ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 Review

ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 (ATV2) is an ATV game that includes races, stunts, and a little bit of vehicular fighting.  While you get a variety of gameplay modes that are executed well enough, it's as if the game can't quite make up its mind as to what it wants to be and so it doesn't stand out in any particular area.

Fly like Superman.

The primary modes of play include racing (both individual races and a career mode), a freestyle mode, and a challenge mode.  Career mode presents you with a series of races that are scored as a combination of your finish time and trick points.  The goal is to complete each of the three progressively harder circuits in one of the top three positions.  The points are cumulative, so finishing out of the top 3 spots in a single race won't knock you out of the running.  You do however need to finish close to the pack - after the top three finish a countdown timer will start.  If you don't reach the end before time runs out, then you'll need to re-run the race.

Completing a track will unlock the next track in the sequence and make it available for play in other modes.  You can also unlock additional ATVs, picking up a faster or more stable one along the way.  Your rider is also rated in four categories, and you can improve your stats in these categories as you progress through your career.  These stats are supposed to improve your rider in areas such as strength and aggressiveness, but in practice it does not seem like these stats have much of an effect on how good a job you do in staying on your ATV. 

The game comes with 15 tracks set in a variety of locales - a beach, a swamp, a glacier, and an industrial yard to name a few.  The track surfaces affect traction and handling somewhat, but not quite to the degree you'd expect.  The tracks are long and require three circuits, so the races run a little longer than your typical game's.  The track graphics look good and have some nice touches, like spray on the camera from rain or a wake when you cross a creek and the glare from the sun when it is low in the sky.  The tracks are good enough, but have a lot fewer opportunities to make jumps and catch air than you would expect from a game that scores your tricks.

When you get close to another driver, you can give him a kick and knock him off of his ATV.  There's no penalty for doing so, and it's a bit of devilish fun to give yourself a little room in a race by knocking an opponent on his backside.  The only move you have is a kick to the side and whether or not you knock an opponent down seems to be a bit of a random affair.  It would have been great if the game developed this "fighting" system a little more because it would have given the game a lot more character.  Instead it is more of a novelty than a major component of play.