Red Bull X-Fighters was developed by Xendex and published by Konami Digital Entertainment, it was released on September 14, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.

Red Bull X-Fighters is the game iteration of an international freestyle Motocross competition. This action packed release comes with high flying action, spread across several major world events. Each stop on the tour is a new location. Pitted against time and score you must pull off jaw dropping stunts in order to stand out and be number one. Immediately reminding you of Trials HD when you first see it, and having a very similar feel, is it enough to set this highly overlooked genre back on the radar?

Here’s what we liked:

Controls – The controls are very simple and rather accessible as most of people have grown used to pressing multiple buttons with ease. Balance and speed are key here when trying to complete each challenge and they feel exact. The bike feels heavy and fast like it should, reacting exactly as it should to each direction or button press.

Game lessons – The game teaches each step of gameplay in small digestible chunks. Giving you time to commit each move to memory before learning a new feature. Not only does it break down the gameplay in full detail, but it teaches you each trick instead of just throwing a few at you and telling you to figure out the rest. This is helps add a nice pace to the game and a feel of accessibility that might have otherwise been missed for some.

Variety – Each stop on the world tour is in a completely different location, and each offers up one new course. Each course is broken into several different starting points, changing the feel and length of each run. Every level will require something different out of you, whether it be time, score, specific tricks or a combination of goals; you never feel fully drained on any one event. On top of all this there are three different modes to choose from besides the main tour including a world record section, where you shoot for the highest or longest jump.

Move list – Red Bull X-Fighters only has 20 moves in total (22 if you count front and back flips) for you to master and combo in any fashion you choose. Some might argue that there are many more moves available in the real sport, but the rest are not really needed nor missed. Keeping the moves to a smaller spectrum really gives you the ability to fine tune each one, allowing anyone the ability to get a gold with a little dedication.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

Graphics – The visuals here are sub par compared to many other offerings on the Arcade market, which separates the player from the game on a small level. It doesn’t ruin the game, but with there being another huge, visually stunning  motocross game on the market (Trials HD), it definitely would have helped to at least be somewhat on the same level.

No multiplayer – A game like this screams for multiplayer, Live would have been nice, but a local option at minimum feels necessary. Giving friends the ability to brag about smashing each others scores has always been a major selling point for games, especially when the game is fun. Several options would have worked here, two which are only obvious, since they are through out the whole game: score attack and timed trials. Though it could have been so much more allowing for tournaments or H.O.R.S.E. style competitions that were based off of either moves, score or even both.

Length – Although to master the each course and achieve a top 10 score may take a lot of practice and time for some, it has not for many. This is game is designed to make sure you get the feel and can achieve your goals with little extraneous effort. You move through the game at a very high rate of speed, this could have been eliminated in many fashions: more stops on the tour, tournaments across the tour for best point standing (like in the real Red Bull X-Fighters tour) or even made a few up, it’s a video game after all.

Red Bull X-Fighter definitely delivers on some high notes, but falls flat on many of the ones that draw you back into a game. No multiplayer support (except for leaderboards), fast and fun, yet half empty campaign/tour modes and below standard graphics this one just didn’t quite hit the bullseye. They did however hit the target, the game is definitely well made, the physics and controls are tight and the fun factor is high (though limited). If you’re looking for the next installment of Trials, you’re just gonna have to keep on waiting. At a time when more and more games have been around the 1200 MSP marker, Red Bull X-Fighters makes a good show that you can still get a good Arcade game for less.

Score: Try It!

Second opinion by Steve Melton:

It’s never a good sign when it’s tough to find any news on a game, especially when a big publisher like Konami is backing it, and X-Fighters is no exception. While some will enjoy the game, most will find the fun factor wearing off in just a few minutes. This is yet another one of those titles that could’ve been great, but somewhere along the way people stopped looking at what the public would want and turned yet another game into a contract job.

Score: Skip It