Dave Mirra BMX Dreamcast prototypes
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Activision's famous skate simulation, pioneered a new genre of games. The other publishers were quick to respond by offering, in turn, games derived from more or less extreme sports: surfing, rollerblading, BMX and even, even... scooters! We had it all by the end of the 90s!
In view of the success of Tony Hawk Pro Skateboarding, Acclaim also wanted its share of the pie. The publisher therefore ordered a game on the world of BMX using the same concept of THPS, but replacing the skateboard with bicycles.
Z-Axis Games, the studio in charge of developing the game, called it Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, a licensed game with the legend of the discipline. It was released on September 26, 2000 and several sequels would see the light of day thereafter: #2 on Xbox, PS2 , GC and GBA then #3, which will be a Gameboy Advance exclusive.
We also owe Acclaim and Z-Axis for a bicycle game called "BMX XXX", mixing the worlds of BMX with that of US striptease! Dave Mirra refused to lend his image to a game with a sexual connotation and even filed a complaint against the company. This game created controversy, is censored in some countries and is one sign among many others that the end was near for Acclaim !
Dave Mirra was one of those freaks that feared nothing, and that no one could stop. He was a BMX ace, a stunt pro holding several world records in this discipline. He was the most successful man in X-Games history. Unfortunately for his fans, he committed suicide in 2016, leaving the extreme sports world in shock.
Tony Hawk and Dave Mirra (re)popularized skateboarding and BMX, sports without much visibility at that time. The children, and especially the teenagers began to want to imitate their idols by attempting the most improbable tricks. Those were crazy years and I, too, got into skateboarding after experiencing THP1 on PS1 and then on Dreamcast. It was also the surge of punk-rock, music that lends itself well to these spectacular sports.
Fun above all!
Once the introductory sequence is over, the first selection screen offers different game modes. First, you have to choose one of the world's best specialists in the discipline, a bike and then an outfit. As you progress through the game, new riders, bikes, and outfits will be unlocked.
The game modes aren't particularly innovative. We have the Session mode, which consists of performing as many tricks as possible (a number of points are awarded after each acrobatic trick) in a limited time. The best score wins. Free Style mode is for practicing and getting familiar with the controller. The Proquest mode offers to participate in various competitions, the goal being to achieve a predetermined number of imposed tricks to unlock the next level. A 2-player mode offers a whole series of duels (perform the best tricks, reach the highest on a jump, etc.)
This freestyle bike simulation ensures a few hours of delirium on two wheels.
The specifics of the build:
On the track selection screen, after confirming the rider and the bike, press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, Y. You will have access to all levels. Good to know !
The game does not work with Demul emulator, only with Flycast. I have not tested other emulators.
After the starting cinematic, 2 screens, "Mpeg Sofdec" and that of the copyright of Dave Mirra Pro BMX, should appear before arriving at the title menu. They are missing in this prototype.
After the opening scene of the game, one should be directed to the title menu with "Press Start" written. Instead, you arrive directly at the main menu without going through this step.
In this prototype version, there is no music in the menus. Music sometimes works in-game, sometimes not (TBC).
The credits in the "Cool Stuff" menu are problematic. When trying to view them, the game will restart. Sometimes, however, we can access it but it is quite rare.
In Menu Option, "Color Ajust" is placed before Audio. The "Color Ajust" window is slightly different in its adjustment. The explanatory box is smaller.
In the game options, by selecting Audio, the option to adjust the music and sound effects volume does not exist. It is not possible to increase or decrease the volume.
Loading screens are represented simply with a progress bar, without the "Loading" above and without the game logo. The screen is basic. The game mode (Freeride etc.) is written on this screen, which is not seen in the commercial version. Loading times are faster in this prototype (to be confirmed).
Once the game has started, by pressing pause and then going to options, this prototype allows you to activate the vibration kit. This build-specific option is non-functional; it is not possible to modify it.
Also in the options, after the game is paused, selecting audio, the name of a song is misspelled. Instead of being called "What I Got Sublime", this one is called "What IJI Got Sublime". Additional music is selectable in this menu; though it has no specific title, it is referenced as "No Track". Increasing or decreasing the volume of sound effects or music behaves strangely; try it and you will understand. It's hard to explain.
In Trick List, once the game is paused, the button combos corresponding to the trick to be performed are darker.
The game often freezes when you want to quit a game.
By choosing the "Proquest" game mode, after the game starts, the objectives to be achieved should be written in green and not in white/gray like the other on-screen text. Completing an objective, you see the same font color issue; it should be purple/blue.
When the time is up, when saving your score by choosing your name, the annotation "press start when done" should appear at the bottom of the screen, but it doesn't in this build.
Specificities in the levels:
There are many differences in the levels, as these are not finished. Some examples in photos. On the left, the prototype; on the right, the final version.
While playing in "Pro Tour - Eastwood", the player starts the level at another location. The propellers are animated: they turn when they should be stationary.
When playing in "Greenville-Vall Trails", the player starts the level in the the opposite direction of the final version. There are also texture issues.