Throwback Thursday: Mountain Biking Console Games

Mar 1, 2018
by Alex Evans  
THROWBACK THURSDAY
In the late 90's mountain biking was becoming a truly mainstream affair. Corporate sponsorships rained money down on the world's best athletes and the World Cup events were broadcast live on terrestrial TV. Arguably, this piqued an interest in our sport and console game developers made the link between mountain biking and gamers, deciding to develop games that, only a few years prior to their release, were a dream.


No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking


Back in the late 1990's, we were lucky enough to have No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking for the PlayStation 1, starring Rob Warner, on our TV screens. The graphics were mindblowing (at the time, anyway) and the racing was intense – if head-to-head button bashing was your thing.


Downhill Domination


Then in 2003, Downhill Domination launched on the PS2. The action was exaggerated – jumps were massive, the (limited) repertoire of tricks were fully extended and you were pitted against more than just one other rider on the track in a mad dash to the finish line. It put mountain biking firmly in the mainstream eye but, unfortunately, didn't sell enough copies to warrant a sequel.


Mountain Bike Adrenaline


Finally, Mountain Bike Adrenaline hit our shelves in 2007. Released on the PS2 and PC, the game flopped – receiving a meagre 3 out 10 on IGN. The less said about this game the better!


109 Comments

  • + 142
 They definitely need to make a remastered version of Downhill Domination.
  • + 38
 Except there's Camelbak ads during gameplay so we gotta boycott the whole thing
  • - 5
flag VPS13 (Mar 1, 2018 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 And here I thought I could get away from the idiotic toxicity that has ensued in what has become a gun control debate from yesterdays post.... I thought this was an MTB blog/forum where we can bitch about e-bikes, the UCI, how every frame looks like a session, and the odd time educate ourselves about new products, geometry, and mtb related news...
  • + 1
 @grntnckl: Ya, not because you can assault your fellow racers, but because theres camelbak ads
  • + 11
 @VPS13: hes being sarcastic
  • + 0
 @hamncheez: Apologies, clearly my mind took a beating when I made the mistake of exploring the comment section there, thanks for the clarification Smile
  • - 1
 @VPS13: you win comment of the month!
  • + 7
 I can't tell if that was a Downhill Domination video or a Rogatkin run....
  • + 36
 They need to rerelease dd!! I can just see it now, 29” wheel advantage, Kashima shocks, dropper posts and ebikers being abused
  • + 6
 Kalolo on 29er ebike delivering some op punches, that would be fun.
  • + 10
 If you wanted to sell in America we have to be able to buy guns in it. Nothing like riding a bicycle and target shooting. Call it Grand Theft bicycling. Shoot the dentist and take his bicycle.
  • + 8
 @properp: "Shoot the dentist"...except then you would be stuck riding an Ibis!
  • + 1
 @robnow: this comment was total sarcasm. I think the video games of today's world cruel and ruthless. Then the powers at be removed cartoons like Tom and Jerry because they say they promote violence. We are all doomed.
  • + 0
 @robnow: you mean Yeti
  • + 29
 PSA, some poeple on here have never seen these games as they're too young. Only us old hands can truly appreciate the sqaure graphics of the PS1
  • + 21
 Give me back my Atari stick, and get off my lawn!!!!
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: PULL UP YOUR PANTS!
  • + 4
 My dreamcast is still kicking. Disappointed that they never released any of these games for that.
  • + 3
 @NebulousNate: most underrated system ever.
  • + 2
 Atari 2600
  • + 2
 I've still got an Atari 1800......
  • + 1
 @NebulousNate: they have a game called extreme sports for dreamcast its race based was alot of fun back in the day
  • + 1
 Was no fear also an arcade game? Im sure i remember a version that had you sat on a bike, with working pedals, brake levers, etc, you leant to turn? Basically a more exciting version of zwift...
  • + 1
 Downhill bike racers! Look like cannondale super v's? primetimeamusements.com/product/downhill-bikers
  • + 2
 At least we dont have to give the games a blowjob before it finally reads. I remember Pitfall seem to require a bit more fondeling than the others. Sometimes it even said - Not today I have a headache.
  • + 26
 Mountain Bike Adrenaline looks like a fairly realistic representation of what it's like to hit a technical trail with no biking experience.
  • + 7
 Complete with "I dont need a helmet, those are lame!"
  • + 20
 Haha! I worked on Downhill Domination, did the sound, provided photos of desert freeriding, and helped to get Foes in there as they were my sponsor at the time! ..I've never played it though.
  • + 3
 Dude that's rad! Wasted a lot of hours on that game.
  • + 1
 @virtumedia: WASTED?! Na dude, not a moment wasted!
  • + 1
 What's sadder than the younguns having never played this game is that have no idea who you are are Krispy. That's okay, I still love you.
  • + 1
 @dubiousdesigns: Not so fast! My 11-year old son loves the game, and plays it all the time. It's the only reason we even still have the PS2 hooked up.
  • + 1
 Haha. Awesome. Thankyou. I still own that game and its still rad. It's the only reason I ever dust off my old ps2.
  • + 1
 THANK YOU! Some of the raddest and realest sounds, such a goofy soundtrack, and one of my all time favorite games. I owned it 15 years ago and recently purchased a PS2 just to play it again and educate my friends. Also, thanks for your contribution to furthering freeride in general during such an up-and-coming time.
  • + 11
 To be truthful, these games never made much sense to me. The game designers programmed mountain bikes to handle basically the same way as dirt bikes did in other games; the dirt bike feeling like it was just on steroids. So why pretend to mountain bike when you could pretend to dirt bike instead?
  • - 7
flag Serpentras (Mar 1, 2018 at 1:47) (Below Threshold)
 This concept of sport games make to sense to me at all. At least stuff that the normal person could do. NESCAR or LMP1 is level most of us can not reach but to enter a DH race or a slope style contest isn't that hard.
  • + 10
 @Serpentras:

yeah that why football games are so unpopular

wait
  • + 2
 Programming has come a long way since these games were designed/developed. Most programmers back then did not have the resources available to enable features that would be a no-brainer nowadays. It would be really awesome to get a bunch of mountain bikers who are also programmers together and build a completely new game.
  • + 4
 I could actually see an advantage to combining a Moto/MTB/BMX/Courier style game. Add in the ability to make your own world (shape jumps, add buildings, etc) and it could be pretty fun.
  • + 2
 @Asmodai: did I say they are not popular? I just don't get them.
  • + 9
 I can´t believe after so many years, and REDBULL RAMPAGE, being so popular and mainstream... there is no videogame at all recreating it... such a shame...
Also world cup circuit with real riders and tracks, would be awesome...
  • + 1
 There is a zone called the canyon in Descenders that is touching on the Utah terrain characteristics. The game still has a way to go but has potential since it's brand new and still in early access.
  • + 10
 The first bike related game I ever played was paperboy on the Commodore 64, now that was back in the day stuff
  • + 3
 With you on that mate. C64 ftw
  • + 2
 @fingerbangextreme: Only 2 wheeled game that ever made sense.
  • + 2
 @Poulsbojohnny: Excite Bike? Remember punching those buttons AFAP so the rider could flap his wings and get back on the bike faster. I wish I could fly after a crash.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Yeah Excitebike! The way the bike would overheat in about 5 seconds of full throttle reminds me of my MTB fitness.
  • + 7
 Downhill domination looks like an alex rankin video
  • + 3
 I'd buy a console again if they released a new game. All the fun bits of the old games (almost like an arcade mode) and then world cup mode with real tracks to race on. Track intros by claudio and race commentary by Rob warner. Imagine hearing LOOK AT THE TIME when you're 4 seconds up.
  • + 3
 those games look preety damn awfull never played them cause DH bike upkeep prevented me from having game console, but now damn i play Descenders and it's awesome game. If you feel like you need some good biking game to kill some time waiting for lifts to open for bike season I highly recomend
  • + 2
 My Wife and son and I played Downhill Domination all the time! It so was epic back in the day! Eventually our son moved on to other games and the wife and I stopped playing video games. If an updated version of Downhill Domination comes out, I’ll buy us a console so we can play it! Loved that game!
  • + 4
 There has been released a game called Descenders, will be availible for all new consoles and pc.
  • + 2
 Ive been playing it since it came out on steam in mid feb - its not that great. The level changes each time so there is no way to learn lines. I also feel like the people who made the game literally went a rode a mtb round a car park before making it to get some experience of what its like to ride.

Great graphics etc but i feel the game lacks some of the arcade style racing that made DD and No Fear such great games.

For me its about 5/10 Wink
  • + 1
 @guytherev: agreed on all points except for arcade style. I think the mix of reality and "impossible" physics is right in the pocket but the trails lack technical depth and the lives system is silly. Logs accross the trails in the forest zone destroy the whole zone for me. Bunny hop needs rethinking. Online multiplayer in a freeride mode would be nice.

Hopefully developers listen to people and make changes as time goes on.
  • + 1
 I still own no fear dh racing, runs on ps3, the game play/graphics/trails were great for the time, I occasionally wonder why a modern perhaps VR style version hasn't been made then realise there's no substitute for the real thing asked go ride my bike...
  • + 1
 blieve me or Not I just Told my little brother Yesterday that The New consoles are useless in nowadays without downhill domination Video Game ! i spent my whole childhood challenging my all neighberhoods on this game I was beated them so bad ! Really such a great memories Smile #RideOrdie
  • + 1
 For those interested in a brand new downhill game there is Descenders. I Think currently only out for PC on Steam but coming to consoles possibly within the year. It's a pretty good mountain biking game that is mostly simulation with a touch of over the top jumps and physics. Pretty darn good for 25$ and definately a step up and different direction from Shred Which is also a pretty good one.

Of course most people are aware of Shred which is a very playable game but made more as a sort of cross screen style that lacks the technicality of cornering, yet still allows the user to enter a first person POV.

If you're looking for the more underground market there is a game called MTB Freeride launched on a PC platform called Desura. It's a downhill freeride based game that is modeled heavily on simulation... Which makes it alot more difficult than the other two but worth a look.
  • + 1
 I still have both No Fear and Downhill Domination from when they came out - never really liked No Fear (control/movement was clunky and tracks seemed pretty boring) but DD was the shiz - IIRC basically a remake of SSX snowboarding, but that's no bad thing! Everything so OTT and fun, with responsive controls and and just enough real stuff to make it feel like biking, like weight shifting, catching the backside of transitions etc. And you could ride the Foes DHS Mono! Smile Still play it on PC - using the original disc with an emulator makes it look something like this - www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMdsFk3BFgw - much better textures and resolution.
  • + 5
 Anybody remembered Courier Crisis featuring GT bikes on PS?
  • + 1
 yes im here.
  • + 2
 @mokydot: Hey magellan, go exploring on your own time!
  • + 1
 Ah man, what a game!
  • + 1
 Stickgames.com and Free Rider 2. You draw your own course and then send the rider down it. People used to come up with the craziest and most imaginative lines. You can check them out on youtube
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drh-FgC90rk
  • + 1
 I'm lucky that still have it and get to play it on the ps2 and it to this day still is awesome to play. One thing I have talking about for a long time now is that they need to make a second one
  • + 3
 Has anyone tried DESCENDERS on STEAM? Crazy game...
store.steampowered.com/app/681280/Descenders
  • + 1
 Great game for sure. Very close to being the leader in current mountain biking video games.

A few things I think they need to address are map structure, lives system, logs on trails (remove them or put in a kicker so you can clear them at speed), change the bunny hop to a button (can get squirly on controller) and offer online multiplayer for slalom and freeriding, and include more technical features to trails like extremely steeps, better drops, and roots/rocks that make the user have to use brakes.

If they can accomplish that there will be no competition. For now Shred and MTBFreeride on PC still offer things that Descenders don't.

To me there are some aspects of downhill/freeride not represented in any game that would be nice to see included in a game.
  • + 3
 This year's UCI track in Lošinj may have been inspired by that No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking game
  • + 3
 What about "courier crisis"???? "Hey magellan, go exploring on your own time!" "Owwww, my spleen!!"
  • + 3
 Played downhill domination so many times. Loved the frames and forks. Was a bad idea but with exact bikes of the time.
  • + 2
 First rider to come to mind watching DD, Josh Bender. The drops would warrant a rider like him.
  • + 1
 PS4 Pro Re-Release of Downhill Domination in 4K and VR. Secret characters: Richie Rude, Sam Hill and Aaron Gwin, ACC and Tracey Moseley.
  • + 3
 As long as Teabag is still in the game I'm in : )
  • + 0
 They all sucked. All bike related games suck. You cannot replicate anything to do with riding on a console. They are dull, pointless, and repetitive. Just go out and ride a real bike. Or play something decent.
  • + 1
 Omg! I miss DH Dom so bad!!! I wanna find a working PS2 just to play this game again! I still can't get ov the "T-Bag Tantalizer"! ????
  • + 1
 I still play Downhill Domination. It stands up. An Intense Tazer would NOT stand up to the 90ft drops as featured in the game mind you.
  • + 2
 Downhill Domination and a Australian Mountain Bike magazine were what got my into this sport.
  • + 1
 AMB mag and a Mud Cows VHS for me. If Mum bought me a copy of Downhill domination I may have quite school!
  • + 2
 I still play my Downhill Domination game on drunken nights after trail building with my friends.
  • + 1
 I just tried to play Downhill Domination a few nights ago on my PS3 and it wouldn't work! I could have sworn I used to be able to play PS2 games on my PS3 Frown
  • + 1
 Lucky for you used PS2's are like $25. Get SSX Tricky while you're at it
  • + 1
 @freeinpg: I think I might already have an old PS2 in a box somewhere. I'll have to dig it out.
  • + 3
 Bring back Dave Mirra Pro BMX! RIP.
  • + 1
 Ahh spent probably waaay to many days of my life playing Downhill Domination...
  • + 1
 I used to love downhill domination, played for so many hours when I was younger hahaha
  • + 1
 Anyone have a link to play this on an emulator? I'd like to give them a shot!
  • + 2
 I still have a copy of downhill domination.
  • + 1
 Sorry...we're partial to the Super Nes Cannondale Cup! www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU-g8ms_MK8
  • + 1
 NO FEAR DOWNHILL Mountain Biking: "Look at the Rob Warner TIMEEEEEE"!!!
  • + 1
 Mountain Bike Adrenaline is pure SHITT
  • + 1
 Who ever is playing mountain bike adrenaline there is terrible.
  • + 1
 was about as good as skichin on the megadrive...
  • + 1
 Still beta, but it looks great: bmxstreets.com/bmxs-console
  • + 2
 Elastomania 4 lyf!
  • + 1
 Haha, I spent way too much time on it !
  • + 1
 Where have these been all my life!
  • + 1
 Downhill Dom is by far the best
  • + 1
 i just got downhill domination for 5$ last year
  • + 1
 Going to have to re-boot the PS4. Forgot about DD.
  • + 1
 Downhill Domination for life. I still have it.
  • + 1
 riding everyday like in downhill domination
  • + 1
 I have Cannondale Cup for for SNES. OG shit.
  • + 1
 EA sports needs to create this or Rockstar
  • - 3
 kill it with fire.
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