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Old 11-06-2008, 06:22 AM   #1
AgtFox
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[360/PS3/PC] - Pure Review

Pure Review

Title: Pure
Platform: 360/PS3/PC
Developer: Blackrock Studio
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
ESRB: Everyone
MSRP: $59.99 (360/PS3), $49.99 (PC)
Editor: Loren 'AgtFox' Halek

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What's Hot: Feels a lot like playing the old SSX games; the trick system is quite varied; variety of challenge groupings available will keep you playing; online is fun

What's Not: Tricks are not necessarily needed to win a race and may hinder you; same loading screen with your character repeated ad nauseum; game loses part of its charm once you realize the important thing is winning the race versus showing off cool tricks
I noted in the Baja: Edge of Control review that I had not played Pure as of yet, but obviously with this review I now have. My initial thoughts even before putting the game in was that this was an SSX type of structured game and after playing through it I have come to the conclusion that I was right for the most part. Unlike Baja, this game caters to the arcade racers out there that enjoy don’t have to think too hard when doing such things as building and upgrading your machine. Both of these off-road games are good, however your enjoyment of either really depends on whether you like simulation or arcade racers or if you can find a happy medium and enjoy both games.

Pure shares a lot in common with the SSX games, almost to a fault. The lineup of characters you can choose from are molded much the same. I chose the character that was a son of a famous rocker, Jimmy Williams or something like that. The reason I can’t really remember his name is because there’s really no difference between the characters other than their names and gender/body type and it’s not as if their name is said many times over during the game or anything. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does get a bit annoying seeing the same animation while the game loads the next race every darn time. Yes, Jimmy likes to get off of his vehicle and do a few air guitar riffs that actually make it look like he’s doing something else with his crotch area.


Your next task is to build a vehicle. You can choose to build two different kinds of vehicles to house in your garage: a race built one or an outdoor built one. You can have two distinctly different vehicles for the game at the beginning, one that is geared more toward speed races and one that is built more toward having more power and air ability for the long races. As you go through the Tour mode you will unlock other garage slots to build more as well as get upgrades to parts. Each new part is easily selectable in the garage and you won’t be searching out what are the new parts and what are the old parts. The nice thing is you have total color choice control and how you want to build your machine. It is quite broad, but is simple enough that anyone should be able to build something for themselves.

Once in the Tour mode there are a variety of events to go through set up in different race groupings. Most races are either regular ones or speed ones where you whip around a short track as fast as you can. Some event groupings require you to have a certain class of vehicle, so you will have to build a new vehicle or upgrade your current favorite one to a higher engine level - it’s all up to you. There is some strategy involved in how to mix and match your machines to get the best possible outcome, but after a while you begin to recognize that you need some distinct machines in your garage that can handle different kinds of challenges.


The driving itself is relatively simple and the tricks are explained by the short tutorial in how to pull them off. Remember that you always have a boost via the X button (on 360) if you’ve pulled off any tricks. You may lose the ability to do higher tricks with the B or Y buttons, but the boost will come in handy in a lot of races. You have to balance the need to pull off tricks in order to keep the boost level going and the need to actually finish the race and not crash out while trying to pull off tricks while high in the air. The nice thing is if you reach the top level of tricks where you have to press the R and L buttons together to pull off that you have unlimited boost, so there is a good payoff for reaching that level and then not pulling off tricks and using your unlimited boost.

The graphics and sound in the game are quite nice. I didn’t notice any slowdown in the game at all and I also noticed that the tire tracks I made in one lap did not come back on the second and subsequent lap. I tried really hard to notice these things and I never saw them. They could have been there since there are so many drivers on the track at once, but I thought I noticed the graphical tracks reset every lap. The tracks are quite varied and some of them have some really awesome high jumps in them where you can pull off multiple tricks in one jump. As usual, there is the need to preload your jumps by pulling back on the left analog stick and then pushing forward to lift off. Along with the use of boost this can make your jumps really high and long.


Online play is quite fun as well with races and even freeride options available. I found there were far more people on the ranked matches than the unranked ones. I’m not sure why that was since in many games I find the reverse. The key problem in online is that you can be matched up against a competitor that has a higher engine level than you do and you have no chance of beating them. There is an option to lockdown the engine class, but in most cases I found that people were playing with no engine requirement. This can make your online experience not as enjoyable, but it is still pretty cool to play with 15 other people on a track.

Pure is a good game that relies a lot on what made SSX great. One would guess there will be another game in this series and hopefully they can work at trying to distance themselves from that mold. If you enjoy arcade off-road racers that have a relatively simple upgrade system, this is the game for you. If you’re looking for more simulation in your racers, pick up Baja. You honestly can’t go wrong with either.

Score: 3.5 out of 5 CoGs


Loren says, "Buy it if you want an off-road arcade racer, rent it if you’re interested but not quite sure whether you’ll like it or not"

- Review this title yourself over at Play It Review It, part of the CoG Network

*Note - Review based upon 360 version of game
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:01 AM   #2
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Just the fact that a lot of people have been comparing this to SSX has me interested. I was a HUGE fan of the SSX series until World Tour (Blur was ok, but the controls made my head hurt). An HD version of SSX with ATVs instead of snowboards... sounds right up my alley.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, the SSX comparisons got me confused at first, as I assumed it would be a snowboarding game. But then I tried the PS3 demo, and understood. Not sure if I will pick it up for full price, but it would definitely be a good Greatest Hits/bargain bin purchase.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:16 AM   #4
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Agt, your extra half-cog is showing.

I got the exact same feeling from the Demo. It made me want to play SSX, instead of this. It was fun, but something made me feel like I would have no more fun if I bought the full version.
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Awesome. You really captured the wangy-ness of it
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
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I like this game, good fun if a little simple. Some of the levels are freaking awesome; jumping from sandstone pillar to sandstone pillar over huge chasms is just plain fun no matter how you cut it.

Just make sure not to do too good on the tut, cause that is where they decide the difficulty level you will be playing the rest of the game on. I destroyed there and had a pretty hard time after a few races in the career.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Thank you for the review!

This game wasn't even on my radar until I tried the demo and had a lot of fun with it. It isn't a game that I'd drop 60 bucks on but I'd pick it up later at a discount or give it a rental for sure.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:34 AM   #7
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Gamefly is sending this to me as we speak, probably get it tomorrow. I needed something a little less heavy, a little less involved, since I'm currently covered in tasty Fallout juice. It will be nice to have something a little more casual to pick up and play.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Al Capone View Post
I like this game, good fun if a little simple. Some of the levels are freaking awesome; jumping from sandstone pillar to sandstone pillar over huge chasms is just plain fun no matter how you cut it.

Just make sure not to do too good on the tut, cause that is where they decide the difficulty level you will be playing the rest of the game on. I destroyed there and had a pretty hard time after a few races in the career.
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Awesome. You really captured the wangy-ness of it
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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I thoroughly enjoyed the demo, and played a bit of the full game with a friend who rented it. However, the lack of a split-screen multiplayer option cost them a sale here.
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