ATV Quad Power Racing 2
The driving game genre has quite a few sub-genres that appeal to different people. You can choose Formula 1 games where the emphasis is on finding the right car setup and achieving the fastest laps by mastering the best racing line on the circuits. What about rally driving where the races involve a mix of driving on roads, gravel and dirt, here the emphasis shifts towards a tighter control of the car and having to deal with the weather too. Quad bike racing is right at the other end of the scale. The terrain is usually hostile to racing at speed, sand, marsh, snow etc. you name a terrain and a quad bike will race over it. This is exceedingly dangerous in real life but it makes for a lot of excitement in a game. ATV Quad Power Racing 2 hopes to capture some of that excitement.
One of the first things that strike you with ATV Quad Power Racing 2 is that it comes with a lot of options. The heart of the game is the career mode but there is also a single race option, an arcade mode, a freestyle mode (where tricks are performed for points rather than races), a challenge mode, a time trial mode, a custom mode (allows you to create a championship, after completing the career mode) and a multiplayer mode. Of course the first time you play you're going to want to go to the ATV Academy which is basically two tutorials combined, one for learning the general controls and one for trick training. The tutorials are given completely in text and are very straightforward. The developers have also included an incentive for finishing the tutorials. For the completion of each tutorial you are given a quad bike. This is actually quite refreshing as most gamers will not usually go through the tutorials in a game like this, which is a shame as they are actually quite useful. With the lure of gaining extra quad bikes though, I'm sure most will play through the tutorials in this game.
Controls are everything in driving games and thankfully the controls are tight and responsive in ATV Quad Power Racing 2. Steering is of course controlled by the left analogue stick whilst the right analogue stick can be used to accelerate and brake with. Of course you can also press X to accelerate and the square button to brake if you wish. The circle button gives you a speed boost. The R1 button is used to preload whilst the R2 is used to attack your opponents when they come within kicking distance. The L1 is used to bicycle and the L2 is used to change the camera. The controls felt great and I can honestly say that I had no problems with them at all.
While most of ATV Quad Power Racing 2 is very enjoyable the one thing that I did not appreciate was the inconsistency of results when hitting other objects. Most of the time catching small trackside objects such as the tyres, that half stick out of the ground and are placed to define the tracks, will send your biker spinning off the bike to about 50 virtual yards away. I could live with this if, when colliding with bigger obstacles it didn't result in your biker remaining on the bike most of the time. Of course if you're an expert and never hit anything then it won't be a problem and as I became more comfortable with the tracks it became less of a problem for me. It just looks a little odd.
Graphically the game looks solid. I only experienced slowdown on rare occasions and the drop in framerate was only small. This is forgivable to a certain degree when you bear in mind just how big the tracks are. Altogether there are 15 tracks and 2 freestyle arenas. I actually enjoyed most of the tracks which is pretty unusual as I usually only like a few of them in a game of this type.
There are no problems with ATV Quad Power Racing 2 for deaf gamers. As we mentioned earlier the tutorials are completely in text and require button presses to progress so you have all the time in the world to read them. The text is quite large and was no problem to read. In fact all the information in the game is give completely in text. The force feedback has been well done. Occasionally I felt there were times when the force feedback just wasn't there and it should have been, like driving over small humps for instance, but on the whole the force feedback was put to good use.
ATV Quad Power Racing 2 should please most racing fans out there. If you've played games such as MX2002 then this is pretty much in the same vein with it's combination of freestyle tricks and cut and thrust racing. Some will relish the opportunity to give your opponents a kick during a race but as fun as this can be, the races are hectic enough in their own right if you don't wish to take the violent option.
Game Rating: 8.2/10