Review: Biker Mice From Mars (SNES)

Time to rock 'n ride!

If you want to know what Biker Mice from Mars is like, think of it this way. Take RC Pro-Am for the NES, change the cars into Harleys, and then throw a bunch of thug-like mice onto those bikes and there you have it. It's pretty much a carbon copy of the ideas and gameplay found in RC Pro-Am, with the over-the-top weirdness of the Biker Mice theme tossed into the mix. Now while this might seem annoying for gamers who were never able to come to grips with the odd control scheme found in RC Pro-Am, for those who did enjoy the NES classic, this game is like riding a bike - literally.

Biker Mice basically has three modes of play. The main game is where you race against the other bikers in order to earn prize money and purchase upgrades for your bike. Think of this as the "story" mode, in which you basically work your way up the ranks as you win races and increase the speed and handling of your bike, not to mention purchase better weaponry that can be used to take competing bikers out on the race track. This is what would be considered the "meat" of the game, and in all honesty, the most enjoyable part of the game.

Next up is the battle mode. Here's where you can take on other players in an all-out shootfest. Think of it as a quirky version of the battle mode in Super Mario Kart, only minus the balloons. It's actually very well thought-out and offers some good fun if you can round up some competition.

Last, and certainly the least, is the practice mode. This is basically your chance to practice the many tracks of the game without any interference from other riders. This does come in quite handy for the later levels in the game, but since most of the tracks are fairly standard in design, you shouldn't need a lot of practice anyway.

It's worth mentioning that the controls do take some getting used to since the control of the bike is always the same no matter which direction you're currently facing in the 3/4 viewpoint setup. That being said, after awhile you'll find the controls second-nature once you've gotten a handle on them. The gameplay certainly isn't going to set any new standards as far as innovation goes, but its simplicity gets the job done nicely and gives the game a distinct feel that will appeal to gamers looking for something a little different.

While the visuals in Biker Mice from Mars certainly aren't as good as those found in many other SNES titles, they seem to fit in with the unusual theme of the game perfectly. Everything from tropical island surroundings to underground sewers can be found in the game, and each new area has its own distinct look to it that keeps the game feeling fresh throughout the wild ride. Since the game is presented in a 3/4 style viewpoint, you won't find any fancy Mode-7 effects, which does keep the game looking smooth as it scrolls along, even at some of the more brisk paces. So while the graphics aren't what you might call cutting edge, they're more than adequate to carry to outrageous theme the game employs.

Luckily the music in the game is almost as insane as the visual stylings. The synthesized techno/rock hybrid musical score sounds right at home in this game and does a good job of keeping with the up-tempo feel of the game. It's worth mentioning that the voice acting in the game is a little over-the-top, but much like everything else in the game, it just seems to fit. Trust us, you'll be hearing the "Let's Rock & Ride!" going through your head long after you've put the controller down. The only real gripe that could be leveled against the game's audio performance would be that the game's many musical selections could have used a little more variety, as after a few hours of playing the game, they all begin to sound alike.


Sometimes it's nice to see a game that's just purely outrageous and doesn't take itself too seriously. Sure the control system is going to turn off some racing game purists expecting a more standard gameplay experience, but those who can appreciate something a little different are likely to find the game an enjoyable diversion from the usual racing fare on the console. The game isn't going to revolutionize the racing game genre, but what it lacks in innovation, it more than makes up for in charm and personality.

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