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ATV Quad Power Racing 2 Package Art
 GENRE
  Racing
 DEVELOPER
  Climax (UK)
 PUBLISHER
  AKA Acclaim
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-2
 CONNECTIVITY
  no
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ATV Quad Power Racing 2

Hot on the heels of the success of the original PS2 game, Acclaim’s AKA division has brought a solid off-road quad-racing experience to the Cube. With the first kick to an opponent's head, you’ll note that this isn’t a simulation but an arcade adventure. The numbers include: 10 pro-riders and 10 “crazy” riders, 15 tracks in five different environments, two freestyle “trick” arenas, over 20 freestyle tricks, some cool licensed music (including the Rollins band), 2-player multiplayer (why not four?!?), and several challenging play modes including ground/tower challenges, time trial, single race, Freestyle, ATV Academy and more equals one solid racing game.

visuals

Vehicle movement doesn’t seem overly exaggerated, including when it’s in the air. As you slam the accelerator you will get a feeling of speed and range in terms of the environment. The environments are a little sparse by today’s standards and some of the desert tracks look, well, deserted.

There aren’t too many visual splashes but the graphics are solid and get the job done, as do the menu screens. While the character animates realistically during the trick animations, the look of the kick animation is a little ummmm… convulsive. In addition, when you lay a beating down, the collision detection seems a bit odd and you can’t really predict when you’re going to connect with a beating.

audio

There is some licensed music in this game, and it serves its purpose by creating a solid audio backdrop. The sound of the ATV’s engine is also well done. All too often the sound of these engines in racing games is a little too “solid-state” but ATV Quad 2 gets a pretty meaty sounding engine. All in all, there should have been more to the total audioscape including some more varied sound effects. The great games are distinguished, among other things, by how fat their audio environment is. Think Eternal Darkness, or more recently, the Lord of the Rings.

gameplay

One thing that I really like about the gameplay in ATV Quad 2 is the fact that it uses the Wave Race control model: responsive analog controls that include leaning forward (stoppies) and backwards (wheelies), as well as pulling off bicycles. You can also pre-load your player to have a higher jump by loading up with the R button just before a jump, as well as a two-wheel bicycle move using the L button. Another cool feature is that the C-stick is used for Analog acceleration and deceleration.

Unfortunately, the trick-control seems to be functioning in oatmeal. It lacks the crisp, sharp controls so important in a game like this. In addition, while the different modes add a great deal of replay-value and there are plenty of unlockables with which to reward yourself, the actual racing in the game doesn’t seem to snap you into wanting to follow all the way through with it.

All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge modes the most. In particular the Tower Challenges. These bursts of fun are something that you can come back to time and time again.

multiplayer

Like most racing games, here’s where you can have a lot of fun. It’s a shame that Nintendo is about as lame as a duck with fifty buckshot pellets in it and hasn’t supported any type of online play to speak of. Playing Off Road Fury 2 on the Playstation 2 in online multiplayer mode is a ton of fun, and Acclaim could’ve responded on the Cube with that if they had the option. As it stands though, you’ll have to make do with two player real-time multiplayer, which is still lots of fun.

overall

Hey, this isn’t the best choice for ATV action on your GameCube, it’s the ONLY choice for ATV action on the GameCube. Once again, I have to commend Acclaim for filling yet another void in the Cube’s line up.

I admit that this game could use some improvements. Still, you should give it a good rental and see if it’s something that brings you back. As I said earlier, it has the Sega-esque quality of being able to take it off the shelf a few months down the road and still have fun with it.

Like Acclaim’s other racer, Burnout, ATV Quad Power Racing 2 is one of the better racing experiences to be had on the GameCube. Give it a look.

final score 6.8/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Eric Mattei
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"Lost like tears in rain"


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