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PlayStation 3 Review: MX vs. ATV Alive

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MX vs. ATV Alive, the fifth game in the franchise, for PlayStation 3 is a fun racing game that allows the user to choose between Motocross and ATV races. Racing games can take a lot of practice to master and this one is no exception. There are several track and vehicle options to choose from and all will present both benefits and hindrances to increasing your racing skills. 

MX vs. ATV Alive has both long and short races. Only a few of the tracks are available at the first level of the game, with additional tracks opening up as more races are completed. The longer tracks are much more interesting and more fun to play.

The scenery is quite detailed and provides quite a few challenges including hills and twists and turns. There are also a wide variety of vehicles to choose from. The bikes are much easier to handle and develop riding skills on than the ATVs. I found myself struggling to place in the ATV races, while after few go rounds on a bike I was finishing in first place. 

The progression of the game is fairly basic. Players must compete in races in order for their rider to gain skills and unlock better performing vehicles as well as more advanced tracks. Riders start as “Weekend Warriors” with a small amount of slower stock vehicles. You then compete in races and the better you do the higher you can progress from the rookie to the pro ranks. New riders are mentored by Motocross champion James Stewart, though the mentoring is primarily just some short video clips that come on after a player does well in a race. The video clips might be cool for Motocross fans but the average player probably won’t get a lot out of them.  They mostly just offer some words of encouragement.

What is most impressive about MX vs. ATV Alive is the detail. The action is realistic and gives a “you are there” type of intensity. There are all types of modifications to the vehicles both included and available for download. Also available for download are content for a player’s favorite mode, gear, and additional race tracks. All of this additional content makes the game very customizable. It can be played with multiplayer online, with a friend at home, or as a single player. One of the great things about this game is that it is fun to play right out of the box. You don’t have to download anything or play online to enjoy playing MX vs. ATV Alive.

The controls are fairly easy to learn for players who are new to this type of game, though becoming a really good rider will take some time. The most frustrating part of the controls is the herky jerky way it resets after a fall. It’s not a smooth transition back to being upright and it takes too long. On the plus side, there are a lot of choices for game play including the short and long races and competing in the Nationals for the Motocross Championship title. There is also the ability practice riding skills and ride tracks outside of the pressure of a race. Overall this is a good title for fans of racing games.


MX vs. ATV Alive is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for mild language, mild suggestive themes, mild violence. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.