jame | 19 July 2005
A well-balanced if challenging, stunt-packed sim that offers a good laugh!
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