Extreme Games is a hard game to review. The problem with this game (one of many, actually) is it's control. The game is slow, and the controls are not very responsive, something you are looking for in a game where you are racing for the quickest time possible. Although you can set the controls up on the keyboard any way that you like, none really feel all that comfortable. There are just too many buttons to remember them all, and have them set in a convenient way. You can use a game controller, but again, there are too many buttons for a two, or even four - button controller. It's possible to use both a gamepad and the keyboard, but that leads to even more problems.
Next up is the time required to play this game. It's simply way too long. A single stage takes upwards of ten minutes. That's a lot for a game where you are essentially doing the same thing for those ten straight minutes. What are you doing? Well, in addition to the obvious, trying not to fall, you must attempt to maneuver your way through the pack, using punches and kicks, much like the classic Road Rash. However, this game is no Road Rash. Road Rash is a fun, inventive game, while this is not.
This game does not do too much to emulate the fun of the actual sports. The atmosphere is not set very well either. There is some full - motion video, however it moves very slowly and is very unclear. The graphics are nothing special whatsoever. The players seem to be motion captured, and move realistically, but they are slow and the backgrounds are just scrolling, repeating basic backgrounds generalized to the region that you are playing in. There is some replay value simply due to the fact that there are four different sports on five different levels. However, after one season, you won't want to play much more. It's just too frustrating.
Graphics: Just average...nothing at all spectacular.
Sound: Very, very bad...sounds like elevator music.
Enjoyment: It's fun to punch and kick the other racers...that's it though.
Replay Value: You'll get bored quick.
ESPN Extreme Games lets the player access three modes of play: Exhibition, New Season or a continuation of a season. Exhibition mode helps the player get to know the courses and equipment as well as get a feel for the controls. New season offers the player the chance to race against sixteen other competitors on any of the four racing machines competing for season points as well as money to upgrade equipment.
Choose between roller blades, a luge (basically a sit-down skateboard), a mountain bike, and the skateboard. The player can also determine which character they want to race with, each one having a unique skill on one of the apparatus. For example one might be top-notch at roller blading but be bad at bike-riding so there is no point choosing the bike with him/her. In a season, the player competes in the five locations - three times, twelve in all and each time the obstacles become more and more tricky to avoid as well as the other racers becoming faster and more agile.
The tracks are:
Italy - Country roads leading down to a town area;
Lake Tahoe - Twisting roads and strategically placed haystacks;
South America - Lots of caves and thin jungle roads;
San Francisco - Hundreds of obstacles and hills;
Utah - Falling rocks, secret routes, and some hungry looking crocodiles.
People who downloaded ESPN Extreme Games have also downloaded:
FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, Hardball V Enhanced (a.k.a. Hardball 5 Enhanced), ESPN Baseball Tonight, Cricket 97, Hole in One, Ignition, Big Red Racing, Jack Nicklaus 5
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