MX vs. ATV Untamed Review
When I was asked if I wanted to review MX vs. ATV Untamed I was fairly eager to jump right on this one. Having played MX vs. ATV Unleashed at my friends' house on the PlayStation 2 I felt rather comfortable reviewing this game. One of the key points of this game series was the tight realistic controls of the rides and the graphics, which I felt were rather good. Imagine my surprise then, getting my hands on this game and realizing that not only was this game not a lot of fun but that it was just a sincerely bad game.
Playing any racing game on any system is entirely dependant upon one factor, a reliable control scheme. In your average first-person shooter you can often compensate for bad controls by getting better with the game and many survival horror games have bad control schemes, the better ones being classified as acceptable barring Resident Evil 4. But that is all there is to a racing game, so when there is something wrong with the controls there is something terribly wrong with the game itself. Other than customization of yourself and / or your ride that is all that racing games have to them: good controls.
Unfortunately nobody told that to Ignition, the guys responsible for porting this game to the PS2 and Wii. Somehow or another they managed to make the Wii version of this game play pretty solidly but the PS2 version plays like MX vs. ATV Icecapades.
Now you might be thinking to yourself that this might just be over exaggerating. Well play the game and you will find out for yourself. Trying to take certain turns on your bike will result in your guy sliding like crazy if you don't learn how to properly brake and I don't mean realistically braking. By doing so you are likely to skid through the turn in an uncontrollable manner. You have to constantly lean on and let off of the brake in a rather obnoxious guessing game as you try to figure out the best way to corner. On the other hand you have the ATVs where you don't even need the brake at all, just let off on the gas a bit. Braking can actually cause you to skid in horrible ways while not braking at all sends you slip-sliding right off the race track itself.
Even worse is when you jump. The game suggests that you land on the downward part of a ramp to avoid losing too much momentum, a good piece of advice when the controls work. As it is going airborne feels almost like your bike is floating or hovering as it slides through the air in a rather bizarre looking fashion. It doesn't matter how you try to angle your bike, change your direction, tricks you do or anything else, you always seem to land with the same speed. Even twisting your bike totally sideways, which should fling you to the ground painfully, usually just causes a slight loss of momentum. It's odd to say the least.