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Mad Riders Review (XBLA)

Posted on May 29, 2012 AT 10:15am

Anyone who played Techland’s previous over the top off road racer, Nail’d, will feel right at home with Mad Riders.  Essentially a sequel of sorts, players will once more traverse across exotic racing locations at blazing fast speed all the while looking for shortcuts and picking up boost anyway they can to cross the finish line first.  No one makes grabbing ridiculous amounts of air as you free fall from equally ridiculous heights more fun than Mad Riders.

The gameplay in Mad Riders is broken up across various game types.  Aside from your traditional head to head racing, there are checkpoint races and even timed events. It isn’t all about speed as points races will require you to perform insane stunts to win.  Players will need to have the most points awarded when they cross the finish line; being the fastest means nothing here.  No matter which race type you are playing on, you can be assured the action will be taking place at a rather fast pace across unique and varying levels.

Speed is everything in Mad Riders, gaining boost from doing stunts is essential to winning.  As you progress through the game, you can unlock the ability to perform new stunts both on and off the ground.  In addition to doing stunts to gain boost, you can also pick up boost from the tracks themselves.  Red tokens will help to fill your boost bar while Blue tokens will fill your recharge bar.  The recharge bar is new this time around and wasn’t found in the previous Nail’d game.  You can use the recharge bar to open up shortcuts hidden across the tracks or use it to open up “recharge” stations which provide a huge amount of red tokens to be picked up quickly to gain a quick burst in speed. How you use your boost and recharges will be crucial to winning so make sure you use them effectively!

You can take the mudslinging free falling stunt performing action online as well with up to twelve others.  The game features a drop in multiplayer feature that will notify you in real time if there are online races available for the current event you are racing in.  Pressing left on the D-pad will take you to the multiplayer race if there is one available.  At the time I played the game this feature wasn’t available since the game wasn’t released yet finding online matches was difficult.  I did find one match in a game type called “Perfectionist” which essentially puts on a track with other players for a set period of time.  The goal is to post to the best lap time before time runs out.  You can race once around the track and wait to see if anyone beats you or keep racing until the clock runs out to post a hopefully better time, it’s up to you.   You will only see the other players ghosts as you race around so there will be no interference from them allowing you to focus on posting your best time.   No matter which online play mode you pick, the game features world wide leaderboards for each of them to try and conquer.

In between races the game features a huge assortment of customization available to you.  From being able to paint each individual piece of your ATV, to even being able to customize your driver, there is a surprising amount of choices to be found here to allow you to create a truly unique driver and ATV combo.  More options become available to you as you play the game.  Unlocks open up for new custom paint jobs and even more driver options with such crazy things as playing as a mummy whose wraps flap in the wind or even an astronaut!

With over 45 tracks to master and numerous ATVs to pick from and customize there is plenty to keep you busy.  Add in 12 player multiplayer across three different game types all with leaderboards and this is by far the most full featured downloadable racing title on the marketplace. Mad Riders contains a full retail game’s worth of entertainment in a tiny downloadable package and for only 800 MS points it’s well worth the price of admission.


SUMMARY:Fans of over the top arcade styled racing will love this game and for the price it simply can’t be beat!

  • THE GOOD: Full size retail game fun in a tiny XBLA package
  • THE BAD: Tough AI and slight rubber banding make coming in 1st difficult at times
  • THE UGLY: Getting beat online by people with pink ATVs


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