Downhill Domination

Downhill Domination Review PS2

Downhill Domination Review PS2

Downhill Domination is a very high speed downhill mountain bike racing game that will have players riding down ultra steep mountain tracks. After you play Downhill Domination you do find that it has many points in common with the SSX series, the most obvious point is that you are hurtling down a hill pulling tricks and trying to beat opponents to the finish line. Simple as that, one is based on snowboards with a mountain full of snow and Downhill Domination features mountain bikes on a mountain with no snow present at all.

In the same way as SSX, you can clobber your opponents on the way down the hill in Domination. This has been developed in Domination though, as you pull of tricks and land them you can upgrade your attacks from the basic punch to a water bottle attack which lets you hit your opponents from a distance.

Games - Downhill Domination Review PS2

The tricks are pulled by pressing a combination of the shoulder buttons and the triangle button. The result is usually a pretty flashy looking aerial manoeuvre and your reward comes in the form of points which can then be converted into cash which can be used to purchase a variety of upgrades for you bike such as frames, forks and wheels etc. I expect that from this little description you can see that the trick system is very similar to that of the SSX series.

The courses are quite varied ranging from mountain peaks to the urban road. Most of the course locations offer a few tracks for the price of one. For example the technical tracks offer very tight often zigzag type courses that are usually based in the middle of the wilderness. Because of the nature of these courses and the tight tracks there is very little room for error. On the other hand the Free Ride courses are very wide open affairs which will usually start in the wilderness and finish somewhere a bit nearer to civilisation. And somewhere in the middle of these two courses is the mountain cross course which offers something a little narrower that the free ride but something a bit straighter than the technical tracks. You will find quite a lot of grooves and jumps in this course though, so getting air is not a problem.

Almost as an addition Downhill Domination offers two other modes which divert your attention for a short period. There is the pretty boring Mosh Bowl which has you riding round in circles attempting to knock your opponents off their bikes. The second mode is Super Jump which is quite amusing for a short while and I'm sure you can guess what is involved. Basically fly off the biggest ramp you have ever seen and try to pull the mother of all tricks before hitting the ground. Simple.

The most impressive feature of Downhill Domination is its sense of speed. The programmers have translated the sense of danger and put it into a video game. Looking at the screen shots really does this game no justice what so ever. When you are weaving in and out of trees and rocks you will know what I'm talking about. When you bail out or hit something, which will inevitably happen, the animation really makes the whole episode look very painful indeed.

Unfortunately the sound really doesn't inspire of enhance the gaming experience. The riders will shout at each other but the voices and phrases don't inspire, they just get a little annoying. The music is a real mix of all things from techno, to metal, to puck, to hip hop. I don't know what the mountain bike sound is, but it can't be all these things at once. For example the sound of skateboarding is usually urban. But metal and techno with classic rock just don't go.

When you are buying a game of this type you now have a choice of two games, SSX or Downhill Domination. So if you are bike mad you may go for Downhill Domination and if you prefer the snow you will obviously go for the classic SSX3. From a gamers perspective I would go with SSX3 because it is polished and the game play is infectious. Downhill Domination is a good game it just has come into a genre of gaming that has one very strong competitor and a good simple straight forward racer is not going to be enough for people to buy this rather than SSX, unless you already own SSX and you want to try something a little different.


7.0 out of 10

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