Motorbike review for PSN

Platform: PSN
Publisher: Bakno Games
Developer: Bakno Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

It’s not often that I find myself playing a truly awful game. Most of the titles we tend to cover are sort of middle of the road at worst, but sometimes something really bad sneaks its way through. We don’t tend to cover most licensed junk, and outside of the occasional big budget game that really rubs us the wrong way, an F score isn’t a typical sight here. But if there was ever a game deserving of such a score, Motorbike is it.

It?s a Trials HD clone that has none of the bells, whistles, design or charm of the XBLA classic. Even something like Urban Trial Freestyle, another clone game available on PSN, trumps Motorbike in every way imaginable, and I found UTF to be a middling experience at best.

motorbike 001
This doesn’t really represent the Motorbike experience well.

Motorbike tosses a couple different bikes, four character skins, a handful of outfits, and some paint jobs on to the bikes available for you to check out. There?s no unlockable content, all 80 single player tracks are available from the start, and then there?s some online (leaderboards) tracks that differ from the single player experience. There?s local co-op and competitive modes, but I?ll be damned if I?m going to force someone else to experience this mess.

Right from the start of the title screen, you?ll realize you?re looking at something not only low budget, but something that clearly wasn?t ready for digital prime-time. The static black background behind the bright yellow menu interface, which is clunky and slow to navigate through, screams amateur hour. And while there?s nothing wrong with independent sized efforts, I?ve ran into almost no independently developed titles on PC and PSN that have such a lazy effort tacked on as Motorbike does, not only with its presentation but also with its gameplay.

When you select a track to play, you?ll quickly come to find that the game plays as if someone enjoyed Trials HD, but had no idea how to make the physics work. Everything about this experience feels off, the weight of both bike and rider are inconsistent and difficult to plan for, and standard Trials-style functions like bunny hops feel awkward and unintuitive. Your bike will flip end over end with the slightest of nudges, and obstacles placed in tracks are there strictly to be cumbersome and aggravating, with little thought given to placement and track design. And while there are 80 tracks to play through, I challenge anyone to actually do so. You?ll get about 10 tracks in before throwing your hands up in disgust, because no aspect of Motorbike ever feels fun.

motorbike 002
But this totally does.

Flipping through later tracks for a taste of what?s to come doesn?t give much hope for Motorbike to get better. While the design of some tracks attempt to mirror the large scale, impressive layouts of titles like Trials HD and Urban Trial Freestyle, the developers of Motorbike clearly have no idea how to execute those concepts well. Frustration is constant throughout each track, and resets are an arduous process considering the camera needs to pan all the way back to the beginning of the track, instead of simply flashing back and allowing you to make another attempt. Also, crashing to the point of ejecting your rider from the bike doesn?t result in an automatic reset, as if the game thinks you should be able to soldier on, when clearly you can?t.

And while this is one of the few Trials clones to implement a track editor, the layout and execution of said editor is equally baffling. I toyed around with designs but could hardly make anything great, and had little idea what most of the icons meant or how to properly create or design tracks. The handful of attempts that I did make usually resulted in my bike and rider falling down a pit right at the beginning of a track, and there?s no solid interface description or tutorial present that I could find.

I have absolutely nothing positive to say about my experience with Motorbike on PSN, and highly urge everyone to avoid this at all costs. It?s not even worth the time of the download, much less the purchase price.

Grade: F