Pumped BMX + Review
Pumped BMX+, currently on a 20% off sale on PSN, is an entertaining bicycle trick game from Yeah Us Limited and Curve Digital that evokes the old-school Tony Hawk "one more try" vibe. In a sidescrolling BMX playground, your goal is to plow through the challenging terrain while aiming for a high score, pulling off specific tricks to get the extra achievements along the way. Having recently reviewed OlliOlli for the site when it released on Wii U and 3DS and played it's sequel through PlayStation Plus, I can say that Pumped BMX is a little bit slower, but still requires the same level of skill to complete it's myriad of challenges.
Being a budget game (regular price $9.99, currently on sale for $7.99), Pumped BMX+ offers little in the way of customization or options, but a decent amount for what's there. While you don't have a bunch of different characters to play as, you can choose the outfit, bike color, and helmet of the protagonist. While you can't skip or change music tracks (the music continues, be it title, loading, or gameplay screens without a stop), the licensed soundtrack is full of catchy tunes that fit well with the genre. The graphics are simplistic and cartoony, and the ragdoll physics that kick in on a crash tend to amuse.
Gameplay is centered around authentic tricks. While chaining all of this insanity together is nigh impossible even for an expert, every trick in the game is grounded in reality. Your hands will feel the old Tony Hawk cramps, as you hold combinations of the shoulder buttons with angular directions on the right analog stick, all the while making sure you get maximum rotation and a level landing to keep going. Your biggest enemy is momentum, as tricks=speed, and if you don't have enough speed to make it up a hill, it's game over. Many times I was frustrated as my character slowly ground to a halt, as I thought I could just stand up on the pedals and push that last little bit over the hill. Resets are quick in the same level, though that arcadey feeling is frustratingly paused when you try to back out to the menu or head to the next zone just enough to be noticed.
Cross-Buy and Cross-Save are active on the PS3,4, and Vita editions of the game. The title is also available on Xbox One and Wii U as well. Therefore, the game has a bit more value on Sony platforms, but is still available everywhere else.
While not precisely the same as the classic game play, people wanting to get that "one more spin" tension so prevalent in the original Tony Hawk games will be pleasantly surprised with this little title. It may wear it's mobile origins on it's sleeve with it's simple style and mechanics, but it holds a depth of mastery that will bring completionists back for more.
A review copy was provided for The Gamers Lounge by Curve Digital.
Final Review: 3.5/5