The stabilisers are off. Straight from the makers of Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy comes a cycle-centric 2D platformer with an endless runner twist; Bike Rider UltraDX – World Tour. With endless runners being more common than Goomba’s in a Mario game, is Bike Rider UltraDX a Tour De France or simply another bike ride in the park?
Comfort and ease. The control scheme is an easy to pick up trait that you will learn in minutes. Having the standard A/2 to perform multiple jumps with perfect timing. Along with the control stick to either push back or forward, you must navigate an array of obstacles including steep hills, rickety bridges, falling boulders and fellow cyclists to reach the finish line. This applies to the main mode offered; World Tour. Making your way to the end you also need to collect three golden coins to achieve a silver crown. For all those perfectionists out there to obtain a golden crown you must collect all three coins without moving the control stick at any time throughout the level. This gives the game some replayability and a nice bonus challenge.
The majority of fun I had was actually on the sub-mode; Grand Prix. Here you try to reach the furthest distance without crashing. World Tour I became bored with after the first six worlds as the difficulty never strained me along with repetition setting in. It felt uninspiring as you ventured from country to country with no significant differences apart from music and backdrop. Then I spent some time with Grand Prix and the addiction set in. The incentive to better my record is nothing new however it did hook me. Before I knew it I’d spent two hours trying to get the highest score. After reaching 10,000m you are rewarding with a difficulty boost of hard mode. It say’s hard yet the challenge never really sets in. Still very enjoyable.
The Wii U GamePad screen is not surprisingly only used as a second screen to the action, with no touch controls or special mechanics implemented to make use of this. Missed opportunity? Possibly. Despite this I don’t think this a negative as if the controls were added I’m pretty sure I would opted for the standard button controls. I must however compliment the range of controls you can play with. Incorporating the Wii U GamePad, Wii Controller (held on its’ side), Wii U Pro Controller and Classic Controller Pro, Spicysoft have made sure that multiplayer is always available. Speaking of multiplayer here you and three others co-operate with one another to reach the end. There is a nice sense of competition thrown in as at the end of the level your totals are added together to see who is the best. Unfortunately this can only be played locally as there is no presence of online. This is to be expected with Nintendo yet there isn’t an excuse for it as this feature alone would increase its shelf-life.
The Japanese aspect to the game is a charming one with music falling into one of the stronger categories for the most part. As fun and off-the-wall as it is, audio included can sometimes become annoying, especially if you are stranded on a level. On the other hand there are some music tracks that feel wonderfully placed on this world tour spurring you on to the finish line. The opening level heavily reminded of playing Nights into Dreams on the Sega. The choice to add multiple songs for each world is noted greatly though as the easy route to choose one track for all world could have easily been opted for. That said it’s surprisingly loud. From the moment you load up the game the music gives you a good shake to make sure your ready to play. I realise this can be quite an odd remark considering I control the volume on my TV (or at least I hope I do) but it’s true, I did have to push the sound way further down than usual to stop myself becoming deaf.
Customising your rider is minimal with colour and size being optional. Any choices made do not impact your riding style whatsoever. Something like having the red rider speed up or the blue rider jump slightly higher could have made the feature feel more complete. That said slapping a Mii face on your rider is a comical touch which I must admit, I did giggle at.
The game is superbly simple with the outcome of reaching the furthest distance. This is fine, still I could not help myself thinking throughout would it be better placed on a mobile? The short answer is yes. The series roots began there in 2006 before making the transition handheld and finally to console. Now that it’s here there is nothing the Wii U brings to justify its placement on the system apart from having the gameplay blown up on a huge plasma. If it was on my mobile or even handheld for that matter, I would be more inclined to take it out on my lunch hour to try and better my score. Loading up the Wii U I’m always more likely to choose a game suited to the console.
Bike Rider UltraDX – World Tour is an addictive, endless platformer with fun aspects. The steep downfall comes when you dig a little deeper to reveal the hollowness. Uninspiring worlds make the main mode become stale all too quick along with the exclusion of online creating a one-dimensional outing. Short-term wise for the amount you pay the reward is reasonably fair with sub-mode Grand Prix becoming the unexpected pinnacle. Though that short-term might be better experienced with the volume down.
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