|ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 (Xbox)|
|Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment||Developer: Climax Studios|
|Genre: Racing||Release Date: 01/21/2003|
|ESRB: Everyone|| More Info on this Game
By Avi Fryman |
March 10, 2003
Boasting twice as much quad as its console brethren, does the Xbox version of QPR2 pack twice as much fun?
|Blinding sunlight effects; the only version to feature up to four players; fun.||Redundant soundtrack; unnatural controls; not enough challenges.|
A closer analysis reveals a handful of minor differences that almost serve to give the Xbox version an edge. Split-screen multiplayer challenges involve two players on the GameCube and two-to-four on the Xbox. During single-player challenges, there are five computer opponents on the GameCube, as opposed to a more robust seven computer opponents on the Xbox. During the freestyle arena challenge, the audience takes flash photos on the Xbox, but remains dormant on the GameCube. Any of this might matter if the Xbox had a more natural controller, but the exact same challenges on the exact same difficulty setting are easier to overcome on the GameCube, if only because the controls are more fluid and intuitive. And other than the aforementioned (and admittedly impressive) barrage of flashes, the games look identical. (It should be noted, however, that they feel quite different in the tactile sense. The Xbox controller has a much more erratic and intense rumble feature than its GameCube counterpart, almost causing the controller to leap to the floor at times.)
If you've never played an ATV game, the concept is simple. As in other extreme sports titles, you've got to pass challenges to unlock tricks, most of which you will perform while airborne on your 4x4. You've got a number of basic skills to start out with, all of which are quickly learned in the tutorial mode. For example, from the start, by accelerating with the A button and pushing down on the left analog stick or controller pad, you'll pop a wheelie. Later on, once you've earned the right, you'll be able to perform handstand spins and the like in the midst of massive jumps, using various button combos. Nearly every track is full of jumps, granting you ample opportunities to fly high and strut your stuff.
Although limited to a meager fifteen tracks in the racing modes (three variations of five different locales), QPR2 features a number of impressive elements that will make it worthwhile for casual gamers and obsessive completionists alike. Graphical touches include blinding sunlight (arguably brightest on the Xbox), convincing water-on-the-camera-lens effects, a rich color scheme, well-designed tracks, and a nice variety of camera angles to sort through. The ability to kick opponents off of their quads gives this title an extra edge, although additional extreme elements would have been welcome. (As in the other versions of this title, although the box boasts of "an arsenal of vicious fighting moves," your arsenal consists of a singular kick, each and every time.)
When you're in a particularly good groove, the game play often feels almost as satisfying as titles such as SSX Tricky, although there will be times when you wonder why even the simplest trick simply won't register. This problem, common to all three console versions, is most pronounced on the Xbox, perhaps a side effect of the overall awkwardness of the controller itself.
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