Allow me to start this review by saying that I love games. I love playing and analyzing them...that much is obvious because that’s why I’m here, writing for GameFocus. From the triple-A, perfect-ten games, to the mid-range, to the worst clunkers, video games are a joy no matter how great or bad they can be. That’s why you’re here, valued reader: because you love to play games, and to read about them. By reviewing and writing about games, I can only hope to impart a tiny bit of wisdom to help you in spending your hard-earned gaming dollar on titles that earn it. After reading what I have to say about Red Bull X-Fighters, consider yourself helped.
It seems to be a pretty wide-spread assumtpion that if a game gets little press from the developer before release, it’s going to be a stinker. Such is the impending doom bestowed upon Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour. When I found out that I’d be reviewing it, I had to do extensive research on it just to figure out what I was going to be dealing with, because I had never heard of it before. Since the game is sponsored by a popular energy drink, I assumed that this would be a free-to-play downloadable title, much like Yaris was a few years ago for the Xbox 360. The fact that you are 800 Microsoft Points (or $10) poorer after having bought it is a travesty. Unfortunately, much like the disaster that was Yaris, this game also occupies the owned-but-quickly-forgotten limbo with all the other deleted games from my hard drive.
Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, a single-player experience only available on Xbox Live Arcade, is a motocross stunt game based on the actual racing event. Developed by Xendex and published by Konami, X-Fighters offers four modes of play in addition to a Training Mode: Show Off, Time Trial, Performer and Pressure. Each mode can be played in six different countries, so to its credit, there IS alot of meat on this Red Bull bone. The object is to race through any given track and perform tricks in the air with your bike. There are twenty tricks to learn in all, each with a progressively harder button combination. Fortunately, X-Fighters leaves the button combo on the screen as you’re racing through the track, so memorization is not required, but I still found it difficult to perform many of the tricks before the bike hit the ground. You are given a score based on whether or not you performed the predetermined tricks during the run. As you get more points and progress through the game, you unlock more bikes, rider outfits and areas, and the corresponding modes for said areas. After that, it’s just lather, rinse, and repeat. So, the quantity of content is present... but the quality is missing.
Visually, Red Bull X-Fighters is difficult to look at. In this generation of gaming, we’ve become spoiled with the graphical capabilities of our consoles. There is no longer a valid excuse for a game not looking at least halfway decent. The colors are dull and the entire game seems a bit fuzzy around the edges. More time could have, and should have, been spent on the visual aspect. The left analog stick controls the forward and backward tilt of your bike, and it turns out to be somewhat unresponsive. I almost broke the left stick off trying to lean the bike forward in the air before landing. I also found it difficult to maneuver my fingers while trying to accomplish some of the trickier button combinations, to the point where I gave up a few times. And I have big hands. There is not a lot of variety in the tracks, despite there being a few different locations to explore. All of the tracks blend in to one another, and they eventually all start to feel the same. There is nothing to separate one track from the next, giving the game a rushed feeling.
I hate to say it, but Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour is just not fun. There is a lot to do, but a seasoned gamer can burn through the entire thing in a couple of hours. I mentioned earlier that I expected this to be a free game, and it certainly should have been, given the quality. To charge $10 for this is unacceptable. X-Fighters ends up being Trials HD’s gangly younger brother whom no one wants to pick for the their team, kicking at the sand in the back corner with its hands in its pockets. Trials HD is “The Dark Knight”, and Red Bull X-Fighters is George Clooney’s “Batman & Robin”. It’s that bad.
Release date : 2011-09-13
Publisher : Konami
Gameplay : Racing
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