Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mo'Bike 2

The tragedy of Mo'Bike 2 is that the title implies the existence of a Mo'Bike 1, and if we assume that the sequel is an improvement over the original, then the original must have been very fucking bad indeed. (I'd like to apologise for swearing in the very first sentence of this review. I'd like to, but I won't.)

The curiously-named Mo'Bike 2 allows you to don the helmet and leathers of a stunt bike driver, achieving spectacular feats of two-wheeled heroics without ever having to get anywhere near a line of twenty flaming buses. One nice thing I can say about the game is that it allows you a healthy degree of customisation, as you can pick from three types of motorcycle, determine your rider's colours and name your character. Naturally, I did what I always do when given this option, because I have the mentality of a twelve-year-old.

To hell with what anyone says - real men wear pink. And the toughest guys in the world are drag queens. Think about - he's out in public wearing a dress. He has nothing to lose by kicking your ass.

Anyway, our intrepid hero, Randy Hardlove, begins his career in motorcycle stunts by jumping over a pit of spikes. Jesus, he ain't fuckin' around, is he? Before you begin each level, you're required to choose the height of your ramp and the distance between brake markers (basically, you need to stop in this area after successfully landing to complete the level.) Considering the medium setting for this area is only slightly bigger than my bike, you'll forgive me for acting like a pussy and changing it to the easier setting. Of course, you wouldn't think anyone would care where I stopped, as long as I got over the twenty feet of steel spikes that were sticking six feet out of the ground. Apparently, someone does.

You control the speed of your rider with the use of a slide bar. OK, so this is where I have a problem. What was an intriguing game has now become a study of how often one is willing to screw up a simple jump for the hollow satisfaction of declaring oneself a winner. The slide determines the rate of acceleration, and the margin for error is so small that more often than not you'll either overshoot the landing ramp...

...or come up sadly short.

And he's OK!

Even if you do land perfectly, there's always the chance that you'll brake too early or too late and not stop perfectly in the designated zone. All of a sudden it becomes abundantly clear why you get plenty of lives.

Assuming you ever make it through level one, your next challenge is the ring of fire. But hey, why go for one ring of fire when you can have two?

Probably because it more than doubles the risk and makes fiery death an even greater possibility.

I was shocked to discover that I had arranged the height of the ramp and gauged the rate of acceleration correctly, and made a perfect landing on the other side...

But stopped slightly before I was entirely between the brake markers.

Right, that's it. I've wasted an entire evening to this game, and I refuse to waste any more. With a lot of practice you'll no doubt complete all of the levels in Mo'Bike 2, but would anyone really want to spend that much time on an infuriating online game like this when there are thousands of others that don't require hours of dedication? The answer, as far as I can see, is an emphatic "No."

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