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PS2 Review - 'ATV Quad Power Racing 2'

by Hank on March 1, 2003 @ 12:45 a.m. PST

ATV Quad Power Racing 2 puts you in the driving seat of powerful off-road quad bikes and then gives you that little bit extra. The fast, edge-of-your-seat arcade gameplay blends seamlessly with the outrageous tricks you can pull both in the air and on the ground. Whether you’re performing a heart attack over the dunes, an endo across the stadium or a nik nak in the swamps, you’ll always be pushing it to the limits. Earlier we had the Xbox version, now we put the PS2 version to the test!

Genre: Racing
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Climax
Release Date: 14-Jan-2003

Life is all about survival, out smarting, out talking, and out maneuvering your opponents. A competition of wits, skill, and finesse; a game to prove you are the very best, the king of the hill. And the best way to prove this is through racing. An off-road race filled with bumps, turns, and jumps a true race of power and speed. AKA Aklaims new game for the ATV series ATV 2: Quad Power racing offers those options.

This is the first game of the series I’ve played, so I have no basis on the game or how it compares to the previous ATV games. This is a review solely on my first time experience on this series.

When I first popped in ATV2:QPR I had my doubts about this game, but all of it went away after playing for several hours. The first thing I saw was the crazy amount of options possible. There are plenty of different modes that you can play in the game, a great plus giving it more replay value. The modes are ATV academy, Career, Single Race, Arcade, Freestyle, Challenge, Time Trial, Custom, and Multiplayer. I have not figured out what Custom is yet.

In ATV academy, we learn the basic commands. There are two training modes: control training, and trick training. Control training consists of controlling the vehicles stopping, jumping, boasting, etc. Trick training is where you get taught some of the tricks possible in the game. This is a very good starting point for the newbie’s like myself. After going through the training you should be ready for the other modes.

There are a total of six single player options. They are career, single, arcade, freestyle, challenge, and time trial. In career mode you race against five other ATV’s, on all the tracks possible. The give you points based on how well you finish as well as how many trick points earned. If you place first they will also give you a gold medal allowing you to be on step closer to unlocking new vehicles. Career mode also gives your character more experience to unlock more trick moves. With experience you go through these skill levels: Amateur, Rookie, Star, Master, Superstar, and Pro in no specific order. Unlike Career mode which goes through every track Single race only goes through one track. This option does not unlock anything as far as I can see but gives practice against the mean CPU opponents who are pretty aggressive with their kicking ability. Another good training option would be Time trial; this is a test to see how fast you can finish one lap. In time trial you have a full boast bar and after one lap a shadow to show how you’re doing this lap compared to the best. After running through the laps a few times, or when your satisfied, you can then head on over to Arcade.

Arcade is the perfect option after running your time trials. In this mode the main goal is to reach the finish line within the given amount of time. For each finished track you will unlock new ones. If you are unsatisfied with your current standings in the current race there is a reset options which is incredible fast with no load time whatsoever. This allows you to redo the race fixing your mistakes and making it possible to advance on to the next track. There are a total of 15 tracks that you will receive after beating arcade mode, but that’s not the only thing unlocked you also unlock the fastest ATV the ATC with perfect Top speed, acceleration, and handling. The vehicle I suggest to use to beat arcade would be the Skyrider if you haven’t unlocked something better. It’s a fast vehicle with good handling. After beating arcade there is freestyle and challenge left. In freestyle all you do is try and do mad amounts of tricks getting as many points as possible. It’s a Tony Hawk type clone but it doesn’t have the craziness of Tony Hawk’s great game play. Unlick Tony Hawk where all the tricks are given to you ATV 2: QPR requires you to unlock tricks. With new tricks you can bust out the fun on freestyle with its five different options. The options would be based on time, allowing for 1, 3, 5, 10, or infinite amount of minutes. The last option that is a killer is the Challenges, uh the horror. If you ever played GT3 you would remember the license tests, they were damn hard. Well ATV’s challenges can be considered pretty close to GT3’s difficulty. Most of the tests match GT3’s A license tests, hard but beatable. But like GT3 ATV 2 : QPR gold medals for some test are easy while others are almost impossible. In ATV 2: QPR instead of unlocking licenses, the challenges for unlock characters; each ranking has a high scoring ATV star. When you beat their score you unlock the character. There are a total of 12 challenges to beat. Eight ground challenges, and four tower challenges. Ground challenges are where the ATV is actually on solid ground; Tower challenges are where the ATV is above ground level.

After playing single player it’s always fun to bust it out with a friend. The game supports a total of two players, where you race against each using a horizontal split screen. Playing the game with my friend, we had so much fun kicking each other off the ATVs. The options available are Single race, Head to Head, Championship, and Freestyle battle. They are identical to the single player races, but rather then having 5 computer opponents you have 4 in the single race, and championship. In head to head, and freestyle you go against each other.

The graphics of the game are rather simple; nothing elaborate ever catches your eye. The game itself uses simple terrain adding in jumps, and obstacles. It’s pretty much what off-road courses should look like, simple yet fun. There are only a few points in the game that the course would go black. I’m not certain if it’s because of the brightness of my monitor or it’s the sections of the course. But the course seems to disappear into pitch blackness making it extremely hard to tell where to go. Causing me to go off track or miss a check point. A missed check point, going off track, or failing to land a trick forces the AI to intervene resetting you onto the track which takes some time. So when this blackness occurs it’s quite annoying especially when you have extremely aggressive opponents who constantly kick me off my ATV. Another downside to the graphics is that there are blind turns where if you do not know the course you’ll lose time and the AI will also have to reset you. There is an arrow pointing you into the correct direction but when you’re too focused on the terrain you don’t usually see the arrow. The last thing that sucks a is the lack of vision ahead. There are two reasons for this sometimes there are unforeseen gap which requires you to jump, or we launch ourselves to high that we get knocked over by an overhead bar. These events are only visible on certain courses. Not affecting the game-play as much.

With the games solid graphics, solid game-play, and great replay value; I give this game the score it deserves, for its tiny kinks and small bugs. It also lacks link play/online play which would allow 2-6 players to play simultaneous like its counter part ATV Off-road 2 and the original ATV. With the games low price of $29.99 I suggest picking it up or at least giving it a rental.

 

Score : 8.5 / 10

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