For the longest time we have seen the ATV Offroad Fury series strive on the PS2, being one of the best, if not the top, ATV game for the console. The franchise has been known for being fast paced and quite simply an overall enjoyable one. Now the franchise branches out to Sony’s new handheld, the PSP. So does this game give the same fun faced paced action on the PSP as we saw on the PS2? Read my full review to find out!
The one thing that has always made me skeptical about the PSP is that the small screen would take away the enjoyment from a game such as ATV Offroad Fury. I say this because with the ATV series you have always got wide open environments and large scale races, and I was just was not sure the game could incorporate all of that onto a small screen. So does Blazin’ Trails prove me wrong?
Blazin’ Trails, for those of you who did not know, is a port version of the very popular ATV Offroad Fury 3 for the PS2. One of the first things you will notice is that this game is not one that is for those wanting an easy ride. When I say this I am basically just trying to get out the point that Climax Studios was not making this game to be easy, and I think one way the game gets harder then it needs to be is in the controls. My personal opinion is that the developers just did not find a very good control scheme for this game, as I noticed myself getting more frustrated with the PSP controls rather then the actual game mechanics.
Blazin’ Trails does provide more depth then a lot of the other early PSP titles, in the form of the championship mode. Although it may not be overly long, it does provide enough of a challenge and depth to keep most ATV fans very satisfied. But I do think that the most dominant feature this game holds is the online play, which is both played locally and over the Internet. I was really pleased with how well the game handled online, and it seemed to just be a really fun experience. If Climax did one thing right with this game it would have had to have been the online play.
When you look at Blazin’ Trails, I think the game could have been much better then what was given to us in this outing. First off I think Climax could have done a whole lot more "tweaking" with the controls to make them sync better with the game. I think with the controls being so frustrating the and the actual game itself just being around average, fans of the series will in my opinion be wanting more then what is given in this game.
I have noticed that a lot of the PS2 ports have been struggling to keep a steady framerate on the PSP, something fortunately is not an issue in Blazin’ Trails. I was very happy with how well the game performed, especially for how vast the environments are in the game.
One thing I must say that wasn’t as impressive was the vehicles and character models in the game, which as a whole were really poorly generated. I must say that the whole look of the ATV seemed very scratchy and just didn’t have that distinct look that we have grown used to over the years. Overall the visuals of ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin’ Trails had some flaws, but overly good.
I know I already mentioned this, but the ATV series has always been known for being fun, but I just did not get that vibe this time around. When I was playing Blazin’ Trails I felt not only very frustrated with the controls, but I also just was hoping for more. The game has unlockables and the online support, but as a whole it just felt too bottled up to me. Had the controls been better and had there been a bit more depth this game could have kept the "fun series" alive.
ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin’ Trails should really be considered in my opinion an average game, nothing more and nothing less. Due to the frustrating controls and just a mediocre performance as a whole, we are left with a sub-par game that will only really appeal to the hardcore ATV fans.
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