The only time I'll ever look competent on a bike.
Shred! 2 - Freeride Mountianbiking is a sequel to a mobile cycling game that focuses on perfecting tricks and sticking jumps to earn stars, advancing through to the next level. The experience was a mixed bag: on one hand, the trial-and-error gameplay is enjoyable and replayable. On the other, weird controls hamper the experience, never feeling quite right.
The easy comparison to Shred! 2 would be the Trials video game series, but in a more traditional mobile-based layout. It features over 40 levels consisting of mountains, streets, downhill areas, and other locations that are perfect for, well, shredding on a bike. Crashes and extreme wipeouts are very common in Shred! 2. Pro mountain biker Sam Pilgrim lends his likeness and voice to the game, grunting and shouting whenever the bike crashes or stops moving due to lack of momentum. It’s never discouraging having to repeatedly try a level over and over again. It can be tedious, but also rewarding once the right trick is finally pulled off.
I found the controls in Shred! 2 to be a bit off. They just never felt perfect, and there was always second guessing whenever trying to launch or break at just the right moment. It’s actually a real pain in the butt to prepare for a jump, launch into the air, and then reach all the way to the right joystick to execute a move, all while making sure I landed safely. It’s not impossible, but it can take quite a while to feel confident enough to clear a level with no problems.
Presentation-wise, Shred! 2 is also a bit of a mixed bag. The soundtrack features a number of original tunes that, while nothing out of the ordinary, fit well with the game and can be shuffled around pretty easily if so desired. The graphics themselves are slightly better looking than most mobile games. Not that they’re horrific-looking, but they're simply average and serviceable at most.
The trial-and-error gameplay of Shred! 2 is solid, and there’s always a sense of achievement and hard work once a level is finally cleared. Seeing the camera pan out as a large jump is executed is also a really cool feeling. There’s plenty of levels to choose from and the customizable options give the experience a nice, personal touch. Moving with the controls never felt quite perfect, but doesn’t render the game unplayable. Shred! 2 is simply a pretty solid, fun game that has its moments once you look past its issues.