“I wanna rock!”

Well, watch out for the rocks, or you may end up rolling. Freestyle MetalX is the latest bit of motocross madness by Midway Sports Asylum for the PlayStation2 console system. This game is arcade-scoring, high-flying, revved-up madness in which you can destroy some venues, run over bystanders to unlock new tricks.

The game has a host of features but does lack some depth of gameplay. However, what is does present is well rendered and a lot of fun, and should attract motocross fans, both young and old.

This is extreme stunt action played out against a diverse background. Essentially players are challenged to perform stunts within a set framework, usually against time, and can gain power-ups along the way in terms of health, speed, or point bonuses.

The first thing that immediately stands out is the driving-rock soundtrack. Classic metal bands such as Motley Crue, Megadeth, Motorhead and Judas Priest are featured here, and this is an adrenaline, head-banging score.

The game features 16 riders, some of which have to be unlocked as you proceed through the modes of play. You can also unlock bikes and the game also has a level editor so you can design your own tracks.

There are eight levels of play, and you can – in career mode – advance your avatar in popularity and money. The later means better bikes, which translates into better paydays. The game really does a good job of feeding off itself.

The camera angle is third-person, and provides a great view of the action. Some of the environments are very interactive. If you use the barnyard – and what barnyard would not be complete without a burning barn to jump over – you can trash fences, the porch and run over the people and animals milling about. Yep, you can chase down and bang that runaway calf. Why? Because you unlock tricks by hitting them. Tricks equal points and points advance your characters.

The graphical quality of this game is rather good, but at times is repetitive. If you miss a jump, and send your rider tumbling head-over-heels, you will see blood splatter, but it is the same animation over and again. The type of impact seems not to affect the images rendered. However, the body does a nice rag-doll roll, and it does look rather painful. The game also has some lighting anomalies. Some objects seem to step outside the general lighting textures and perspectives. This may be for effect, to highlight a certain object, but if so, why the arrow over the head of the object.

The control elements are kept simple and players can launch into this game quickly. Performing stunts is simply done, using the gamepad buttons and the thumbstick. Each stunt is worth certain points. Some of the events require players to complete a set of stunts in a certain amount of time in order to advance.

Freestyle MetalX has attitude, and sports a good blend of motocross action and arcade scoring. This game, overall, looks and sounds great. This is an extremely easy game to jump into and play. It is the type of game that players can play for minutes or hours in head-to-head stunt competition. It will provide some oohs and ahhs, as well as some laughter. This is an entertaining, enjoyable game.