Mx vs ATV Alive is a bizarre game. This is an era where game developers some*times tend to make sacrifices on the single player side of things so they can focus on the online multi player components of their games. However, none of those games ever force you to play multiplayer the way MX vs ATV Alive does. Don't get me wrong; the single player modes aren't locked away, but the way the game levels you up, you will either endlessly grind by replaying the same events over and over, or be forced to hop online.

It's no secret; MX vs ATV is a franchise in decline, thanks largely to the abysmal MX vs ATV Reflex, the previous game in the series. So to make this game more attractive, THQ has adopted a novel pricing strategy. At Rs 1,499, Alive is cheaper than most new games, but what this means is that it comes with no frills. All you get on the disc is the very core; everything else is sold separately via DLC. It's just the sort of strat*egy that a series such as this demands, because no one in their right minds is going to spend Rs 2,499 for an MX vs ATV game anymore.

This new strategy almost works too. Alive succeeds where Reflex failed - the game play. This is an off*road racing game, where as the name suggests, you can choose between dirt bikes and quads/ ATVs as your vehicles. As with any good game, controls are easy to pick up, but difficult to master. While simply negotiat*ing turns and overtaking opponents is simple enough, keeping your speed up as you constantly encounter bumps, ditches' and big-air jumps is considerably harder, and there are a couple of tools that the game grants you to get a leg up on the competion.

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Aggressive racing, good controls, deep customization. Not enough content, forces you to play multiplayer to level up.
tion. The first of these is the clutch, which helps you accelerate off the starting line, out of corners, and while landing jumps. The other is the seat bounce, which allows you go higher and father off jumps. The problem, however, is that the game doesn't explain how either of these features are used. Because this is a lower priced game, it doesn't come with a manual, and strangely, nei*ther is there a manual in-game. So you'll have to go to the game's website and download the PDF version to figure out the controls.

Racing in MX vs ATV Alive is extremely aggres*sive, and there is frequent~onmct between riders, especially on the smaller tracks. You're encour*aged to use other racers as barriers and speed breakers, but you'll find the aggreSSive AI using you for the sam"e. To ensure that this doesn't result in frequent, annoying crashes, the game includes the wreck avoidance feature. When you're about to lose balance and :rash, you'll notice a prompt on screen telling you to push .the analog stick in a specific directii:n'l Doing so in time will allow you to stay on course. It works way better than it did in Reflex, and it's a great way to keep the momentum up in tR,ese intense races.

There's no career mode to speak of; just a bunch of regular lapped races and ~maller races on tiny, overlapping circuits, which level you up as you win and earn in-game medals. After around four races, if you've performed well, you'll find yourself at around level 4, and that's where you'll hit a wall. Every subsequent race is locked till you've reached at least level 10. Aside from the races, there's a free-roam mode that gives you three open environments to muck around in, perform tricks (which aren't fun to pull off at all), and find hidden secrets. Doing so will also earn you rewards and level you up a little further, but you still won't reach level 10 from just the single*player modes.