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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 17/10/06

ESPN Games Downtown Dash Review

Developer: Pixiem

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Cool animation

Cons

Difficult to get back in the rhythm once you crash out

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

78

Graphics

76

Sound

72

Controls

78

Playability

85

Lastability

79

Review Details
Handset Nokia N70

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 18/10/06

What Mark Ecko's Getting Up should have been.



Its time to get street with the urban game from ESPN.

Urban is the new casual as far as games are concerned. From Dirty Sanchez to Urban Golf underground, 'dangerous' games are in vogue. As the name suggests, ESPN Downtown comes from America and will probably stay there (especially as ESPN mobile is no more) but that doesn't mean we can't review it :-)

The game is all about urban running like you used to see in some of the BBC programme intros. This sport was touched upon in Mark Ecko's Getting Up but this does the genre proper justice.

As with Mark Ecko the graphics are not the greatest but then that might down to the high demands on the animation. While the backgrounds and sprites could have been improved a bit the fluidity in the motion is excellent. This game is all about somersaulting and vaulting your way over barrels and through windows, so the animation is much more important than the background detail.

The game is split into two modes; Practice and Story mode. Practice mode soon ends up being a speed challenge to master a certain move and you can then take this move to the story mode. Here, you play as a humble urban free runner who starts working for the police and their friends. Dunno if there is supposed to be subtle message here but it sure feels like it. The levels are usually a race against the clock and you are given a grade at the end to realise how crap you truly are. To its credit, the levels are huge and some levels require a few attempts to figure out the quickest route.

The controls are ok once you get used to the fluidity. Rather like Sonic, this is a case of running like a nutter and to hell with whatever comes your way - just jump over it. All the cool moves happen once you have started running. Double tap left/right to start running and then press 2 to jump or 5/8 to perform a somersault. 5 and 8 actually do different tricks and the timing is also different, so a bit of practice is definitely required. If you mistime a jump you will probably end up smashing into the obstactle and this is where the game can get frustrating. To clear certain obstacles or make a big jump you need to be running. There is no stationary diagonal jump and you end up have to move back to get a run up and vital seconds are lost. This part of the game is a little fiddly.

Fans of Sonic the Hedgehog should love this and gives a different challenge with cooler animation. And if you've got a rhino on your back, there's a good chance you'll like this one as well.