ATV: Quad Power Racing 2

With tons of games on the market that involve racing through outrageously designed levels trying to edge themselves into your living room, 4-wheel quads seem to dominate many times over. From ATV Off-road Fury of the PS2 to this new release, we have seen many wanna-be's. ATV Quad Power Racing 2 brings the arcade back to the Xbox and shows what potential a 4-wheeler can possess.


Overall, while playing this game, the graphics maintained a sort of smoothness from start to finish. There was never a moment where you would notice choppy graphics on a certain aspect of the level, compared to what you would normally see on the PS2 counterpart. On the other hand, it's obvious that the graphics could have been better being on the Xbox after all. But, as you may have noticed, the graphics don't always make the game. Think about how much Mario was a hit, and the graphics were horrible! With easy to navigate menus, smooth playback, and non-stop speed, the graphics sure proved to be acceptable in the long run.


ATV QPR 2 features a slim soundtrack including artists the Rollins Band, Godsmack, and Box Car Racer. There is a "huge" soundtrack of 7 songs! That means that any player will become very acquainted with the lyrics, as you did with the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. To add to this, you cannot even use your own soundtracks stored on the Xbox's hard drive. This is obviously just a straight port from the PS2 and GC to the Xbox just with some minor graphical improvements. Why don't developers let more games use the custom soundtrack on the Xbox? There is a lot of revving engines with the all-popular generic metal smashing sounds, but you don't tend to notice them unless you try to. The game flows all together and produces a very smooth experience. It almost has the same effect as Diddy Kong Racing for N64. It uses the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound and this consists of flying mud, bumps, engine noise, and the repetitive, sub-par, soundtrack.


This game offers a wide variety of mini-games, or what I like to call "diversions" from the game. Developers stick these into many games to produce a feeling of replay value, when in this case, are used mostly to teach you how to do tricks! They actually in some sense help you for the long-term because you are going to need to use these tricks to win the trick competitions. There also is a spring-loaded control (used for high jumps) that is useful, but not as innovative as ATV Off-road Fury 2 for the PS2. The physics and realism of this game are exceptional, especially, as you would in real life, when you are zooming through tracks at amazing speeds and try to take a turn. Trust me, it's not gonna' happen! The game also consists of some obstacle courses, stunt levels, and a variety of gameplay modes. As many of the other extreme sports games do, there is a career mode that lets you go around the world through about 15 different levels to show off your skills. And what would a racing game be if you couldn't kick your opponents off their ATV? Challenges occur a lot that include everything from competing on classic slalom courses to climbing massive towers that stand on thin, precarious ramps and bridges. I was especially amazed to see that parts actually fall off the ATV's when you inflict damage on them! This also affects the performance of the vehicle.

Bottom Line:

All in all, ATV Quad Power Racing 2 offers a promising experience to replace the missing link of Off-road Fury for the Xbox. I would recommend this game to almost anyone looking for a rival to Off-road Fury, mainly because I was looking for one. It's not the best ATV game on the market, but keep in mind that it's the only one out for Xbox at the moment. If you need to satisfy your urges for pure hardcore speeding through sand, mud, grass, and water, you should get this game now.

-Ricky Zwiefel