Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX
|Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX|
North American Playstation cover art
|Developer(s)||Shaba Games (PS1)
HotGen (GBC & GBA)
LTI Gray Matter (PC)
|Engine||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater|
Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX is a BMX video game endorsed by Mat Hoffman and published by Activision. The first game to launch under Activision's short-lived Activision O2 label, it served as a spin-off to the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series and competed directly with Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX. Despite a planned release in fall of 2000, the game was released on May 14, 2001 for the PlayStation and Game Boy Color. Ports were made for the Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows and Game Boy Advance. A sequel was released the following year.
Following the success of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Activision looked to expand its line of video games to other extreme sports outside of just skateboarding. Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX would be the first of such efforts. A demo version of the game is available in the options menu in the PlayStation version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 which features two BMX riders and a beta version of the finished game's first level. Despite a "fall 2000" release listed in the demo, the game would be delayed until its eventual release in May 2001, nearly eight months after Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX was released.
Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX uses a tweaked version of the game engine used in a similar video game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. The goal of the game is to successfully perform and combine different tricks on a BMX bike, with successful executions adding to the player's score. The point value of the trick is based on time maintained, degrees rotated, number of tricks performed in sequence, and the number of times the tricks have been used (the more often a trick is used, the less it's worth). Successful tricks also add to the player's special meter, which, once full, allows for the execution of "signature moves" which are worth more than normal tricks. Grinds, lip tricks, and manuals (wheelies) are included in the game to help the player link tricks together into combos. Bails (falling off the bike due to poor landing) cause for no points to be awarded for the attempted trick or combo, and resets the special bar to empty.
The player can play as one of eight different professional BMX riders, including Mat Hoffman, Rick Thorne, and Mike Escamilla. Tony Hawk is featured as a hidden character, as is a fictional elderly character named "Granny". Each rider has their own individual stats, bikes, and trick-sets.
Ten levels exist in the game (including two remade levels from Pro Skater), consisting of street, vert, and dirt track-oriented courses. Secret areas, point-bonuses, and many breakable objects are scattered amongst the levels.
Career Mode — In Career Mode, the player has five magazine covers (i.e. objectives) to obtain in six of the eight levels. The player has only two minutes in which to obtain a cover after which their run ends; however, individual objectives are marked off once completed. In each level, two of the covers are acquired by reaching set scores (with the second score being two to three times the amount required for the first), one is obtained by collecting the five letters to spell "T-R-I-C-K", one is a hidden cover which the player must find in the level, and one requirement varies from level to level, but always involves doing something to five objects (e.g., "smash five lights"). The other two levels are competitions, where the goal is to receive a gold, silver, or bronze medal by ranking higher than the other riders. In these levels, the basis for ranking is not the player's score, but the mean number of points given on a scale of one to ten by three computer AI judges after three sets. Advancing in Career mode allows the player to unlock new levels, bikes, and secret riders.
Single Session — In this mode, the player chooses a BMX rider, an available bike, and available level, and rides for a two-minute session in an attempt to set a high score. While similar to the two-minute session in career mode, there are no specific goals for the player to attempt.
Free Ride — Free Ride is similar to the Single Session mode; the player chooses a BMX rider, an available bike, and an available level. Instead of a two-minute timer, however, there is no time limit, allowing the player to practice or simply explore, searching for gaps and secrets areas.
Multiplayer modes — The game features several split-screen multi-player modes including Trick Attack, Horse, and Graffiti.
Park Editor — This mode allows the player to create their own level by arranging various ramps, rails, and other pieces. Gaps can be created and named, and the player's starting positions can also be chosen by the player. Once a created park is finished, the level can be accessed in the game's "Single Session", "Free Ride", and multiplayer modes. Five pre-made parks, which were created using Park Editor, were included in the game as samples of the editor's potential.
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The game received generally positive reviews upon release. Jeff Gerstmann of Gamespot commented "While the game doesn't have the trick depth of its closest competitor, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, Hoffman simply blows Mirra out of the water in every other way imaginable and stands as the best BMX game on the market." David Smith of IGN stated "I'd be ready to write off Dave Mirra completely after playing this, if it weren't for the fact I like Acclaim's lineup of riders so much," while also praising the game's soundtrack. Both reviewers rated the game a 7.8 out of 10. Despite similar Activision O2 releases such as Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder and Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, only Mat Hoffman's would spawn a sequel.