It’s quite surprising for how long the Xbox has been on the market, it has yet to see an ATV game hit the market. Well the wait is finally over because Acclaim and Climax took the opportunity to make the first and have released ATV Quad Power Racing 2, but if only they would have done a better job on it.
ATV Quad Power Racing 2 really has a nice array of Gameplay modes. These include a tutorial mode called ATV Academy to help you learn your ways around the game. There is a freestyle mode where you take your quad indoors and try to show off with some amazing tricks. The rest of the modes include a time trial mode where you attempt to beat your best times and a multiplayer mode where you can race with up to four other people. Along with all those game modes is a career mode, and that lets just say it’s not the easiest career mode in the world.
With all these different modes, well what it all comes to down to is how the game plays out. Well in fact the game does everything like you would expect, with a few little twists. The racing its self is pretty straight forward, it plays like most other ATV games but puts a lot of emphasis on the landings. This is due to a lot of the jumps you will take throughout the game will be on uneven surfaces, so will be expected to maneuver your quad just right so you don’t lose any ground.
Along with the normal racing comes the ability to knock your opponents off of their quads, by using the attack button. This ability reminds me a lot of Road Rash, which was a solid title. The only downside to the attack feature is that it seems a bit useless and out of place. For a game that seems more like a racing simulation to add a more arcade feature seemed a bit odd. Not only did it seem odd that they put that feature in, but it’s not easy to use either. You have to get lined up exactly straight with your opponent to knock them off.
The career mode like I said earlier is a lot more difficult then I thought it was going to be. Although the career mode is not very long, it is not one you can complete in one serving. The computer AI is also very tough and usually stays right on track, to make it crucial to take your opportunities when they are presented to you. Do not expect to win a race on your first try out there, it will take time to learn each track and get used to all the different turns. Another downside to the career mode is there isn’t much to keep you interested but the ability to unlock new tracks.
Besides the career mode, you can also spend a lot of your time in the freestyle mode. In this mode you will be put in a big arena with a bunch of different ramps, with a set time. It is your job to rack up as many points as possible. This is all great until you realize there are very few tricks you can actually pull off. Which really makes the freestyle mode a bit lame; there just isn’t enough to do to keep you wanting to play this one for more then an hour.
The controls are very straight-forward and extremely easy to use. There won’t be much of a learning curve for anyone, this is one of those titles you can just jump right in and play.
Like most extreme sports games, ATV Quad Power Racing 2 hosts a soundtrack of Alternative and Punk Rock. Although I am a fan of the genres, I didn’t find the selections of songs that were licensed for this title to be overly impressive. Not to mention that there aren’t enough tracks to last you more then an hour before you’re ready for some new songs. Luckily you are able to customize the play list and insert in your own, so you can race to your own beat. Besides the soundtrack the sound effects are just about average, there just isn’t any overwhelming to mention about the sound effects.
One of the stronger points of ATV Quad Power Racing 2 is the graphics. When I say this I am mainly discussing the courses and environments. Each course has their own beautiful unique design to them that is sure to impress almost all. The tracks also look very clean and crisp, along with the crisp looks are some nice water and lighting effects that also are impressive.
The downfalls to the game’s graphics are the riders and the quads. Unlike the tracks, the quads and the riders are not as crisp and detailed as you would hope. In fact the quads themselves look very rugged, while the riders are just not very detailed. All in all they come out to make some blurry images on your TV set.
The game does run at a pretty good frame rate, you will not see much slowdown throughout the game. The only times of slowdown are when you have all the riders in the same screen, it’s then when the game starts to slow down just a bit.
This is without a doubt the category of the review that hurts ATV Quad Power Racing 2 the most. This is one title that strides on being average and nothing more then that. There is nothing in ATV Quad Power Racing 2 that we haven’t seen before. Also the absence of Xbox Live support is also a disappointment. It would have been nice to have another racing title on Live to play. The career mode also loses its flare, even after only a few races, it’s just not deep or that fun to play.
This is just an average ATV title that is not bad by any means, just quite disappointing that we didn’t see anything new in this one. For you ATV enthusiasts this is one that you should definitely think about, but for everyone else this one makes a good rental.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.