Review: Pumped BMX + (PS4/PS3/PSV)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible No
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Pumped BMX +
Format: PlayStation Network Download (PS4 208 MB) (PS3 208 MB) (PSV 266 MB)
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: Yeah Us Limited, Curve Digital
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 16
Pumped BMX + is also available on Xbox One, Wii U, and PC.
The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

BMX games are few and far between. The last proper one that I can remember relied on putting XXX in the title and having one or two breasts in the game which probably ended up being counterproductive to selling copies of the game. That’s history now that we have Pumped BMX +.

Gameplay:
As Pumped BMX + is a Cross-Save and Cross-Buy title let me begin with mentioning that the controls for the PS3 and PS4 are identical and the PS Vita swaps the back touch for the L2 and R2 triggers. Aside from those slight differences the gameplay is indistinguishable across all the platforms.

You can play a quick tutorial that explains the simple and easy to understand controls and by the end of it you’ll be pulling off some crazy stunts. Then you play the first set of eight small levels which are very short but still allow for a lot of tricks, if you can get the timing right.

This is where I sometimes struggle in games like this, pressing anything, just mashing buttons, not knowing what the hell I’m doing but ending up doing some crazy moves. Whereas in this game I can easily see what my rider is doing and it helps massively when trying to combo moves and get my timing spot on.

Pumped BMX +_20150924224417 pumped-bmx-plus-psv-scr-01

The moves are simple and a list of them can be viewed quickly from the menu, allowing you to see what you have to achieve to get the next difficulty for the level and then easily accomplish it. You can easily concentrate on one level goal at a time without being penalized for it, something which a few other games of the same ilk should allow.

Some levels demand good timing and speed to be able to reach the end. Not having enough speed as you approach a jump will mean your rider not making the leap over a gap and coming to an abrupt and painful end. To gain speed you need to press X to pedal and when in the air you press it again to dive down which also gives a speed boost. Knowing when to do tricks and when to dive becomes paramount in achieving a good score, just as much as knowing the tricks.

… five hundred crazy challenges in the game …
There is a good selection of moves to learn and levels to perform them on. For the skilled riders I suggest going for the trophies as they add to the longevity by making you perform a complex set of tricks in one run, like The Boss trophy:
Do a 360 table, a toboggan to table, and a one hand table to turndown.

Completing four hundred of the five hundred crazy challenges in the game unlocks an Advanced Grinds mode that can be turned off and on in the Options Menu, as can Glitch Mode which you unlock once the game is complete. As you might have guessed from the amount of challenges this game has, it will take some time to complete but sadly it doesn’t have a Platinum Trophy.

Pumped BMX +_20150924224503 Pumped BMX +_20150924230115

Now you might have seen Pumped BMX and its sequel on Android and iOS and you’re thinking this is just a port of the original. Well fear not, Curve Digital has remade the game, graphics, and soundtrack. You’ve already read about the game so now read about the new visuals and audio.

Visuals:
Big, simplistic, and clean are the best words to describe Pumped BMX + and that’s what helps to make the game fun and easy to play. The cyclist and bike are big and easy to see, so when you’re pulling off insane stunts you can see when to stop and ready for a landing. The background and environment are uncluttered and never get in the way of the action.

… it almost looks as if his face is a mask …
Each area looks very different but stays in the same bold style. You can change the colour of the bike and alter the rider’s clothing and helmet. Or you can opt to have him wear no protective headgear, which is reckless but even funnier when he slams into the ground.

One thing that did bother me slightly was that the rider’s face has a constant never-changing smile, it begins to freak you out after a while. Plus if you look closely it almost looks as if his face is a mask. Maybe it is, maybe it’s really Tony Hawk underneath?

Pumped BMX +_20150924224958 Pumped BMX +_20150924230107

Audio:
There are some cool upbeat tunes that play during the menu and game that were added to this new version. There is also a really long pause when the last track finishes but most people won’t notice it. If you don’t like the music of SFX then you can always turn it off or adjust the levels in the Audio Menu.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

… well worth the bargain price …
Conclusion:
Pumped BMX + is an enjoyable game that many will find fun and entertaining. A few people will struggle with the speed mechanic and timing but once you get used to it the game is very addictive and fun. The difficulty is more forgiving than other games in the same genre and easier to play overall.

I normally dislike mobile game ports but Pumped BMX + is so much more. It retains what made the original fun and improves on the look, feel, and sound. This is a Cross-Buy/Cross-Save title that is well worth the bargain price.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4 and the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

PS Vita Screenshots

PS4 Screenshots

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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