By: Jeff Cater
Motorbike by baKno Games is what the gaming industry would refer to as a product in the Alpha stage of development. For some reason, though, it was released to the PlayStation Store at a whopping price of $15. It’s a hell of a bumpy ride; that is, if you can even play more than 10 seconds without quitting out of frustration.
The game feels like it’s trying hard to trick you into thinking that you’re playing Trials Evolution, but it fails miserably. The leaning of your rider is so touchy that the slightest tip can trigger a back flip or bury your front end into a pebble. Not only do the controls feel sloppy, it also seems like they’re actively trying to make the game more difficult. The triggers, of course, control your gas and braking, but the acceleration and braking are incredibly touchy as well. A slight tap of the gas while on a hill can send you ass over tea-kettle in a heartbeat.
Motorbike can easily be mistaken for something that you would play on any number of web-based gaming sites, except that it’s supposedly harnessing the power of the PlayStation 3. Textures are absolutely blah and repeat far too frequently, and that doesn’t even account for the many graphical glitches you’ll encounter. Your rider will fall through surfaces that are supposedly solid, and sometimes the frame rate will even stutter, which is absolutely unforgivable given the shitty graphics. On the bright side, at least the glitches provide some unintentional humor.
The audio isn’t any better. The repetitive music encourages muting, and the sounds of the motorcycles seem to just have one sound file used far too liberally not to be absolutely grating on the nerves. So, yeah, the sound isn’t very good.
Motorbike is probably one of the best, and I do mean one of THE BEST examples of what not to release as a game developer. Upon playing the first level, you can tell that there was about zero play-testing that went into the game. As stated above, the controls are wonky and oversensitive, completely making the broken courses damn near impossible to navigate. Of the 40-some courses I tried, maybe two or three were completed (not easily, might I add).
I’m sure the developers wanted to give PS3 users a game comparable to the amazing Trials series on their competitor’s console, but this is a truly sad attempt and a bad example of what the PS3 developer community is capable of. Even the usual enjoyment of a game with ragdoll physics is marred by the constant clipping glitches when it comes to your rider.
Although you can design your own courses, the interface is clumsy and has a very steep “forgiveness” curve. By that I mean you have to work around how shitty the developer tools are in order to make anything remotely playable.
WOW. I may not be the most seasoned reviewer, and I’m sure there are going to be more games that I play that aren’t very good, but everything about Motorbike is terrible. It features a $15 admission to a completely broken game, and quite frankly it’s an insult to gamers. We received a copy of this the day it was released and were asked to delay reviewing the game until they’d patched it.
Months went by while the review burned in the back of my mind, whether or not to write it. Haunting me, following me in the dark with a glitchy grin. Knowing that I had this on the backburner for so long and then not even seeing a patch come to light was a colossal disappointment, as I have the highest hopes for any game. I love games, and I’ve always looked for the good in even the worst titles. Seeing this mess shook me quite a bit, however, so be sure to stay far away from this game.