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  Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Let's play: Freekout

For those of you who remember the adrenaline-charged SSX Tricky, you'll be itching to try EA's latest extreme epic.

Based on motocross racing, Freekstyle is definitely not a simulation of the real thing.

Instead, the developers have opted to create an out-and-out arcade experience - and the end result is quite simply superb.

Although there's few links with the real sport, gamers will love it.

  Freestyle
Nintendo Gamecube
Price: 39.99
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Motocross racing
Also Available: PlayStation 2

Freekstyle is stuffed with features, offering nine different venues to race in - from Rocket Garden to Crash Pad.

Each location has been designed for you to pull off over-the-top stunts, with more than 100 tricks built into the game.

There's a total of eight different riders too, each with their own unique style and bike. And each machine comes with its own super-fast turbo boost.

You can choose from five game modes - Circuit, Freestyle, Freeride, Race and split-screen two-player support.

Each mode offers a wide-range of play, allowing you to pull off crazy, nigh impossible tricks that look truly amazing.

At its most extreme, you get to perform a no-hander over a 600ft drop - scary!

Freekstyle
Do enough tricks and you 'Freekout'

The overall play is similar to that of SSX, but instead of going all the way back to the start of heat one every time you fail to complete a track, with Freekstyle you can keep going until you are triumphant.

While the motocross racing works very well, it's the art of pulling off tricks that will really help you achieve success.

Every one of them is combo based, so you can put together a No Hander with a Superfly or whatever takes your fancy.

As your box of tricks grows, so does your Freekout meter. Once that's full you get the chance to pull off the ultimate manoeuvre and enter a state of Freekout which boosts your speed.

On the visual side, Freekstyle looks fantastic.

The game looks better than the PlayStation 2 version, which suffered flicker problems and both motorcycles and riders also look superb.

  Gibbon's verdict
Graphics: 80%
Playability: 87%
Sound: 56%
Realism: 72%
Overall: 82%

Everything in Freekstyle in huge. If you like the idea of tracks that take you high into the clouds and then drop you off the other side you'll love this.

The developers may not have got to grips with the lighting effects on the GameCube - but they've definitely mastered the art of extreme gaming.

This is what SSX should have been first time around.


Let's Play..
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