Bike Rider DX Review

Title: Bike Rider DX
Developer: Spicysoft Corporation
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  57 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

PlayStation Mobile is a series of Mobile games available both for the PlayStation Vita and many of Sony’s smartphones and tablets.  It has an entire secton of the PlayStation Store devoted to it, only accessible on a device that can run the games, and is often overlooked by many people.  I found myself overlooking it, for the most part, for a long time.  Once I started getting games for it, though, I realized that the service has a lot of fun games in it.

To help promote the service, Sony has been running a Festive Giveaway, with giving away two PlayStation Mobile games each week to anyone who gets on and downloads them.  They’ve already done an update this week, which was done yesterday, which added two more to the service.  Last week, though, they released a new game called Bike Rider DX, which was given away, alongside another PlayStation Mobile game.

We at the PlayStation Review Network took advantage of the giveaway and downloaded Bike Rider DX.  Having spent a good amount of time with it, we found it worthy of writing and have prepared a review of the game for those of you interested both in PlayStation Mobile and this game.  It Bike Rider DX worth the price tag it’s got now of $5.99?  It’s time you found out.  Here is our review of Bike Rider DX.

Story

The story of Bike Rider DX is a simple one.  There are no big scenes throughout the game.  No deep character development.  This mobile game keeps everything simple, from controls to the storyline.  You star as a Stickman riding a Mountain Bike throughout the world.  You take part in a Grand Prix tournament which takes you through ten famous locations around the globe.  From Tokyo to Giza to New York City, you see a lot of different sorts of scenery.

Other than this, there really is no story to it.  In all honesty, the game isn’t about story.  The game’s focus is on its gameplay, so if you’re looking for a great storyline, you have come to the wrong place.  While there technically is a plotline, it’s not focused on in the game and you really have to think to realize just what it is.

Gameplay

At its most basics, Bike Rider DX is a 2D Platformer.  You are traveling across a 2D plane and trying to get from one side to the other.  You are able to do this using the jumping abilities of your bike to get from one platform to another, along with avoiding obstacles, such as spike traps, bottomless pits, cliffs, other bike riders, birds, and more.

Essentially, you’re in a race, but there aren’t any heavy racing elements in the game.  You will not see other bike riders terribly often, as you would in a racing game.  This is more of just a platformer where you need to survive, rather than a racing game, where you need to focus on getting past all the other racers before reaching the goal.  Your main goal will be to not hit any walls or obstacles and remaining on solid ground until you reach the goal flag at the end of the stage.

There are also Gold Coins to collect in each stage.  These are in various locations throughout the stage, and there are only three in each stage.  Some of these are easy to get, and others are tricky.  To get some of the achievements in the game and unlock extra stages, you’ll need to collect a lot of these.  Another good way to use these is to use them as markers for how far into the stage you are.  When you collect a stage, it will fill in a circle on the HUD on which coin you collected.  For example, if you missed the first coin, but got the second coin, the circle displaying Coin 2 will be filled, so you’ll know you’re about halfway through the current stage.

The game spans ten famous locations around the world and, in each of those locations, the game features five different stages with goals to reach.  In total, the game has about fifty stages in its normal mode, the World Tour Mode.  There is also a Grand Prix Mode you take part in, which kind of an Endurance Mode.  In this mode, you can choose a difficulty between Normal and Hard (Hard needs to be unlocked before it is accessible).  This puts you in a stage that is endless and will measure the distance you reach, in meters, until you wipeout.

This Game Mode also has a Ranking feature, which allows you to look in each difficulty to see what your maximum distance record is, so you can go in and try to beat it.  I, personally, found Grand Prix a little more tricky, overall, than World Tour.  Not that World Tour isn’t tricky at points, but Grand Prix is tricky from the moment it starts to the moment it ends.

When traveling through each stage, you will get to each platform either by riding onto it with your bike, or by jumping onto it.  Your bike is capable of jumping, double-jumping and, with precision button timing a triple jump or higher.  The key is to jump with the right timing to fall onto a platform at the end of a jump right on the mark.  You will be using the jumping feature the most as there are several pits and cliffs in the game you need to get over.

To further assist in getting from one end of the stage to the other, there are various powerups displayed across each stage.  When you collect a red Jewel in a stage, you are given a pre-determined powerup.  These vary, from adding a rocket engine to the back of the bike to increase your speed to a Gliding Racecar that allows you to jump and glide across the air to cross big gaps of distance.  The powerups are great, but not all of them are fitting for each situation.  Some of them are more trouble than they are worth and can get you killed.  Be aware of that when collecting them.

As far as time is concerned, the game’s fifty stages don’t take long to complete.  While there will be many stages, especially in the later sets of stages, that you will need to replay from the tricky difficulty and learning where to jump and when to jump, the game isn’t extraordinarily long.  I’d say that, if you wanted to get all the coins in the stages, as well as unlocking Hard Mode in Grand Prix, the game will take 2-3 hours of your time.

As such, the game isn’t a very long game is more useful in short, pick-up-and-play bursts.  Otherwise, you would knock out the entire game out once and pretty much be done with it in a short day.

Controls

Everything in Bike Rider DX is incredibly simple.  From the platforming to the stages, and even the controls, are very simple in nature.  The game only uses four of the buttons on the PlayStation Vita system to navigate both the stages and the menu, so you won’t have a hard time learning a control scheme.  Two of the face buttons and two of the D-Pad buttons are all that is required to play and master the elements of this game.

The interesting part of this game is the lack of touch controls.  Being a PlayStation Mobile title, Bike Rider DX was modified for the PlayStation Vita.  Once you boot up the game and start playing it, you will be using the buttons and only the buttons.  I tried finding an area for touch controls to see what they were like, but there are no touch controls in this game.  It is completely on the buttons to control this game.

While in-game, you will be using either the X or Circle button to jump and double-jump.  They both do the same function, so you may use whichever button is more comfortable for you to use.  Apart from that, the controls go into the Left and Right D-Pad buttons.  While on the ground you can use the Left button to slow down to carefully time a jump, and Right to increase your speed to use the most of your temporary powerups.  While you’re in the air, you can do the same thing.  Use left to slow down in mid-air, and right to speed up.

Other than that, the only real control left in the game is using the Start Button to open up the menu, which is mainly if you wish to exit the game or retry the stage you’re currently working on, in case you missed something, like one of the Gold Coins.

Presentation

As I have mentioned earlier in this review, Bike Rider DX is a 2D game.  As such, when you look at it, it really looks a lot like a Flash game, as many Mobile games do.  The style, especially of the character model, reminds me of Fancy Pants Adventures.  The character model looks similar, anyways.  Imagine that game, but with more detailed environments and the character riding a bicycle instead of running through each stage.  That is what I think the game most looks like.

The audio sounded very nostalgic.  The game’s sound effects borrowed many cliché’d sounds from various media.  Each time you collect a Gold Coin, you hear a dinging sound that is very similar to the sound you hear when you earn a coin in the Super Mario games.  The other noises, that clarify when enemies are near, also sound familiar to me, though I cannot pinpoint where I have heard them from.  But the whole game’s audio gave me a very nostalgic feel when playing it.

Overall

All in all, Bike Rider DX is a fun little casual platformer that is great for pick-up-and-play sessions.  Once you get through each Game Mode, there’s no real incentive to replay it, so we suggest you not play it through all at once.  It’s a short game, but a fun one.  If you’re looking for a platformer for wasting time, it’s a good way to go.

The PlayStation Review Network Rates Bike Rider DX a 7/10.  

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