Back in the day of the Genesis and later on, on the PlayStation, there was a game released called Road Rash. It combined great fast action motorcycle riding with bike to bike fighting with whatever objects you had available. Now quite a few years later there still hasn’t been a game that has captured the same amount of fun fast-paced action like Road Rash did, until now! SCEA has teamed up with Incog Inc to bring us a high flying, fast riding, downhill extravaganza and the best part about it is it’s a lot of fun. Read on through the review to get my full thoughts on this high flying game.
Some of you may remember Incog Inc for some of there other prior work done on the PS2, with games like Twisted Metal Black and War of Monsters. Both extremely destructive, action filled games that were both pretty solid titles. Now they kind of veered off course but not too far with a fighting/bike riding title with a heavy emphasis on speed.
Right from the get go Incog Inc shows that they did not want to have a minimal amount of different game modes to choose from; instead they threw in a laundry list of sorts to make sure they could get as much out of Downhill Domination as possible. But when you first start the game you start by selecting a rider, this will remind a lot of us of the wacky characters from the SSX series, but there are still some unique interesting characters to choose from. Once you have done that you can choose from a list of modes that include Single Event, Career, Arcade, Moshbowl, Super Jump, and Training. It is nice that Incog includes the training mode in the game but most us will be able to pick up this one and immediately start to play, but the others there is a nice easy tutorial to go through.
Once you have learned your ways around the track it’s time to start the career mode, which doesn’t really have much to it besides upgrading bike parts and winning a series of a lot of races! It is disappointing that there was a more involving career mode that would really allow you to progress your character and for you to really feel like you were accomplishing something instead of the feeling you get with the existing career mode. The other modes are just fun little games that give you a little relief from the normal racing. The moshbowl mode has you riding around in circles trying to knock your opponents down, which is not dissimilar to deathmatch modes in FPS titles. And the Super Jump mode is pretty self-explanatory, and you can really have some good times with that mode.
What really makes Downhill Domination so fun is not the game modes per se, but the extreme sense of speed and exhilaration injected by the gameplay . No more slow paced simulation racers, no sir, this is bike riding on steroids. From the title you will probably figure out that throughout the game you will be going downhill, and for the most part that’s all you do. There are only very seldom points in the game where you actually ride on flat surface, and when you do it’s not for an overly long period of time. One of the best parts about Downhill Domination is the fact that the feel of the game is just extremely fast paced. There have been some fast paced games that haven’t worked overly well due to bad cameras or just a bad framerate but this is one title that doesn’t have these problems. This allows you to have some extremely fast paced fun.
Like I mentioned earlier in the review, you can use weapons to gain advantage from the rest of the pack. There isn’t a huge amount of variety when it comes to the weapons you can choose, but they are quite effective and are a lot of fun to use. Besides the normal punch, and kick combos you can also throw the back of the bike at opponents as well as sticks and bottles. This is just another minor addition that will allow you to try and get a lead in a race.
As you play through Downhill Domination you will find that there isn’t a lot going wrong with the game’s graphics, but at the same instance there really isn’t a whole lot going right. When you look back at Twisted Metal Black it really was not a very solid looking title, but the gameplay seemed to make up for its graphical faults and that is also true in Downhill Domination.
At first glance you will find that Downhill Domination is a really scratchy looking title with a lot of rough edges that weren’t smoothened out. The graphics at first really can be quite disappointing factor, but as you progress through the game I found that the graphics started shaping up and they also started mattering less and less. The character models remind me a lot of SSX in which they look pretty goofy but unique.
The environments are where the game really has its ups and downs. To start with the level designs are just pure extreme sports brilliance. The courses keep you going fast and make you decide on the fly. The problem is that they really don’t look overly detailed or impressive. It really seems like a bunch of bland rocks on the ground with not much else going on.
Overall the graphics of Downhill Domination are not something that is going to kill your experience with the game but they aren’t overly impressive.
If this game shines in one area, and one area alone it would have to be the Fun Factor portion of the game. When I first picked up Downhill Domination I was immediately glued to my TV and not only did I like the game but I was really having a great time with it. The multiplayer portion of the game really stood out as being a key part of the package. This is one game that you would really want to play with a group of friends for a long time.
With all of the extras and unlockables you can get from the game, there can really be a lot of time spent playing this game. The game has an extremely fast pace that can really only be admired. If you are looking for a good arcade extreme sports title look no further then Downhill Domination an extremely fast paced high flying fun bike riding game.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.