ATV: Quad Power Racing Review
The first game of its kind, ATV is an off-road racing game that puts you into the seat of a four by four ATV that can barely touch the 80 MPH mark. The racing genre is over populated on the Playstation, with games like Need For Speed, Gran Turismo, Test Drive, Wipeout and Moto Racer why would Acclaim want to step in a ring with veterans surrounding it? I haven't heard much about ATV (the game) and the racing event in general, and it was no wonder that as soon as I began playing the game I was instantly driven to the point of vomiting. Before I head any further, for those who are unfamiliar with what an ATV looks like here is a little description; ATVs are vehicles that are like motorcycles but on four wheels, you may have seen commercials on them most likely those created by Honda, they are off-road vehicles capable of reaching speeds of 75 MPH. Acclaim and Climax thought that it would cool to create a game based on ATV racing with realistic physics to compliment the gameplay, but what exactly did we get? A decent and solid racing game, or just another space taker in a videogame outlet?
As soon as the FMV intro booted up, I witnessed absolutely the worst FMV compression that a Playstation game has ever seen. The quality looked like it was shot on a 1960's camcorder and watched on a first generation VCR player. The grain that the clip displays almost makes you want to pop open a box of Wheaties, this is without a doubt the ugliest looking FMV that the PS has displayed thus far. The environments should have been key in this field, but they aren't. Instead the atmosphere looks like a painter's palette splashed with a bucket of water, for smudgy looking colors that warp and look pixely. The riders look decent but the ATVs look like something Fred Flintstone would ride on, they aren't atrocious but they do need refinement around the edges. The shabby looking environmental colors combined with the rough looking ATV detail adds up to a poor at best grade of 4.3. Maybe if Climax did its homework with the PS and sat down to tweak around with the system for a while, we may have had a good PS racing game to accompany the big boys, instead what we got was a rushed product that Acclaim wanted to be released before the PS' slow death.
Talk about cheap gameplay! ATV is the more load for some very awkward gameplay. I'll give the game the nice ATV physics, but everything else is just about as bad as it can get. You can't tweak your ATV for performance, adjust its shocks, stabilizers and etc. All you do is pick an ATV and race on of the 12 tracks. The tracks can range anywhere from off-road dirt to off-road snow, sounds cool? It isn't, try controlling your ATV successfully through every turn and you'll find yourself pulling hairs out left and right. The 12 tracks aren't as great as they should be, instead of nice looking locales, the same backgrounds keep on repeating themselves like a broken record, Climax should have really spent more time on making the environments more varied. When you hear "racing" you think high speeds, awesome sports cars and girls (at least I do). But the term racing is used loosely here for ATV, the vehicles can only climb up the 80 MPH and the speed sensation feels more like 20. Quad Power Racing is a perfect example of a game that needs more life, Climax went for the typical two-player mode, tournament mode, single player and other standard racing modes, but the games sheer boredom won't want to make you play any of the modes. There are only two ATVs available, count 'em that's two, not 7, 8 or 9, but 2. Of course though you are later rewarded with more ATVs, but they feel like all the other. You have six riders to choose from which absolutely have nothing written about them, like a little bio. This horrendous racer is in fact one of Playstation's worst racing games.
The sound is just plain turd, the jazz music in the background will surely make your ears bleed blue blood. Why would you want to listen to crappy elevator tunes, especially while playing an off-road game which is like football for cars. A game like this deserves attention, but Climax paid absolutely NO attention to the game in any field. ATV engines don't even sound that great, in fact they sometimes don't even sound period! If the soundtrack somewhere on the status of oh... say Tony Hawk, then that would be a different story. The sound effects are also something that should have been left alone, bottom line I would have scored the sound higher if it was on mute.
Hmmm... the control seems to be the highest ranked category of the five, the only reason for that is because of the somewhat nice physics that the ATVs have. The bouncing is nice, you can see the shock absorbers lower as you are in the air, so that you would be prepared for a big landing. Other than that, the presentation for maneuvering your vehicles is below average. Playing the game with analog could seriously hurt the outcome of your race severely, the touchy turning and the lackluster control design make ATV a game even worse.
To finish this review, I will notify everybody that ATV: Quad Power Racing has been destroyed, processed through the trash compactor, then thrown into the recycling bin. I'm sorry Acclaim, Dave Mirra may have been great, but ATV is trash, this is another big waste of money, instead of picking up ATV, use that for either Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX or save it for PS2. Awful visuals, awful gameplay, ultimately horrible sound, with lackluster control and little to no replay value show that ATV: Quad Power Racing was obviously rushed.