ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 Review

ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 (ATV 2) is the first full-fledged ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) game for the GameCube (no, you can’t count Smuggler’s Run!) Like any “extreme” game out today it has some of the best riders of the sport modeled in the game, in this case Dana Creech, Tim Farr and others. ATV 2 also has the required big tricks and outrageous gravity defying stunts needed to get the official “extreme” attitude. While there may not be anything really new here that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a fun game because, well, it is kind of fun. Why would I make such a controversial statement? Read on and find out…

[ But first, time for a little side thought here: ATV 2 is one of many games that are being released for every console out there. I wonder is this is a good trend. Granted, it’s nice to not feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick when a new game comes out, but not for the console you own. Yet I wonder if each version of the game is as good as it could be. That is, are the developers able to take advantage of the special abilities that each console has to offer? Or are the games closer to a least common denominator of features? It seems a little hard to believe that when developing a game simultaneously for three pretty different platforms that proper time is given to make sure they are really fully utilizing the power and capabilities of each system. Is this a good thing? Is it worth the sacrifice to make sure that all consoles gets a least some version of a game instead of only one system getting an awesome version?  (What are your thoughts? I'd like to know...) ]

ATV 2 has several different game modes including ATV Academy (a tutorial for learning the controls), Arcade (quick two lap races), Time Trial, Freestyle (where you go to get your groove on in the Stunt Arena), and Career. The Career mode is where you take a humble “newbie” of a rider and over a series of races groom the rider to be the most feared and envied ATV rider in the history of the world!! Actually the Career mode is fairly standard stuff where the higher you place in the races the better equipment you unlock and the higher your skill level grows. You can either create your own custom rider or use one of the famous world-class ATV riders already there (well, once you unlock them of course). Naturally you want to do well in the races because the cooler ATVs are where you can really pull of some wacky-crazy stuff. OK, so there isn’t anything amazing happening with the different game modes. It is what it is, a competent collection of different ways to play the game. In addition, there is also a split-screen two-player option. Climax is not getting any extra credit for inventing anything original here, but they also haven’t messed anything up by leaving out any important modes.

There are about 15 different tracks, although a couple are just slightly different layouts of a previous track. Nevertheless, many of the tracks are very large and interesting as they cover areas such as a Forest, a Beach, a Glacier, a Swamp and an Industrial Mine. There are also Stunt Arenas with the needed ramps, jumps, walls, flaming rings and such. All of the tracks look very nice and this leads me to a couple of the stronger parts of ATV 2, the graphics and overall feel and control of the game.