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Review: Pumped BMX Pro (Xbox One)By ringlord71 At 12.03.2019 17:08

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In its simplest form, Pumped BMX Pro is about trying to get to the end of a short track filled with jumps. But there are challenges in each stage to complete, as well as trying to max out the five-star rating for tricks and overall points for the stage. The stages are short and only consist of a handful of jumps, while the challenges are designed to be a tutorial of sorts for the moves that can be pulled off in during the ride. The tricks are daring, and the animations look swell when the rider pulls off a move - and when they fail to do it, or can't stick the landing, the animation can be brutal in a cartoon-like way. To Pumped BMX Pro's credit, there are tons of tricks that can be pulled off, with three-tiers of different moves that are tied to the right-stick on the controller. Unfortunately, these tricks are when the BMX-fun can get a little "tricky" (pun intended).

The control scheme does run into plenty of issues, such as how "pumping," which is attributed to the 'A' button, is also a required button during the ride. Pumping is key for the rider to gain momentum when they are travelling down a hill, and letting go of the button just as the bike is about to launch off the ramp gives it extra height. Then pump again on the way down to keep that speed and momentum going. Unfortunately, the right-stick for trick either seems to have a problem registering moves correctly - or it just gets in the way often. One of the big issues with pulling off the required tricks for challenges is that holding the right-stick in the direction that corresponds to a specific move "may" work, sometimes. While reviewing this, there could easily have been a hundred times counted when moves just weren't pulling off, even though the right-stick would be pointing in the correct decision. The rider may "sometimes" put their hands in the air when prompted or perform a 'superman' or a 'toboggan.'

Even if there was a reason as to why moves weren't being pulled off properly, this also lack feedback in that department. For instance, if some moves were situational-based, not having any feedback from the game makes the ordeal even more frustrating, resorting to trial-and-error instead. By the way, trial-and-error can be great when there's a reward for the constant tribulations, however Pumped BMX Pro just seems to want to punish all the time. But taking the tricks out the drives bring about another issue: just completing a track is a challenge, as figuring out how to generate enough momentum to get the bike to travel the wide gaps between land is hard. This seems to be specific with when the "pump" gets used; press too early or too late and its stage restart. Either the rider will fail to propel into the air with great height, or any momentum will be killed on the way down. There is literally no room for error - though the quick restart by pressing 'Y' doesn't require any loading, so that's a win.

The challenges also seem oddly specific, and they are as pedantic as ever. For instance, when tasked to perform a 360-spin that basically means exactly what it asks. Don't even try doing a 720, though, the challenge won't get ticked off, even though the rider pulled off the 360, consecutively. However, when the controls are not causing more harm than good, Pumped BMX Pro is a fun experience that rewards great stage rides with good points. Performing harder tricks allows for a bigger score at the end, which then goes onto the worldwide leaderboards for bragging rights. The potential is here for this BMX title to do some cool things with the genre its in - but the trick controls of the right-stick do need some refining in terms of sensitivity with which direction it's pointing in.

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Final Score
[i]Pumped BMX Pro[/i] is a fun BMX platformer - when it wants to be. But, on the Xbox version anyway, the right-stick for tricks is a temperamental control that only sometimes performs the tricks, despite being held in the correct direction. Plus, the "pump" system is extremely specific with when to use it, and [i]Pumped BMX Pro[/i] takes no prisoners in miss-timed presses that will basically cause the rider to fail the stage. But once these kinks are worked out, this is definitely a BMX title worth checking out for those who don't want to invest in a heavy sim-based game, and opt for the more arcade-styled versions instead.

5

/10

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